“What an extroverted act it is in the first place to go to school. All day long, you are in a classroom full of people with constant stimulation. Even for introverted kids who really like school, it’s still a very overstimulating experience.” Susan Cain, interview
When I read Susan Cain’s book Quiet the summer before my junior year of college, I started thinking about myself in an entirely new way.
I’d already experienced that in the US, typically we’re taught to value:
-people who socialize often and easily, who are attracted to teams and gatherings
-self-promoters (of course, not TOO self-confident!) who speak often and verbalize their thoughts while they formulate them (people can do that????!!!!!)
None of these things describe me, yet I absolutely had a right to feel angry as a kid when adults tried to make me “come out of my shell” or followed praise with “…but she is just so quiet.”