Exploring a world that harbors a subtle bigotry against introverts

Walking on RailroadI’ve been reading the book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain, and while I haven’t finished it yet, it has truly been an eye-opening read.  (If you’re an introvert, seriously, GET THIS BOOK.)  Incredibly, it touched on nearly everything I’ve come to observe about the world of Christianity, dating, education and work that always felt… wrong to me.

The book exposes what was in fact a culture-wide shift in perspective on how one succeeds in life that began in the early 20th century, spearheaded by none other than Dale Carnegie.  Evidence of this shift could be found in part by simply making a comparison of the advice manuals in the 19th century to the manuals of the 20th century that Carnegie helped to shape.  Using word counts, the 19th century guides often resorted to words like these:

  • Citizenship
  • Duty
  • Work
  • Golden deeds
  • Honor
  • Reputation
  • Morals
  • Manners
  • Integrity

Cain writes:

But the new guides celebrated qualities that were–no matter how easy Dale Carnegie made it sound–trickier to acquire.  Either you embodied these qualities or you didn’t:

Magnetic
Fascinating
Stunning
Attractive
Glowing
Dominant
Forceful
Energetic

Now why does this sound so FAMILIAR?  I realized that this described almost to a T the VERY same traits the “manosphere” has long since recognized as the necessary qualities a man must have in order to attract women.  Far from being a case study on sexual attraction, this actually appears to be part of a MUCH larger cultural phenomenon, one that engulfs nearly every area of life and dictates how successful we would be not only in dating and relationships, but also in our careers and education too.

Speaking of education, Cain quotes a dean in her research as an example of what college admissions officers look for in candidates:

“…in screening applications from secondary schools it was only common sense to take into account not only what the college wanted but what, four years later, corporations’ recruiters would want.  ‘They like a pretty gregarious, active type, so we find that the best man is the one who’s had an 80 or 85 average in school and plenty of extracurricular activity.  We see little use for the brilliant introvert.'”

This bias against introverts runs so deep that some view introversion as a pathology, not merely a distinctive personality trait, or at the very least a problem that needs to be dealt with.  Rather than being able to embrace their introversion, introverts are forced from the very beginning of their adult lives to abandon their natural proclivities if they’re ever to have any hope of getting ahead in life.

In today’s world, it’s no longer about quality, but appearance.  It’s the one who speaks the loudest that gets promoted, not the one who actually put in the work.  In the book Cain described a Toastmasters meeting in which an attractive brunette performs an exercise called “Truth or Lie,” where she must tell a group of participants a story, after which they must decide whether to believe her or not.  She tells her story, and when the room is queried, everyone believed her story was real.  She then gleefully admitted that not one word she said was the truth.  She confided later on that because of the competition in the workplace, it was important to keep her “skills” sharp.  Um, what?

Cain notes:

But what do “sharp skills” look like?  Should we be so proficient at self-presentation that we can dissemble without anyone suspecting?  Must we learn to stage-manage our voices, gestures, and body language until we can tell–sell–any story we want?  These seem venal aspirations, a marker of how far we’ve come–and not in a good way–since the days of Dale Carnegie’s childhood.

In another example Cain spoke of a group exercise conducted at Harvard Business School, the theme revolving around trying to survive at a hypothetical arctic substation.  The idea was to promote working together as a group and improve collaboration.  One group in particular had a member with extensive experience in the backwoods, yet because he was an introvert, he suggested his ideas too softly, and was hence ignored.  Of course the group failed miserably in their exercise, because they listened to the most vocal participants (despite their utter lack of experience in survival skills) rather than the soft spoken man who had been the true wellspring of knowledge.

I’ve met these loud, braying types before, and I never ceased to be amazed at how easily they could forcefully sell themselves as experts in whatever field they were working in, despite not having one ounce of actual knowledge in it.  The hubris is just incredible.  They basically lie, BUT they lie very well, and because of it they’re the ones that get the plush assignments, the best jobs, and the highest paying gigs.

It works in dating too.  Of numerous examples I can think of, I still remember one where the guy flat out lied about everything to the girl he was dating.  He simply played the game he needed to play to attract a girl, and it worked just long enough for her to marry him.  Once he had her though he dropped the charade and of course their marriage went to pieces as a result.  It’s hard to argue the effectiveness of his approach though: had he always been honest about himself she never would have been attracted to him.  And for an introvert who believes honesty is the best policy, it can be painful constantly watching a world succeed and get ahead on lies and deceit while he continues to trudge in the mud.

Even worse, this cultural infatuation and bias towards the extroverted has plagued modern Christianity as well.  Cain also took the time to interview an introverted pastor named Adam McHugh while visiting Rick Warren’s Saddleback church.  As examples of this bias she mentioned a few job advertisements she read recently on what large churches require of those interested in being a rector:  “The priest must be… an extrovert who enthusiastically engages members and newcomers, a team player.”  “If the first letter {of your Myers-Briggs personality score} isn’t an E [for extrovert] think twice… I’m sure our Lord was [an extrovert].”

