I have a confession.
I am letting the most interesting man in the world talk me to sleep nightly.
His name is TED.
I have been cheating on Seinfeld ever since I moved and took the TV out of my room and have been listening to a TED talk or 2 each night before bed. Usually, less funny than my main squeeze, but just as satisfying in other ways. Tonight I watched a glorious talk (watch it at the link above) and it was very moving to me for so many reasons. The TED website describes by saying…
In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.
Because anyone who knows me knows that until this year I wasn’t quite sure how to be alone, this may come as a surprise that I learned so much from this talk. My extroversion is so severe that even when I was claiming to do tons of things alone (travel abroad, hang out at parks, study abroad, eat alone at restaurants), I was/am lying, because I would show up alone and leave with 10 new besties.
I won’t lie, at first her distain for extroverts and the outgoing nature of her camp counselor(been there, said that to the weird introverted campers I had) or her inclination to say introverts are more inclined to make better grades irked me to the point where I almost stopped listening. Inner monologue: Maybe I was just a bad counselor or I am just dumb.
But then I social worked myself into remembering that those things are just triggers that made me, the outgoing, oh-so needing to be liked, extrovert that I am insecure. The same way my need to make the introverted camper cheer or talk to my introverted classmates to the point where they hated me for getting them in trouble made them insecure.
I realized then how right on this talk was.
I listened to what she said and the sister, daughter, friend, girlfriend, and future actual counselor in me realized that these people, that I know I overwhelm at times need to be celebrated SO MUCH for all the good they have and will bring to not only my life, but to the world. You are my most important counterparts. I need you and you need me.
Susan’s (yea we are on a 1st name basis) call to action were the following 3 things:
1) Stop the madness for constant group work. *yikes! I love a good brainstorm!!
2) Go to the Wilderness. Have your own revelations. *wait, like where there are no people at all?
3) Take a look at what is inside your suitcase and why you put it there. *a bible, a camera and some sort of game(that you can’t play with only one person).
Though all three of these things kinda make me cringe. I will try to be better for you introverts and will (try) not to project all that is kid cuddle on to you. I am instead committed to listening and being better with your help. Cheers to you quiet ones! Let’s keep making a great team.