My best friend is an introvert. During our junior high and high school years many of our peers casted her off as the “shy girl” who blended into the background. However, from the very first day I met her I was intrigued. It was her absolute intention of keeping herself isolated from others that drew me to want to get to know her. Today me and my best friend are still the complete opposites yet are almost identical in the way we think. Susan Cain’s TedTalk “The Power of Introverts”, reminded me of how I am naturally attracted to introverted individuals. As an extrovert I for some reason cannot stand being around other loud, obnoxious overpowering people. Susan Cain’s TED Talk focuses on the glorification of extroverted individuals and how many of life’s engrained systems are engrained to catered to the extroverted individual, while introverts are looked down upon.
Cain states “There is zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas”. It is undoubtedly true that today many people are mesmerized by a person able to assert themselves and put on a show of charisma. While this skill is desirable it does not necessarily mean that person is able to follow through and live up to expectations or bring real substance to the table. Later on Cain dismisses the idea of constant group work in the workplace and in schools. Cain believes in the power of introverts and believes they can thrive if they are allowed to function without the interruption of others. By the end of her talk, Cain encourages extrovert to “speak softly”, meaning to remain the introverted being they are but to never let themselves get lost in the crowd or overpowered by extroverts.
Cain’s ideas on introversion are incredibly thought provoking and should be taken into consideration all across the board. In my opinion, employers almost fetishize extroverts and believe their natural inclination to speak with people make them the most effective when it comes to gaining sales. This is not true. In my experience of working in a variety of retail settings, I have seen the most soft-spoken people have deep genuine connections with people than that of extroverts. As an advertising student people do not like to feel like they are being begged to make a purchase and that is often times how extroverts come across. An introvert who is well versed and knowledgeable can have an even greater impact on a person that an extrovert who is charismatic and charming. Cain’s championing of the introvert should be done on a much grander scale. This changing of group think when it comes to the favoritism of extrovert could impact age old systems and idea people have held for centuries.