McHugh tells Cain:

The evangelical culture ties together faithfulness with extroversion.  The emphasis is on community, on participating in more and more programs and events, on meeting more and more people.  It’s a constant tension for many introverts that they’re not living that out.  And in a religious world, there’s more at stake when you feel that tension.  It doesn’t feel like ‘I’m not doing as well as I’d like.’  It feels like ‘God isn’t pleased with me.”

Cain further writes:

Contemporary evangelicalism says that every person you fail to meet and proselytize is another soul you might have saved.  It also emphasizes building community among confirmed believers, with many churches encouraging (or even requiring) their members to join extracurricular groups organized around every conceivable subject–cooking, real estate investing, skateboarding.

Discussing the experience of the Saddleback church service, McHugh notes his discomfort with it all:

It sets up an extroverted atmosphere that can be difficult for introverts like me.  Sometimes I feel like I’m going through the motions.  The outward enthusiasm and passion that seems to be part and parcel of Saddleback’s culture doesn’t feel natural.  Not that introverts can’t be eager and enthusiastic, but we’re not overtly expressive as extroverts.  At a place like Saddleback, you can start questioning your own experience of God.  Is it really as strong as that of other people who look the part of the devout believer?”

“Evangelicalism has taken the Extrovert Ideal to its logical extreme,” Cain writes, “If you don’t love Jesus out loud, then it must not be real love.  It’s not enough to forge your own spiritual connection to the divine; it must be displayed publicly.”

{McHugh} knows that meaningful change will come slowly to a religious culture that sees extroversion not only as a personality trait but also as an indicator of virtue.  Righteous behavior is not so much the good we do behind closed doors when no one is there to praise us; it is what we “put out into the world.”  Just as Tony Robbins’ aggressive upselling is OK with his fans because spreading helpful ideas is part of being a good person, and just as Harvard Business School expects its students to be talkers because this is seen as a prerequisite of leadership, so have many evangelicals come to associate godliness with sociability.

Astonishing.  I’ve always felt like a fish on dry land, but that feeling extended to almost every aspect of my life.  It didn’t matter if it was church/Christianity, my job, or trying to find the girl of my dreams: there was a common denominator that seemed to define my frustrations with it all, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was exactly, until I read this book.  In essence, I’m dealing with a culture that has evolved to reward only the extroverted.  It’s not so much that being extroverted in and of itself is wrong, but that society has come to revere it in its most extreme form, all the while regarding the introverted at best as a peculiarity, and at worst as a pathology or disease.  Not even church can provide a respite from this.

Cain’s book helped me gain an immense understanding of the world we live in, but I’m still left to wonder where I go from here.  Should I play the game like everyone else, push myself to become more extroverted and “fake it till I make it?”  That does seem to be the advice of many.  If I’m ever to attract women, move up the career ladder, or establish an authoritative presence in the Christian community, then I have to get with the program.  Adapt as they say, or die.

But as a Christian, do I really have to resign myself to playing the world’s game of extreme extroversion in order to succeed?  Or did God assign me another path to follow, one different from the path the world (and most Christian churches) expect me to travel on?

I know in some respects, I could afford to be more outgoing, to get out of my shell and learn how to talk to people.  But I also know there’s a line that can be crossed, where I’m not merely learning to become extroverted in a way that’s still comfortable to me, but where I start to deny who I am.  There’s a reason why God made me an introvert, and I can sense the danger in trying to repudiate His work.   I may not like it, and may resent how my introversion has “handicapped” my ability to succeed in life, but then again, I also feel an inner sense of peace when I stop (to use a biblical phrase) “kicking against the pricks.”

Rather than blindly accept things as they are, maybe it’s more important that I accept who I am, and let the chips fall where they may.

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34 Responses to Exploring a world that harbors a subtle bigotry against introverts

  1. an observer November 10, 2013 at 5:50 PM #

    A toxic world does not help the introverts cause:

    http://www.theburningplatform.com/2013/08/04/trying-to-stay-sane-in-an-insane-world-part-2/

    • Frank Swift November 10, 2013 at 6:01 PM #

      All I can say to that is THANK YOU JESUS that I’m debt-free.

  2. 8neriah8 November 10, 2013 at 6:28 PM #

    This is super interesting Frank! What an amazing topic to think about.

    I would definitely steer clear of the whole “fake it until you make it” principle.
    Scripture says, “Do nothing from factional motives (through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends) or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the other as better than and superior to himself (thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves).” – Philippians 2:3 [AMP]

    This world comes with its own set of constantly evolving principles that always seem to have immediate results in the lives of those who apply them. Such worldly principles (obviously) extend from the evil one and I’d have to say nothing good was ever birthed from any of his manipulations.
    The principles of this world (as tempting as they can be at times) will soon fall away. It’s definitely not worth the time and effort to implement them into your life.

