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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Introverts vs extroverts, and why some people mistakenly put me in the latter category

Some people may think of me as an extrovert, but my closest friends know how introverted I really am. Here's a video that my friend Errol Elumir did with his friend Manda (of Whitless) which is not only funny but SOOOOO TRUUUUUE!

I was also intrigued by this video by Susan Cain about the power of introverts:

I like her clarification about introversion vs shyness; so many people get these terms confused.

I also ended up buying her book, QUIET: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking (thanks to Mike Jung for posting about this book on his Facebook Wall).

I've only started reading the book  but love it so far. Cain brings up a good point: that so often, introvert personality traits are viewed as negative, while extrovert traits are supposed to be desirable, especially in the workplace.

But back to me (it's all about MEMEME, after all :-)…I can't blame some people for thinking I'm an extrovert. I tend to have a lot of energy and enthusiasm when I'm out at work conferences and when performing with my music group.

Allison and Jodi

While I do very much enjoy these types of events, I also find them super-draining. In order to recharge my batteries, I need a quiet space: either solitude or with one or two very close friends. By very close, I mean friends I can ignore without fear of offense. :-)

JH Confluence2004 photocredit

Like my music partners in Urban Tapestry, for example. Though we have fun performing as well as hanging out with our filker pals, all three of us need downtime as well. During breaks up in the hotel room, we'll spend much of the time NOT talking with each other. Instead, we'll be reading, napping, computing or just zoning out. It's just one of many reasons we get along so well. 

But back to Susan Cain's video. I love one of her final points, which is the irony of being an introvert who wrote a book about introverts and now has to go out and promote it with public talks.

I think many full-time authors (most of whom are introverts, I'd guess -- how else could you stay sane working in isolation most of the time?) can identify with part of this process. :-)

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