Maybe it’s just me (i.e. some sort of self-confirmation bias or something similar that I should remember from my OB classes) but it seems that there’s more and more talk about introverts since Susan Cain published her book “Quiet” in 2012. The book, by the way, is still, according to Amazon.co.uk, the no. 1 best seller in their “Personalities” category (whatever that means) and it was voted the best non-fiction book of 2012 by goodreads.com. It’s a great read – but, as with most famous books these days, if you don’t feel like reading it you can always watch the TED talk to get the gist of it in 20 minutes or less.
In the past month alone, two articles about introversion have landed on my Facebook feed from unexpected sources: one, in The Good Men Project, is a quick “user’s guide” to introverts (top tip: “Write letters. Email. We love it”). The other, which I saw on HBR’s blog network today, is called “Personal Branding for Introverts” and includes advice such as using social media and connecting to people one person at a time – very helpful and encouraging stuff.
But the latest in my own “introverts vs the world” saga isn’t business-related: both my kids are starting new pre-schools these days, which means meeting lots and lots of new people – for all of us. My two-year old, thankfully, is quite the social butterfly, so all I need to worry about is getting her to come back home at lunch time. My four-year old, however, seems to share my feelings about big crowds of people he doesn’t know (his first thoughts about preschool – “too many kids and too much noise”; I couldn’t agree more).
I, for one, will take the advice of HBR & Co – connect to the mothers one at a time and send my husband to the big Parents’ Evening gathering (yes, the technical term for that is “chicken out”, but I’m a grown-up now so I can do it). As for my son, since I promised myself to stop reading parenting books (it’s a nasty vice, I tell you), I have no choice but to use HBR as my guide there too, so we’ll be having lots of playdates, with one kid at a time. Further suggestions – for either of us! – are of course welcome.