    I used to be extremely introverted (and very timid), but I found over the years that I’ve grown to be quite the extrovert. I noticed the change came about close to the time that Christ came into my life. Over time I developed this intense desire to spread the Gospel. It was so intense that I couldn’t even contain myself. Truth is, in order to spread God’s Word successfully, I had to shift my focus from spending time on my own, to reaching out to others. In doing so, much of my introverted nature was eliminated as time went by. However, it is important to be introverted at times for spiritual introspection (assisted with God’s Word) which lets you know how you’re coping as a child of God. I feel having both an introverted and extroverted component in one’s character can be very helpful.

    By the same token, we learn who we are in God’s Word. It literally tells you what qualities to have and how to behave. It’s like a spiritual mirror – when you read it, you see a reflection of who you really are. It teaches us to be warriors, strong at heart, confident, powerful, affectionate, compassionate, kind, loving etc.
    Some of these qualities require us to interact with others, whilst some of these qualities require us to do some introspection. Once we fully grasp who the Word says we are on the inside, it automatically shines through to the outside for everyone to see – and this glorifies Him.
    “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

    Just thinking aloud :)

    • Frank Swift November 10, 2013 at 6:51 PM #

      It looks like your metamorphosis was a natural one, but all too often I suspect a lot of Christians fake their enthusiasm to avoid scrutiny by others, and I agree that there should be a balance. Solitude is just as important as “feeding the sheep”, because it’s what Jesus practiced as well. He witnessed to thousands, but He also reserved time to spend with the Father alone in solitude. It’s shame that Christian churches blithely ignore this, because solitude in prayer is a source of strength, especially in times when it seems like the whole world is against us.

  3. geoarrge November 11, 2013 at 4:58 AM #

    The thing about extroverts is that since they won’t shut up and introverts won’t speak up, you don’t get the other side of the story very often.

  4. nightskyradio November 12, 2013 at 1:23 AM #

    “I’ve met these loud, braying types before, and I never ceased to be amazed at how easily they could forcefully sell themselves as experts in whatever field they were working in, despite not having one ounce of actual knowledge in it. The hubris is just incredible. They basically lie, BUT they lie very well, and because of it they’re the ones that get the plush assignments, the best jobs, and the highest paying gigs.”

    The loud, braying types aren’t the problem, entirely. The bigger problem is the idiots who buy the wheelbarrows full of crap they’re being sold.

    Another problem is that the ones buying the crap are almost never the ones who suffer the consequences of their idiocy, but that’s a whole other story.

    • Frank Swift November 12, 2013 at 9:51 PM #

      The loud, braying types aren’t the problem, entirely. The bigger problem is the idiots who buy the wheelbarrows full of crap they’re being sold.

      They do get burned eventually because of it, but like a vicious cycle most don’t learn from the experience and continue to fall for the same wheelbarrows of crap.

  5. an observer November 12, 2013 at 3:26 PM #

    Another superb example of extroversion in action:

    http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/womb-tubing–the-latest-trend-in-oversharing-20131112-2xdco.html

    • Frank Swift November 12, 2013 at 4:06 PM #

      That seems more like exhibitionism than extreme extroversion. Sickening though.

  6. a November 12, 2013 at 7:13 PM #

    “But as a Christian, do I really have to resign myself to playing the world’s game of extreme extroversion in order to succeed?”

    ¡Es lo que es! No hay ningún sentido pretender que el cielo no es azul.

    So, mostly yes, but only as far as you are willing to go down that road.

    This is what happens when the church embraces the “efficient” (hyper-commercialized) business models of secular organizations that dictates that the “success” of the business (not synonomous with “ministries” or “Christianity” itself) is more important than the “successes” of the individuals in it.

    A great interview question to ask a prospective employer is, “What do use to measure success in this company?”

    If we define our own “success” the same way that corporations and Christian organizations/Churches do, then, again, yes, but the level to which your authentic personality is accepted and valued depends on each individual organization/Church.

    Maybe part of the solution is to communicate “loudly” what you need personally to be “successful” (ie: time alone to “gather your thoughts” and “prepare for meetings” before you do meet with people.)

    Do they believe that individual successes always lead to business success, or do they believe that business success is all that matters? Do they use a “bottom-up” or “top-down” business model?

    Interestingly, Jesus used a bottom-up model, while most churches use a top-down model.

    Maybe after you prove you can play their game well for a long enough of a time period, then you have earned enough respect and leniency to change the rules in your favor, dictating how you do your job as long as the results don’t change.

    This might give you an opportunity to educate all those “narrow-minded” extroverts that introversion isn’t a problem to be avoided or fixed, but embraced. It compliments the personalities in the company/department with different, but tangible benefits that promote a different kind of success that companies often lack.

    Are they open to new ideas, or do they see new ideas / change as a threat to their business practices/goals? Are they narrow-minded?

