04 Jun Introverts can be happy too!
There's a new book that's recently been published and it's attracting a lot of attention in the world of happiness and positive psychology…but quietly!
I've not yet read it; but I have it on order and as far as I've been led to believe (by the people at Amazon) it's currently somewhere over the Pacific Ocean on it's way to me right now.
I'm very much looking forward to reading it because it addresses an issue within positive psychology that's long been brushed under the carpet…whether or not introverts can enjoy as much happiness as extroverts!
The good news is that we can all enjoy happiness…in our own ways.
So, for now, until I can offer you my own opinion on this highly rated read I thought I'd bring you a review by one of the leaders in our field, Chris Peterson...
A quiet positive psychology – from Psychology Today
If I could I would always work in silence and obscurity, and let my efforts be known by their results. — Emily Bronte
I just finished reading a terrific book written by Susan Cain (2012), who also writes blog entries for Psychology Today. Her book Quiet is a best-seller, deservedly so, and many of you readers are no doubt familiar with its content. Her focus is on the 1/3 to 1/2 of all people who are introverted. Introversion is not to be confused with shyness. Rather, the introverted person is reflective and thoughtful and often prefers to be alone and to work alone. Too much social interaction leaves the introvert depleted and overwhelmed. Introverts have friends and social skills, just in different ways than their extroverted* counterparts.
Introverts also have a bad reputation, at least in the modern western world, and Cain argues that in such domains as business, school, and even religion, extroversion is idealized. That said, introverts have many virtues, and some of the world’s most important accomplishments have been made by introverted individuals.
I will not repeat her further arguments here — see her book or her blog entries — but I will observe that she is a very good writer and a very good thinker. And by her own report, she is an introvert, proof positive of her book’s thesis.
Rather, the point of this essay is to consider positive psychology vis-à-vis the ideas put forth so powerfully in Quiet. What Cain calls the Extroverted Ideal is not explicit in positive psychology’s vision of the good life, but it often lurks there.
When positive psychologists focus on positive emotions, we privilege activated feelings like happiness and shoulder aside more quiet feelings like contentment. When positive psychologists — like me in particular — proclaim that “other people matter,” it is easy to hear this slogan as implying that the most meaningful life is one abuzz nonstop with lots of other folks. When positive psychologists discuss achievement, we point to the role played by teams and workgroups, never mind the fact that many accomplishments result from long hours of solitary work.
Positive psychology holds that the good life can take different forms, and we should take this pronouncement seriously. There is a noisy and extroverted view of what it means to live well, but there is also a quiet and introverted view. Both deserve our scientific attention. One size does not fit all, and introverts should not be measured against extroverts (or vice versa, although no one seems to be doing much of that these days)…
…keep reading the full and original article HERE