If you're not the life of the party, there's hope for you. I'm an introvert, but that's okay, because I'm a writer. But what about people who want to be lawyers, business execs, or politicians?
Read this book.
Susan Cain not only dispels the myth that extroverts are the only possible leaders in American society, but she also points out something that I never noticed before. Here's a quote from the beginning of the book, referring to the turn of the twentieth century:
America had shifted from what the influential cultural historian Warren Susman called a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality–and opened up a Pandora's Box of personal anxieties from which we would never quite recover.
The Culture of Character favored the person who was “serious, disciplined, and honorable.” People were judged on their private behavior. But the Culture of Personality favored an entertaining, performance-oriented role. The Culture of Personality trickled down into schools, workplaces, and even churches. How do you witness for Christ if you're an introvert? Is it possible? Suddenly, all the difficult team projects and classroom presentations of my school years not only made sense–but I felt indignant that for years (decades!) I have felt inadequate and insufficient compared to my extroverted classmates and colleagues. Our world is designed for extroverts, even though introverts make great contributions to society–contributions that are difficult for extroverts to make.