Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength [NOOK Book]

Overview

Are you an introvert? Psychologist and introvert Laurie Helgoe reveals that more than half of all Americans are. Introverts gain energy and power through reflection and solitude. Our culture, however, is geared toward the extrovert. The pressure to enjoy parties, chatter, and interactions can lead people to think that an inward orientation is a problem instead of an opportunity.

Helgoe shows that the exact opposite is true: Introverts can capitalize on this inner source of ...

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Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength

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Overview

Are you an introvert? Psychologist and introvert Laurie Helgoe reveals that more than half of all Americans are. Introverts gain energy and power through reflection and solitude. Our culture, however, is geared toward the extrovert. The pressure to enjoy parties, chatter, and interactions can lead people to think that an inward orientation is a problem instead of an opportunity.

Helgoe shows that the exact opposite is true: Introverts can capitalize on this inner source of power. Introvert Power is a groundbreaking call for an introvert renaissance, a blueprint for how introverts can take full advantage of this hidden strength in daily life. Supplemented by the voices of several introverts, Helgoe presents a startling look at introvert numbers, influence, and economic might.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“Most Americans, whether introverted or extroverted, have learned to look like extroverts,” writes psychologist (and introvert) Heilgoe in this well-written and well-reasoned analysis that challenges the perception of introverts as a silent, problematic minority. The author reveals that 57% of the U.S. population identify as introverts and are so commonly misunderstood because many of them have become adept at mimicking extroversion (becoming a “Socially Accessible Introvert”) to get by. Heilgoe encourages introverts to see themselves as perfectly functional and to fulfill their need for solitude with regular retreats and creating a private space in their homes. Heilgoe's book is wide-ranging and cross-cultural, invoking how other societies (particularly in Japan and Scandinavia) are more compatible with and accepting of introversion. Helpful sections details why introverts need extroverts in their lives and how extroverts depend on introverts for their artistic contributions and inner “richness.” The author's voice is vivid and engaging, and she skillfully draws real-life examples of awkward scenarios introverts find themselves in when forced to play a role in society or the workplace. Readers will find much insight, as well as a comforting sense of being understood and validated.
Library Journal

In a society where extroversion is valued, those who gain energy through solitude and reflection are seen as problematic. Introvert and author Helgoe (The Boomer's Guide to Dating (Again)) reveals the abundance of riches in the personality makeup of introverts and encourages those who are inclined to be them to embrace and enjoy these qualities. The author suggests how readers can build private space into their routine, make extroverted friends, respect boundaries, and dismantle the extroversion assumption of "the good life." This book serves as a good choice on this subject and is recommended for public libraries.


—Deborah Bigelow
From the Publisher
"It changed my life. No kidding. Dr. Helgoe's book opened the door to discovery that has helped free me be myself." - Sophia Dembling, author of The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World

"Like a modern-day Thoreau, psychologist Laurie Helgoe leads us to a tranquil Walden Pond within our soul, and shows us the blessings of solitude we can find there." - Stephen Bertman, author of The Eight Pillars of Greek Wisdom

"Laurie Helgoe's Introvert Power is The Bhagavad Gita for introverts....Laurie fans the embers of wisdom in each of us to honor yearnings that serve as both compass and anchor. I'm now giving myself permission to get a lock for my office door and replace my reading chair with something that would delight my younger self. I owe it to her." - Mary Hershey, author for children & young adults, co-creater of Shrinking Violets, Marketing for Introverts

"Extroverts have to read this remarkable book too. It's not just that we'll better understand the other 50 percent of the population but that they have so much to teach us. The party always ends, after all. Being alone is unavoidable. Helgoe and the introverts among us know a secret: It's after all the music and dancing stops that we often become our most graceful selves." - Ethan Watters, author of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche

"I love Laurie Helgoe's book. I just wish I'd had it when I was growing up; it would have reduced the number of decades it took me to treasure my own introversion. Now as I read each page I'm saying "Yes!"" - Josephine Humphreys, novelist and winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402234323
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 448,698
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Laurie Helgoe, PhD, is a writer, psychologist, part-time actor, and model-and introvert. This is her fifth book.
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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter One: The Mistaken Identity

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"He's thin and white...if he's tall he's got bad posture."
"Not particularly attractive, ungainly, with skin problems-would be first underweight and then (later in life) overweight."
"Nerdy."
"Geeky."
"Conservative style, neutral colors."
These are some descriptions of what an introvert looks like.

What is alarming is that these descriptions all come from introverts! When the same people describe themselves, the picture changes:
"My physical appearance is...exotic. Light green-blue slanted eyes and high cheekbones."
"Natural blonde."
"I'm overweight, tanned skin, big, round, and dark brown eyes."
"Somewhat tall, reasonably attractive considering age."
"Brown curly hair-I look like I'm from another country."

What stood out to me as I polled these people was the sterile and colorless quality of the archetypal introvert, contrasted by the colorized descriptions of the self-identified introverts. The stereotyped introvert is often seen as introvert by default when, in fact, introversion is defined as a preference. Introverts generally prefer a rich inner life to an expansive social life; we would rather talk intimately with a close friend than share stories with a group; and we prefer to develop our ideas internally rather than interactively.

