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An edited and revised book on public speaking for introverts based on the articles from this site

What is an Introvert? Am I an Introvert?

Twenty-five percent of the world – one person in four is an introvert.  Much of society seems to tell us that this is a bad thing, that there is something wrong with people who are quiet and leed rich internal lives.  This simply isn’t true.

So what is an introvert?

Quite simply, an introvert is someone who finds being with people drains them of energy, and who finds they need to recharge by being on their own.  Thats all it is.  it doesn’t imply there is anything wrong with you – in fact quite the opposite, being an introvert means you have the skills needed to cope with isolation and solitude – situations which drive 3 out of every four people you meet mad.

In fact, I tend to think saying you either are or are not an introvert can be a little misleading.  it isn’t that we need to have people around us all the time, or we want to lock ourselves away on our own for eternity.  Everyone needs some amount of company to energise themselves and some amount of solitude to energise themselves.  Its just that people labeled introverts need more of the solitude.

You can learn more about personality types from a number of books on the subject.  I enjoyed Personality Type: An Owner’s Manual, while also finding
Multiplicity: The New Science of Personality to be a useful tutorial about how our personalities change from one moment to the next.

How can I stop being an introvert?

You can’t stop being an introvert – its part of who you are, part of how you work.  Rather you have to accept it and learn to work with it.  Books such as ‘The Introvert Advantage‘ show you how to succeed as an introvert in our extravert world.

Are all introverts shy?

No.  Absolutely not.  Being an introvert is only about what tires you out, and what charges you up.  Shyness is a common symptom, because introverts don’t tend to spend as much of their youth learning to socialise.  They tend to have better things to do – often in their heads.

Can introverts and extraverts get along?

I really hope so.  My wife is an extravert – one of the most extraverted people I know – whereas I prefer to spend my time quietly thinking in my introverted way.  It isn’t always easy – we’ve had to learn how each other think, and what each other need in terms of company and quiet.  The book Introvert and Extrovert in Love: Making It Work When Opposites Attract helped us here, providing valuable strategies and discussion about our respective lifestyles.

Do I have to have a relationship?  I like being on my own!

Seriously, once you know you’re an introvert, its up to you how you live your life.  If you want to have a special someone to spend time with, you can.  If you’re having trouble, I’ve written a section about shyness and relationships which will take out out of your box and into that special someone’s arms.  But if you do like the solitary life Party of One: The Loners’ Manifesto shows that people have mastered that approach too.

I’m having problems with surviving in the extravert world because I’m an introvert.  What can I do?

I’ve compiled a list of suggestions on how to succeed as an introvert to help you take your life to new levels