    Do those businesses/churches actually care about people, or do they just talk about it a lot?

    Whatever unit of measurement a company values is what they prioritize and look for. If they are open-minded, they can expand their company values to include the ideas of introverts as well, and that might take some time and education to happen.

    You can either find/start a company (or non-profit organization) that values your personality and perspective, or keep forcing a round peg into a square hole.

    Christian women, though? They only see the hyper-extroversion of the world as “normal,” and only care to find the “best,” most entertaining men available to entertain them all day. They don’t even notice or care if it is an act. They only want their egos stroked. Introverted men are “less impressive” to them, and therefore discarded immediately as undesirable, invisible, annoying, “creepy losers.” Clearly, Jesus came to earth just to make women tingle with joy, right? So, immediately after He got people drunk with wine and said, “follow me,” He put on his leather jacket, told Mary to jump on the back of his Harley, and rode off into the sunset with her, leaving all those wussie Christian men with a pile of dead fish and a hangover. Didn’t you read that in your bible?

    The whole world is a game. You either play along, say “Screw this!,” and make your own rules, or sit on the sidelines and complain that it’s not fair.

    • Frank Swift November 12, 2013 at 10:03 PM #

      Just had to note that I found your faux email hilarious: “hottie_mctingle@superchristian” LOL

      Whatever unit of measurement a company values is what they prioritize and look for. If they are open-minded, they can expand their company values to include the ideas of introverts as well, and that might take some time and education to happen.

      A few companies do put these principles into practice, unfortunately not very many, but those who do often see real tangible benefits, even with something as simply as arranging office space to benefit both extroverts and introverts. In the book Quiet, Cain provided a few examples of companies that expected everyone to be a team player and designed their offices to force interaction as much as possible under the premise that it would encourage “group think” and collaboration. The results were often disastrous, especially when the introverted employees were the source of most of the company’s success and innovation. When they were left alone instead rather than being forced to participate in a group environment, their work productivity increased significantly. But everyone has been raised to believe in the so called superiority of Group Think, so companies adapt to a business model that discourages individuality and forces employees to conform to a hive mind. Resistance is futile.

  7. ava November 13, 2013 at 6:50 AM #

    all of this has very little to do with extroversion/introversion. the distinction between extroversion and introversion is about what charges your batteries and what drains you- extroverts get energy from spending time with other people and introverts get energy from spending time alone. in this post you’ve described introverts as idealistic, creative, honest, quiet and wise individuals as opposed to loud, lying, superficial and dull extroverts. none of these traits are tied to being an extrovert/introvert. there are some introverts that like being the center of attention (lady gaga, justin timberlake, marilyn monroe) and there are extroverts that seem quiet and private (nicola tesla, george clooney, bill gates). in fact if you study mbti a little more you’ll discover that everyone has both extroverted and introverted functions. in this post you’ve mixed up together some traits that have more to do with the distinction between sensors (80%of society) and intuitives (20%) and introverted/ extroverted thinking- introverted/extroverted feeling. you’ve opposed to introverts both extroverted thinking AND extroverted feeling, which logically makes no sense, as any individual has either extroverted thinking/introverted feeling functions, or introverted thinking/extroverted feeling functions. introverts make about 50% of society, if what you described here were true, you would be like every other person on this planet, so what seems to be the problem?

    • Frank Swift November 13, 2013 at 1:07 PM #

      I think you missed pretty much the entire point of the post. Every major facet of modern life involving dating, careers and Christianity is tailored specifically for extroverts, so they have plenty of avenues and mediums from which to draw their energy. Introverts however don’t enjoy the same benefits because their energy is derived from solitude and quiet, instead they are forced to excessively participate socially and in group environments until their energy levels are completely depleted and they have nothing left to give. The pressure is on to constantly engage in extroverted behavior because that is seen as normal and the path to success. Work is a good example of this. People constantly want to chat, conduct meetings, and force me to join with others on group projects. I can’t stomach it and it’s not surprising that my best work is done after hours when I’m by myself and everyone is home. And that’s merely one example of many.

    • ava November 13, 2013 at 6:08 PM #

      i really don’t think i did. both extroverts and introverts spend part of their time with people and part of their time alone. you cannot derive the characteristics you gave (creative, loud, lying, wise, superficial) from the fact that someone is extroverted or introverted any more than from one’s hair color. this pastor that said that only extroverts can be in ministry was an ignorant douche, if you ask me, but you did a very similar thing, just by shaming the extroverts as loud, lying and superficial and glorifying the introverts as honorable, wise idealists that always stay true to themselves. i’m not attacking you here personally, i’m just stating the obvious- 50% of the society is not like that.

      also, it’s not like we- extroverts enjoy ANY form of contact with people. some of us also hate forced interactions, stupid and meaningless conversations, superficial behavior and we try to avoid them just as much as some introverts (i wrote some, because a big chunk of that introvertic half of society actually enjoys those)

      it also isn’t so that introverts cannot enjoy ANY form of interaction with people, amirite? you guys just need it in smaller doses and on more specific terms, but you still can have fun with people.

      so maybe it’s not really about being an extrovert or an introvert, but what kind of person you are? if you really want to understand this check out the distinction between intuitives and sensors (as in my opinion this one is the biggest!) and the functions.

