You want to know what really matters if you’re thinking about reading something I’ve written or listening to something I have to say where introverts and introversion are concerned? Why should you buy anything from me, literally or figuratively?
It’s so simple: I’m an introvert.
Or should I say: I’m an introvert too! And I’ve been an introvert for 50 years now and counting.
- Mostly-oblivious-to-it-all introvert as a child. (1967-1979)
- Something-must-be-wrong-with-me introvert as a teenager. (1980-1986)
- Struggling, conflicted introvert as a young adult. (1987-1994)
- Increasingly thriving introvert as a … um … seasoned adult. (1995*-present)
(*It was in 1995 that I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® assessment in graduate school and learned for the first time that my personality has a positive, perfectly healthy name: introvert.)
My own experiences as an introvert—the exhaustion, confusion, and frustration as well as the illumination, exhilaration, and liberation that have come later—are my most powerful and convincing credential.
I live introversion. I breathe introversion. I eat lunch each day with introversion. Mostly it’s good. But too often it’s (still) a struggle in this extroverted world of ours that is constantly pushing back.
That’s why I’m an introvert advocate. And that’s why I read more than most and think more than most and write more than most and talk more than most about introverts and introversion. When people tell me my stuff speaks to them, it’s because it has spoken to me first.
We’re in this together, friend. If there’s anyone in this world who “gets” you and your introversion, it’s me.
Yup, I have a bachelor’s degree, and a master’s degree. Yup, I’ve talked about introverts and introversion on TV and on the radio and in print, for more than a decade now. I’m grateful for every opportunity to enlighten and inspire on all things introvert.
But what drives me is the never-ending challenge of being an introvert in a culture where extroversion is worshiped and introversion—well, not so much. And what makes me helpful to you is that I walk in your shoes every day. I need my solitude, my alone time. I need to think before I speak. I need depth in my relationships and conversations and activities. I need to be able to focus intently without constant interruptions.
And I need to breathe. Same as you.
Like many introverts, I’ve spent much of my life acting—trying to somehow be someone I never can be and don’t particularly want to be. You know the feeling: It’s fatiguing beyond words. So I’m certainly not going to do any acting here in my own bio.
I’m not the charismatic, slick guy in the power suit wielding a death-by-PowerPoint presentation. I’m the down-to-earth, genuine guy in the khaki shorts and the T-shirt and hiking shoes, who’d like to just take a walk in the woods with you and convince you of one thing and one thing only…
There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re just an introvert.
In fact, there’s so much right with you. So just be you. And I’ll just be me—in my bio and elsewhere.