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The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an…

The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World (original 2002; edition 2002)

by Marti Olsen Laney

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Title:The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World
Authors:Marti Olsen Laney
Info:Workman Publishing Company (2002), Edition: 1, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney (2002)


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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
I read this to help myself relate to a couple of my kids so I can give them advice. I'm actually an introvert too, but I'm more in the middle between intro and extravert, so I don't have the same issues they do. This book helped me to realize it's ok to be an introvert and gave me some good tips to share with others to help them. I listened to the audiobook version which may not be as good as just reading it because she does recommend being able to use the book and read in any section you want to. Audiobook is pretty much listen from start to finish. And some chapters I didn't care about at all but I still listeneed. If I had the print version I could have skimmed it quicker and ignored those chapters. But you may find those are the best chapters for what you're looking for.

This is a book that will stick with me and that's why I give it 4 stars. I learned something and it will change my life and my childrens life in a positive way I think. Not a huge change but like the butterfly effect small changes can make huge impacts later. ( )
  schlista | Feb 18, 2019 |
removes the "badness" from being an introvert ( )
  margaretfield | May 30, 2018 |
The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World is written by psychologist Marti Olsen Laney, who is herself an introvert. She observes that we live in a culture that values extroversion, and cites Dr. David Myers, who identified extroversion as a prerequisite trait for happiness in his book The Pursuit of Happiness. So, what is an introvert to do? Being very much an introvert myself, I was curious to find out what the book had to say.

The book begins by describing some of the differences between introverts and extroverts. The major difference being that introverts draw energy from the internal world, while extroverts are externally energized. Introversion is sometimes confused with social anxiety, schizoid personality traits, or being a highly sensitive person, but the author outlines how these are all distinct. The author observes that introverts tend to be concerned about how others are impacted by their actions, and may feel guilty that they have mistreated others when in fact they haven’t. They may also tend to think that the things they find bothersome, such as interruptions, are bothersome to everyone.

The book also covers some of the biological differences that may exist between introverts and extroverts, including differences in blood flow patterns in the brain and neurotransmitter activation. The parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for resting and digesting-type activities) appears to be more dominant in introverts.

The second section of the book considers how introverts can adapt in an extroverted world. Suggestions are given for navigating relationships, parenting, socializing, and the work environment. For those who aren’t sure if they are introverted or not, this section may be helpful as it characterizes typical introverted reactions in these types of situations. I found some of the points made in the chapter on work quite interesting. The author says that extroverts need to be told in detail what introverts are doing at work because otherwise they might not think anything is happening. This surprised me, but perhaps it’s because, as an introvert, I’ve simply been missing the boat. The author also suggested that an introvert’s openness to others’ opinions may be misconstrued as a lack of conviction in their own beliefs. Interesting. Other things didn’t ring true for me personally, such a dread of deadlines.

The final section was on “coping with introversion”. The author suggested a 3-P’s approach, involving personal pacing, setting priorities, and setting parameters/boundaries. She characterized introverts as slower-paced and slow-moving, requiring careful pacing to conserve energy. I don’t find that to be a very accurate description of my own particular brand of introversion. She suggested that nurturing was important for an introvert’s delicate nature, and recommended a variety of self-care strategies including scheduling regular rest breaks, increased light exposure, aromatherapy, and exercise. While I’m all for self-care, being an introvert doesn’t necessarily make me a delicate flower (tulip is the specific analogy the author uses). Finally, the author presented strategies for “extroverting”, i.e. behaving in a more extroverted manner.

While the book is pro-introvert, a lot of attention is paid to making oneself extrovert-acceptable. Granted, the title gives fair warning of this, but it felt a bit off to me. There’s a fine lining between adapting to minimize personal distress and changing to be more acceptable to extroverts. While the experience of introverts is validated and strengths are identified such as the ability to reflect, the author also seemed to characterize introverts as fragile, slow, low energy, and not functioning particularly well in the world at large. It seems unlikely that this was the intent, and perhaps my reaction stems from my own decision quite a while ago that I was going to allow myself to be a proud introvert and not “play at” extroversion to suit others’ expectations. Suggesting that introverts are low energy seems to contradict the author’s earlier assertion that introverts simply find energy in different ways than extroverts.

One thing I was quite uncomfortable with was the idea of packing an introvert survival kit, consisting of what sounded like a suitcase-full of items including earplugs, snacks, water, a music player, a note card with an affirmation, a cotton ball with a soothing scent, medication for motion sickness, a parasol/umbrella, sunscreen, hand cream, lip balm, a battery-operated fan, a small spray bottle, a large-brimmed hat, sunglasses, a sweater/blanket, self-heating pocket packs, and earmuffs. To me this verged on insulting; being an introvert doesn’t mean I can’t handle being outside of the house. I carry lip balm around with me, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with my introversion. If anything, this suitcase-load would be more appropriate for when I’m depressed, except then I wouldn’t have the energy to carry it all.