    • Frank Swift November 13, 2013 at 6:25 PM #

      Ava,

      Again, you’re not seeing the distinction between extroversion and EXTREME extroversion, which is what my post addresses (and the book in part). it’s one thing to be merely extroverted, which is perfectly fine and a part of our humanity, but our modern society promotes it to an extreme degree, which is something else altogether.

      You should read the book, basically my quotes here only came from one chapter, but the rest of the book also discusses a few of the biological and medical studies that show how introverts and extroverts react to stimuli and how it contributes to our overall personalities. There’s a lot more to this than where people simply derive their energy from.

      I personally believe this is part of a larger scale movement to encourage conformity and shape people’s minds so they are more pliable to the Antichrist’s influence. The common pattern I see everywhere is that we’re all losing our sense of individuality.

    • ava November 13, 2013 at 7:44 PM #

      Frank,

      both extroversion and introversion manifest themselves in many different ways. you can call it extreme or moderate extroversion/introversion, i prefer being more specific. how it is expressed depends on the combination of other characteristics of the individual (mbti o enneagram are just the simplified forms of it). many people you consider extroverts are probably introverts and vice versa (ex. kim kardashian and jessica simpson are introverts and margaret thatcher and karl lagerfeld are extroverts). if we’re dealing with psychological terms, i think we should use some definitions, not just repeat the stereotypes about certain traits.

      i agree that people with certain characteristics are more easily adaptable in the society, i just do not agree it’s extroversion.

      =>I personally believe this is part of a larger scale movement to encourage conformity and shape people’s minds so they are more pliable to the Antichrist’s influence. The common pattern I see everywhere is that we’re all losing our sense of individuality.

      i don’t know about you but i’m not losing my sense of individuality. maybe there is some truth to what you say, but there are dangers for both introverts and extroverts. there are some extroverts that are obsessed with interactions, status, oversharing information, but then there are also japanese youngsters cocooning and wasting their lives on video games, or emo kids that cut themselves. it’s all about the distraction from more important things, from finding the truth, it just takes different forms for different individuals, but the effects are quite the same.

    • Frank Swift November 14, 2013 at 2:55 PM #

      This isn’t about stereotypes though, this is about a cultural wide shift that’s evolved over the past 100 years that purposely encourages the worst elements of extreme extroversion. In order to succeed in today’s world, you often have to play up extroverted behavior to an excessive degree, even when it’s unnatural. This is why so much our western society always feels forced and fake to me.

      i don’t know about you but i’m not losing my sense of individuality…

      Those who lose their sense of individuality are usually not cognizant of the fact that they’ve lost it. ;-)

    • ava November 14, 2013 at 6:06 AM #

      there’s this great lecture on youtube by ex-kgb agent- tomas schuman about subversion, i think you might like it.

  8. nightskyradio November 13, 2013 at 6:43 PM #

    You’d love this – http://washingtonexaminer.com/introversion-isnt-obamas-problem-his-inability-to-tell-the-truth-is/article/2538901

    It never fails. Whenever a president’s approval ratings tank, out come the deep think pieces about how the president’s personality flaws explain his political dilemma and ours.

    Vanity Fair’s Todd Purdum has the latest entry with a 3,000 word thumbsucker titled “Obama the Loner: The Trouble with the President’s Self-Reliant, Closed-Off Attitude.”

    President Obama, it seems, doesn’t enjoy schmoozing, small talk and pressing the flesh. And that, according to Purdum, has something to do with why Americans have soured on his scandal-wracked, power-abusing, blunder-prone presidency.

    Obama’s “resolute solitude — his isolation and alienation” from other Washington players — is “his greatest weakness,” Purdum argues.

    Purdum’s not the first to lay this charge. The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd periodically wails that Obama acts like “President Spock” instead of being our “feeler-in-chief.” And, “he’s an introvert,” says Game Change author John Heilemann, and that’s why he’s in trouble.

    It’s a common trope — and as a congenital introvert, I’m sick of it. Obama is a terrible president, but, contra Purdum, that’s got nothing to do with his “penchant for solitude.” Extroverts: You’re not gonna hang this on us!

    Not only does introversion have nothing to do with his problems, I’m not convinced he even IS an introvert. Five will get you twenty that the reason he “doesn’t enjoy schmoozing, small talk and pressing the flesh” is because he just sees himself as above the Commoners.

    Read the whole thing. The bit about “active-postive” vs. “passive-negative” presidents is dead-on.

