Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength

Laurie Helgoe, Author . Sourcebooks $15.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4022-1117-1

“Most Americans, whether introverted or extroverted, have learned to look like extroverts,” writes psychologist (and introvert) Heilgoe in this well-written and well-reasoned analysis that challenges the perception of introverts as a silent, problematic minority. The author reveals that 57% of the U.S. population identify as introverts and are so commonly misunderstood because many of them have become adept at mimicking extroversion (becoming a “Socially Accessible Introvert”) to get by. Heilgoe encourages introverts to see themselves as perfectly functional and to fulfill their need for solitude with regular retreats and creating a private space in their homes. Heilgoe's book is wide-ranging and cross-cultural, invoking how other societies (particularly in Japan and Scandinavia) are more compatible with and accepting of introversion. Helpful sections details why introverts need extroverts in their lives and how extroverts depend on introverts for their artistic contributions and inner “richness.” The author's voice is vivid and engaging, and she skillfully draws real-life examples of awkward scenarios introverts find themselves in when forced to play a role in society or the workplace. Readers will find much insight, as well as a comforting sense of being understood and validated. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/26/2008
Release date: 07/01/2008
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