3/16 In Defense of Introverts



Today we're discussing some ideas from the TED talk by Susan Cain, "The Power of Introverts".
If you want to read more, there's a cute article in the Atlantic, called "Caring for your Introvert".

How much time do you usually spend alone?
Does working alone while in the company of others count as 'being alone'?
How much time do you need to spend alone? Do you feel you get enough?
How important is privacy to you?

When you have to get work done, what kind of environment do you prefer?
When you have to be creative, what kind of environment do you prefer?
A room with a door closed? Music on or off? A library? A cafe?
When do you like to work autonomously?
When do you like to work with other people?
When do you feel most productive?

Do you think that your life would be improved with more solitude?
Do you think your life would be improved by working more with other people?

Do you enjoy being rowdy and rambunctious?
Do you enjoy large groups of people?
Do you enjoy walking alone?
Do you like crowds?
What kind of sports do you enjoy?

When in a new social situation, do you plunge in or hang back?
Do you like to hang out with large groups of aquaintances or a few good friends?
Do you like noisy and crowded restaurants or quiet and mellow restaurants?

Would you describe yourself as mellow and quiet? Would you describe yourself as social and gregarious? Are you loud and dominant? Are you soft-spoken and dominant? Are you loud and retiring? Are you soft-spoken and retiring?
Does it depend on where you are?

What is your family's attittude towards…
Reading books? Is there a family bookshelf in your home? Games shelf? Movies shelf?
Spending time alone? Is it encouraged? Considered selfish?
Eating meals? Are family dinners noisy? Quiet?
Entertaining yourselves? Does your family play games together?

Do schools here encourage working by yourself or working together?
Is studying and taking tests work better suited for introverts or extroverts, or does it matter?
Do schools encourage quiet speculation? Do schools encourage rowdy teamwork?
Do schools support outspoken students? Soft-spoken students?

Rate yourself on a scale of one to ten. One is totally introverted and ten is totally extroverted.

"In a group of people we instinctively mirror and mimic their opinions. Even something as instinctive as who you're attracted to is affected by this."
Is this true in your experience? Do you have a story to support or refute this idea?

"Working alone is where deep thought comes from."
Do you feel this to be true for you?

"Better to have everyone go off and generate their own ideas free from the distortions of others, and talk them through in a well-managed environment, and then take them from there."
Does this sound like a kind of work environment you'd work well in?

Do you think the internet is an introverted or extroverted medium? Does it encourage solitude or group-ness?
Are the head-down brigade introverts or extroverts?
Does the internet solve problems of social interaction for introverts? For extroverts?

"People routinely follow the ideas of the most charismatic person in the room, even thought there's zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas."
Do you think our political system is set up well to get the best ideas from people and get them worked out and implemented well?

Here's a video of a school designed for multiple styles of interaction in one learning environment:
http://vimeo.com/17532259
"If I'm afraid to ask a question out loud I can just type it in."

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