    The article also links to this classic essay – http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-for-your-introvert/302696/

    • Frank Swift November 13, 2013 at 6:55 PM #

      Vanity Fair’s Todd Purdum has the latest entry with a 3,000 word thumbsucker titled “Obama the Loner: The Trouble with the President’s Self-Reliant, Closed-Off Attitude.”

      Conan makes face palm

      I don’t know how anyone could seriously take him for an introvert. He never wants to get off my TV set or leave the public eye, unless he’s getting roasted in the polls or playing golf. He literally feeds on the energy of adoration and worship.

  9. an observer November 13, 2013 at 8:55 PM #

    The big O looks a wuss next to one particular leader…
    http://themetapicture.com/obama-vs-putin/

    • Frank Swift November 13, 2013 at 10:11 PM #

      That’s what happens when you let women vote…

  10. an observer November 14, 2013 at 5:49 AM #

    Lol. That boat sailed a while back.

    I do love it, though, when reality bites back:
    http://redpillrealitycheck.tumblr.com/post/66846980114/free-lunch-bites

  11. Winter November 14, 2013 at 11:07 AM #

    I had a teacher who treated my introversion (classic INFP) as pathology. She was always rambling on and on to my parents about how there was something wrong with me, I was too shy for my own good, they’d better get me into therapy. Fortunately my parents respected my nature and resisted societal attempts to “fix” me. I’m NOT shy or socially awkward at all. I can hold my own in a roomful of people and give beautiful toasts at weddings. I just do a lot of my “talking” inside my own head, instead of spitting out every word that crosses my mind. If you literally cannot gather the courage to shake a stranger’s hand and say hello, you may have a problem that extends beyond “I’m introverted.” I do think introverts should at least push themselves to be polite and pleasant and present, but I agree that the “fake it ’til you make it” is a bad idea. Be yourself.

    • Frank Swift November 14, 2013 at 3:12 PM #

      Winter, yeah there’s a chapter in the book that discusses how common experiences like yours was beginning in the early 20th century. Parents pushed their introverted children to abandon their natural allure to solitude so they’d have a better chance of succeeding. It’s the Dale Carnegie effect.

  12. ava November 15, 2013 at 12:12 AM #

    =>This isn’t about stereotypes though, this is about a cultural wide shift that’s evolved over the past 100 years that purposely encourages the worst elements of extreme extroversion. In order to succeed in today’s world, you often have to play up extroverted behavior to an excessive degree, even when it’s unnatural. This is why so much our western society always feels forced and fake to me.

    it seems to me like you’re rationalising to yourself why you’re not where you think you should be. you blame it all on this cruel cruel extrovertic world that makes it impossible for an introvert like you to succeed, unless of course you would sell your very soul to fake extroversion. that’s just bull***. there’s lots of introverts everywhere that not only succeeded tremendously, but also inspired many others to succeed as well. steve jobs didn’t pretend anything he was not and yet he impacted our culture more than all those loud ignorants that have to lie in order to get higher positions. i mean lying and faking can only get you so far. is your goal just comfort, or is it something greater? you can keep reading those books that feed you with all those ridiculous excuses, worsen your weltschmerz and antagonise you even more with others, but i think if steve jobs would pity himself this much for being an introvert- therefore being bound to failure because of this crazy world run by psycho-energy-sucking-extroverts, i bet he wouldn’t have achieved everything he did.

    embrace who you are and stop comparing yourself with others. cut all this bull*** that is only limiting your full potential. russell brand and i- as a representation of extroverted forces will keep our fingers crossed for you.

    • Frank Swift November 15, 2013 at 12:58 PM #

      I had to approve your comment since it contained some vulgarity. :-P

      Steve Jobs was not an introvert so he wouldn’t be a good example to use. However, the unsung hero of Apple (Steve Wozniak) WAS in fact an introvert. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/opinion/sunday/the-rise-of-the-new-groupthink.html

      Wozniak’s genius helped carry him to success, but he did so not because our culture encouraged how he approached and achieved his goals, but in spite of it. I don’t say introverts CAN’T succeed in life, just that the game is rigged in favor of extroverts, and they have a better chance of succeeding and climbing up the ladder themselves if they “outextrovert” everyone else.

      As an example, a while ago I took a supervisor test at my job. While I got the same score as another coworker, he was the one who got appointed, despite being, for lack of a more charitable phrase, an incompetent idiot. The reason was because he used his natural extroversion to brown nose and surgically stitch his lips to the hindquarters of one particular head of a department and use nepotism to his advantage. He seemed to have boundless energy to get involved in almost everyone’s affairs, work the room and impress people with his charm, despite you know, not having any actual skills.

      I could have done the same thing, but I would have been so fatigued that it wouldn’t have been long before I’d completely burn out from all the effort. It’s just not who I am. I’d love to simply be rewarded based on my merit and work performance, but as the timeless adage goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And extroverts by their nature know more people, so they’re more likely to get ahead than those who are introverts. That’s just how it is.