I think this book could be worth a read for anyone who’s introverted and uncomfortable about it or introvert-questioning, so to speak. It offers some practical tips for fitting in with a largely extroverted world. Overall, I found it didn’t really pull me in, and I ended up skimming through some sections. I was glad I picked up a copy from the library rather than buying it.

Originally published on Mental Health at Home
https://mentalhealthathome.wordpress.com/2018/03/16/book-review-the-introvert-ad... ( )
  MH_at_home | Mar 16, 2018 |
Quiet people can and o thrive in a loud and obnoxious world.
  gmicksmith | Jul 13, 2017 |
There were many things in this book that resonated with me. Living among extroverts, I find myself comparing myself and trying to be like them. Or I find myself feeling guilty for my need to be alone and process life. Yet reading this I realize God has made me a certain way, and that introversion is not a bad thing. There is actually a physiological reality in my brain that makes me the way I am!

Laney gives some practical advice for being an introvert. Some things I have already instinctively learned, but some were new. One of my favorites is strategies for going to a large group gathering such as a party. I recently used her sea urchin strategy when I found myself walking into a party where I knew everyone, but I still had the initial pang of anxiety, "where do I start? what do I say?" Instead, I just smiled at my own awkward feelings inside, knowing, "hey this is me" and then I found a good location to sit and just wait for, as Laney describes, the flow of people to come to me. Like an anemone attaches itself on a rock waiting for the current to bring along food, you can plant yourself in location waiting for people you can invite into pleasant, meaningful conversation. What a better way to enjoy talking to friends rather than trying to act like an extrovert, who actually enjoys going from person to person engaging in small talk! (My nightmare!)

I also enjoyed the chapter on the brain. It gives me some comfort to know there is a reason why I can't always think of what to say on the spot, or why I have trouble articulating myself in a moment's notice.

If you feel like you are an introvert (and there is a spectrum from super introversion to a little bit of introversion), this book will be very validating. If you love an introvert, this will help you understand them better. ( )
  kerchie1 | Jun 9, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
If you've been called shy, a shrinking violet, or a wallflower; if your friends tease you about still waters that run deep; or if you feel that you're just not a "people" person, you may find this book very revealing. Dr. Laney, an introvert herself, convincingly explains the reasons for your behavior, and the differences between an introvert (you) and an extrovert (most of the rest of the world).
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Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a gift and not giving it.
—William A. Ward

To my Husband of thirty-eight years, Michael,who dragged me out into extroverting and enlarged my universe. I dedicate this book to you for coaching me to keep breathing through the long labor of the book birthing process. And you are awarded the Highest Medal of Husbandry Honor for devoting so many hours to read page after page about introverts (more than any mortal extrovert should ever have to). Last, but not least, a final thank-you for delivering nourishing meals to me as I sat staring and pecking at my computer.

    To my daughters and their families, who I love very much and who have enriched my live in countless ways:

    Tynna, Brian, Alicia, and Christopher DeMellier

    Kristen, Gary, Kaitlin, and Emily Parks

    I also dedicate this book to all my clients who have courageously let me into their lives.
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Growing up, I was often puzzled about myself.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0761123695, Paperback)

At least one out of four people prefers to avoid the limelight, tends to listen more than they speak, feels alone in large groups, and requires lots of private time to restore their energy. They're introverts, and here is the book to help them boost their confidence while learning strategies for successfully living in an extrovert world.

After dispelling common myths about introverts-they're not necessarily shy, aloof, or antisocial--The Introvert Advantage explains the real issues. Introverts are hardwired from birth to focus inward, so outside stimulation-chitchat, phone calls, parties, office meetings-can easily become "too much."

The Introvert Advantage dispels introverts' belief that something is wrong with them and instead helps them recognize their inner strengths-their analytical skills, ability to think outside the box, and strong powers of concentration. It helps readers understand introversion and shows them how to determine where they fall on the introvert/extrovert continuum. It provides tools to improve relationships with partners, kids, colleagues, and friends, offering dozens of tips, including 10 ways to talk less and communicate more, 8 ways to showcase your abilities at work, how to take a child's temperament temperature, and strategies for socializing. Finally, it shows how to not just survive, but thrive-how to take advantage of the introvert's special qualities to create a life that's just right for the introvert temperament, to discover new ways to expand their energy reserves, and even how, when necessary, to confidently become a temporary extrovert.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:36 -0400)

Describes how introverts can work with their temperament to live a fullfilling life and thrive in an extrovert world, covering such topics as relationships, parenting, socializing, and coping in the workplace.

(summary from another edition)

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