So how have we jumped from these preferences to images of a cowering, reclusive weirdo? Iris Chang commented, "Whatever is not commonly seen is condemned as alien." We have lost our eyes for introversion. As we discussed in the introduction, introverts make up more than half of the population, yet we assume that introverts are an occasional deviation-the geeks in the shadows. Introversion, by definition, is not readily seen. Introverts keep their best stuff inside-that is, until it is ready. And this drives extroverts crazy! The explanation for the introvert's behavior-and there must be an explanation for this behavior, say the extroverts-is that he or she is antisocial, out of touch, or simply a snob.

Because introverts are trickier to read, it is easy to project our fears and negative biases onto this preference. And it's not just extroverts who do this. As my informal poll revealed, we often make similar assumptions about other introverts, and-most troubling of all-about ourselves! One of the introverts I polled is a striking beauty. She described her physical appearance as "OK." Another very attractive introvert described herself as "the status quo." These downplayed descriptions may reflect a tendency to focus less on externals, but we also tend to downplay our very personalities-the style we prefer. For example, do you ever jokingly or apologetically admit to being antisocial, or view yourself as boring in relation to your chatty associates? Do you beat yourself up for not joining in? Do you worry that something is wrong with you; that you're missing out; that who you are naturally is a problem needing correction?

Your nature is not the problem. The problem is that you have become alienated from your nature-from your power source. As Isabel Briggs Myers discussed in her book, Gifts Differing, "The best-adjusted people are the 'psychologically patriotic,' who are glad to be what they are."

For introverts this means, "Their loyalty goes to their own inner principle and derives from it a secure and unshakable orientation to life." But we have been shaken. To reclaim the power of introversion, we must first deconstruct the assumptions we make about who we are.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Part I: Antisocial, Weird, or Displaced?
Chapter 1: The Mistaken Identity
Chapter 2: Alone Is Not a Four-Letter Word
Chapter 3: Becoming an Alien
Chapter 4: "Anyone Else IN?"
Chapter 5: Meditating with the Majority: The Introverted Society
Part II: The Introvert's Wish List
Chapter 6: A Room of Your Own
Chapter 7: The Time to Think
Chapter 8: The Right to Retreat
Chapter 9: The Freedom of a Flâneur
Chapter 10: Inroads to Intimacy
Part III: Standing Still in a Loud World
Chapter 11: The Conversation Conundrum
Chapter 12: The Anti-Party Guide
Chapter 13: Why Did I Want to Work with People?
Chapter 14: The Downside to Self-Containment
Chapter 15: Showing Up for Relationships
Part IV: Outing the Introvert
Chapter 16: From Apology to Acceptance-and Beyond
Chapter 17: Celebrating Introversion
Chapter 18: Expressing What's In There
Chapter 19: Moshing on Your Own Terms
Chapter 20: Introvert Power
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index
About the Author

Laurie Helgoe, PhD, is a writer, psychologist, part-time actor, and model-and introvert. This is her fifth book.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An amazing and much needed book!

    I love this book!! I think more people need to realize that introversion is not only okay, but desirable. I highly recommend this book to all people who know or feel that they are truly introverts, but are trying to live up to society's standards of extroversion. I will no longer feel that something is wrong with me for being introverted, but instead I will embrace all the positive things about it. And there are many.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2013

    Must read

    I do enjoy reading this book over and over again .once I find a book interesting I love to re read it.one ofmy favourites.highly recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    Great book! An eye opener on Introversion and Extroversion!  I h

    Great book!
    An eye opener on Introversion and Extroversion!  I have learned about why others and I act and feel in such social setting.  
    Embracing introversion can bring out the true strengths that one have not acknowledge, and can no longer express guilt for who we truly are.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2013

    Better than Quiet

    I liked this book much better than Quiet. It was more relatable to me. I have always felt wrong and guilty for being an introvert and after reading this book I realized that there is nothing wrong with me and is the other people who should accept introversion as something normal.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    To violetkit

    Go to first book and ask if you can

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    To quickstar

    Im flameclaw i come to ask how many warriors do u have there is a battle coming to my clan( hurricane clan) and we need warriors are u willing to be allys?

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2012

    To a clanless cat:

    Come & Help Find SkyClan. Go To LOST 1st result & read post that begins: From SilverMoon. You will get one, or two, of the finest prizes, depending on your rank when you sucess fully get there. Follow the instructions TO THE WORD! See you there! -SilverMoon

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    Sandystar

    Okay thats awesome! :) My clan is at mercat first result! If u ever need help, my clan will be there! Good luck with your clan! -Sandystar

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    Pantherstorm

    My mate moongaze is havingbkits in 2 moons

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2012

    Shearclaw

    quickstar...result one/ later today. Please.

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Sandstar

    Ok.

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Swanheart

    Can I join?

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Quickstar

    K. Im there.. ~ Calm Quickstar ~

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

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