    • ava November 15, 2013 at 4:02 PM #

      => I had to approve your comment since it contained some vulgarity. :-P

      the only censorship i find reasonable is jimmy kimmel’s unnecessary censorship. the vulgarity is in the meaning of the word, not in the spelling, and even if you change it into bull**** everyone still knows it stands for “bulls***”, so the whole thing is just focusing on what is external and superficial ;)

      =>Steve Jobs was not an introvert so he wouldn’t be a good example to use. However, the unsung hero of Apple (Steve Wozniak) WAS in fact an introvert.

      well, i’ve read that jobs was an introvert and wozniak was an extrovert :) oh internet and it’s endless confusion. i can’t read the article, don’t remember my password :/

      =>As an example, a while ago I took a supervisor test at my job. While I got the same score as another coworker, he was the one who got appointed, despite being, for lack of a more charitable phrase, an incompetent idiot. The reason was because he used his natural extroversion to brown nose and surgically stitch his lips to the hindquarters of one particular head of a department and use nepotism to his advantage. He seemed to have boundless energy to get involved in almost everyone’s affairs, work the room and impress people with his charm, despite you know, not having any actual skills.

      from what i read, i don’t think he was the one that was an idiot in this whole story. annoying? yeah, i bet. two-faced? probably. but not stupid. he used his skills to his advantage. the only not so smart character in this story is your supervisor, providing he really overlooked his lack of skills for personal reasons. but the other option is that maybe the supervisor has this strong preference for supervising crawlers, rather than independent thinkers, just like you prefer dating woman without kids. it really doesn’t have to be that he’s an extrovert and you’re not. there are probably many others that would have chosen differently between the 2 of you.

      =>I could have done the same thing, but I would have been so fatigued that it wouldn’t have been long before I’d completely burn out from all the effort. It’s just not who I am. I’d love to simply be rewarded based on my merit and work performance, but as the timeless adage goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

      honestly, unless you work in the public sector, i don’t think nepotism is anything wrong. everyone should be allowed to hire anyone they want, even if it’s their ignorant spoiled little brat of an offspring.

      =>Wozniak’s genius helped carry him to success, but he did so not because our culture encouraged how he approached and achieved his goals, but in spite of it. I don’t say introverts CAN’T succeed in life, just that the game is rigged in favor of extroverts, and they have a better chance of succeeding and climbing up the ladder themselves if they “outextrovert” everyone else.

      there are jobs that are better fitted for extroverts as there are jobs were introverts do better. just like there are jobs where everyday is the same, mundane and repetitive, as there are jobs that are challenging and require creativity. no one is fit for all. learn about yourself, what you’re good at and what you enjoy, what gives you satisfaction. you must play your best game, no matter what cards you have on the hand. and you are smart and creative, which means that is not a bad hand (at least a pair of jacks ;) ). maybe you should explore other options? have you read ‘rich dad, poor dad’? you could start your own business and discriminate the extroverts all you want when hiring ;)

    • Frank Swift November 19, 2013 at 6:32 PM #

      from what i read, i don’t think he was the one that was an idiot in this whole story. annoying? yeah, i bet. two-faced? probably. but not stupid. he used his skills to his advantage.

      So, wait, bullsh***ing is now a skill? :P

      If it is, then despite what you might say otherwise it is a “skill” that comes more naturally to extroverts. They know how to work a room, and more so when they can lie convincingly.

      the only not so smart character in this story is your supervisor, providing he really overlooked his lack of skills for personal reasons. but the other option is that maybe the supervisor has this strong preference for supervising crawlers, rather than independent thinkers, just like you prefer dating woman without kids. it really doesn’t have to be that he’s an extrovert and you’re not. there are probably many others that would have chosen differently between the 2 of you.

      I would say he was chosen because he got on his radar, due precisely to his extroversion. As an extrovert you have a more natural ability to make your presence known. As an introvert myself, I’m inclined to avoiding people so I can be left alone to do my work in peace. Unfortunately this means I can be a ghost, so it’s the double edged sword, while I leave little footprint of my presence, it also means not enough people know about me. I could try to change that, but it requires a skillset that doesn’t come naturally to me. Fortunately though it’s not a skillset I need for where I am now.

      Meanwhile, the extrovert I speak of eventually crashed and burned badly when his incompetence finally caught up with him. They stuck him in what we call “the dungeon” somewhere in the basement working nights. Ouch.

      Now you might say, see seee seeeeeeeeee!!!! the extrovert doesn’t get ahead after all! The problem is it’s a vicious cycle: businesses hire extroverted morons who lie convincingly, their lies eventually get found out, the company suffers and fires the moron, and then they… hire another moron. Rinse, recycle, repeat.

      honestly, unless you work in the public sector, i don’t think nepotism is anything wrong. everyone should be allowed to hire anyone they want, even if it’s their ignorant spoiled little brat of an offspring.

