Extroverts are shouting about it from the rooftops, introverts are blogging about it and ambiverts are thrilled that their shape-shifting demeanor is being identified by such a magnificent word. Susan Cain’s brilliant and perceptive book, ‘Quiet – The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking’ is rocking the personality assessment world with all its grids, formulas and Jung-isms and injecting a fresh dose of identity oxygen into the clichéd and often airless behavioral boxes.
THE MILLION-DOLLAR QUESTION
At some point in our lives, most of us are asked whether we are extrovert or introvert. This question is akin to a double-edged sword. It either opens the floor to those who relish the opportunity of describing their outgoing, multi-tasking, loquacious and risk-taking extroversion with a cultural nod and a wink to the many benefits of being so lavish and loud, or it whisks the carpet from under the feet of the not-so lavish and loud. For them, introversion has carried a cluster of social stigmas, including under-performing, shyness, compliance, inward-looking tendencies and mild-mannered conduct. If extroverts are deemed to be ‘make it happen’, ‘talk up a storm’ and ‘make the party go with a bang’ kind of peeps… why would anyone openly admit to being the mirror image of this?
Most of us have taken a personality test or two, or attempted a few ‘How Well Do I Know Myself’ questions in a magazine while waiting for the take-away to be ready. It’s highly probable that next time you apply for a job, you will be given a personality test and, according to investigative journalist Barbara Ehrenreich, “You will be told that no one type is better than another and you should be spontaneous in answering the questions but in reality, they are not looking for introverts. Even if what you are doing is looking at figures all day. They want everyone in the environment to be perky and positive and upbeat at all times.”
ONE SIZE FITS ALL
I must confess, I have dabbled….
I love questionnaires and analysis and especially when it’s about ME. (Smile.) Quite frankly, I am awash with letters and numbers describing me, explaining me, training me, excusing me, stylising my work patterns and …
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