      Just because they CAN doesn’t mean they SHOULD. ;-)

      there are jobs that are better fitted for extroverts as there are jobs were introverts do better. just like there are jobs where everyday is the same, mundane and repetitive, as there are jobs that are challenging and require creativity. no one is fit for all. learn about yourself, what you’re good at and what you enjoy, what gives you satisfaction. you must play your best game, no matter what cards you have on the hand. and you are smart and creative, which means that is not a bad hand (at least a pair of jacks ;) ). maybe you should explore other options? have you read ‘rich dad, poor dad’? you could start your own business and discriminate the extroverts all you want when hiring ;)

      That’s true, but in a rough economy beggars can’t be choosers. We can only take the job we can get, rather than the job that best suits us. Ideally, I’d love to work as a writer or an internet marketer because the nature of the work can be done remotely and in an isolated environment (read: my home, away from icky people), but until a company is smart enough to hire the awesomeness that is me, I have to make do with what I have now, which to be honest isn’t half bad, it’s the location more than anything else offsets the perks and benefits I normally enjoy.

    • a** November 20, 2013 at 7:33 AM #

      life is not a game of chess, Frank. like is more like a game of poker. and you’re acting mad, because you had a better hand, yet he bluffed and took the pot with seven deuce. you’re saying: ‘oh, i could have bluffed too, and bluffing is easier for the extroverts, that’s why they have an unfair advantage’. really? If you knew you had a better hand, Frank, there was no need for you to bluff. you should have raised him but instead you folded. and that’s precisely why he won. what i mean by raising him? you could’ve said to the supervisor exactly the same things you’re writing here. that the other guy was incompetent and lacked experience. that in that position there would be situations (give specific examples) that he simply wouldn’t be able to handle. you could have offered the supervisor to test the 2 of you in the field and then make a decision. (at this point you’re thinking: ‘so annoying, she knows nothing about how things are done here”-and that’s true. these are just some examples, you surely know better what would have been the best way to raise him). the other guy, he could read the supervisor well, he knew he would buy into his bluffing, so he went with it, that was his only way out anyways. but you also could read the other guy, you knew he was bluffing but you didn’t call him on that. you could easily predict what would happen, and yet you kept it to yourself. if you did use it to your advantage, even if the supervisor would still take him, guess whose words would come to his mind the moment the other guy blew it? i think you would easily be the first one to replace him.

      look, i’m not telling you all these things to pick on you. i’m telling you these things because if you concentrate yourself on blaming others, then you’re not learning anything from these situations. if you blame your failures on factors you have no control over and you cannot change (like being an introvert) then you do not improve your game, but keep making the same mistakes all over again.

      have you ever watched the apprentice? there’s lots of things one can learn from it. you could observe how people behave in the boardroom, and what mr trump bases his decisions on.

      =>That’s true, but in a rough economy beggars can’t be choosers. We can only take the job we can get, rather than the job that best suits us. Ideally, I’d love to work as a writer or an internet marketer because the nature of the work can be done remotely and in an isolated environment (read: my home, away from icky people), but until a company is smart enough to hire the awesomeness that is me, I have to make do with what I have now, which to be honest isn’t half bad, it’s the location more than anything else offsets the perks and benefits I normally enjoy.

      you’re absolutely right :) but the changes may be gradual. you want to be a writer, why don’t you write an e-book? you don;t have to quit your job to do that. and with amazon it’s so easy that literally anyone can publish now. and if you do and it becomes successful- you’ll have a passive income, which means you will be less dependent on your job. it’s worth trying :)

    • Frank Swift November 20, 2013 at 12:28 PM #

      I’m not blaming others, I’m blaming the game. Maybe a more apt analogy is that it’s a game of poker where my opponent and the dealer are in cahoots with each other.

      I could definitely win, I’d just have to cheat to win. ;-) There’s something about the makeup of our work culture that favors those who are willing to sell their souls and become outright depraved human beings in order to get ahead. Having an extroverted mindset just puts you a leg up in advantage, like a handicap at golf (or something). My approach here is somewhat different in that I rely on faith in Christ to open the doors rather than scheming my way through life.

      I actually do plan to write a book, BTW, I just need a really good idea for a theme that I could stick with long enough to create either a novel or whole book out of.

  13. an observer November 22, 2013 at 2:51 AM #

    So, wait, bullsh***ing is now a skill?

    A transferable one, too. Politics, marketing, economics, pastoring…..

    Actually i came here for a reason. This guys rant described perfectly the atmosphere at my former gym:
    http://gawker.com/5892871/work-out-alone

    • Frank Swift November 22, 2013 at 11:53 AM #

      I noticed it’s not just the gym, apparently almost no one goes out on their own. They always travel in pairs or packs. Any place I go, I’m usually the only one’s by myself.

  14. Steelhead killer September 28, 2015 at 7:20 AM #

    To all of you extroverts out there…..If your are doing all of this talking, then how much are you dudes really accomplishing on the job? Just my thoughts.

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