Who wins ? : An Extrovert or an Introvert ?
Updated: May 15
In the present scenario, Covid-19 has threatened our physical as well as mental well-being. It is natural to feel disillusioned about our ability to cope with this onslaught. Many of us are questioning if we would mentally survive the ordeal. Well laid plans have gone awry and an uncertain future looms ahead.
Those who have streaks of extroversion had inadvertently belittled introverts in the past. But now is the most challenging time for extroverts. As the silence becomes ominous the mental fallout seems too hard to handle. What is it in the world of an introvert that makes one self-sustainable?
Susan Cain, in her Ted Talk, ‘The Power of Introverts’ describes her childhood experience as an introvert during a school camping trip. She recollects how she felt out of place amidst peers. Instinctively, she reached out for the novel in her bag. Her idea of good time meant retreating into the inner world, drawing nourishment from books and silently meditating on the mysteries and adventures that life presented. Introverts love being silent observers, but that does not imply that they are passive, indifferent or weak. They might not succumb to an outgoing articulate being. Introverts are in no way voiceless. Susan goes on to speak about how in a work environment, sociability is often considered an advantage over a silent and meditative personality. If everybody turned into exuberant, gregarious and enthusiastic speakers all at once, then communication will break down.
Evolved introverts can deal with the world around them if necessary, but they do their best work inside their heads. Social conditioning makes us believe, that introverts lack dynamism. But for both kinds, the natural preference remains, like right-or left-handedness.
Introverts have a special appreciation for silence, but they can also be patient listeners. They are often deep thinkers because the flow of conscious thoughts does not ease in their minds just because they exercise natural restraint in expression or communication.
Thomas Hardy, poet and novelist wrote, ‘To find beauty in ugliness is the province of the poet.’ Just like it is hard for everyone to bring out the poet in us, likewise, it is difficult for everyone to find sound in silence. But by being compassionate and empathetic about the way we see each other’s world; we can make a difference.
Anne Frank, the German-Dutch diarist of Jewish origin, was a cheerful, talkative pupil in her school. But during Holocaust, when her family went into hiding, she sought refuge in writing. In her diary, she could express herself freely and knew that paper was infinitely more patient than people. She could pour her heart out on paper without the fear of being criticized or judged. In a way, the diary served as a cathartic process.
Small, apparently trivial things can make or unmake us. A conversation, an anecdote, memory of a summer holiday, a journal, a novel, an actor’s interview recorded during his struggling phase, or even a faded photograph. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could share our experiences on tackling this lockdown with our friends and family who might be anxious?
Written by Preeta Chatterjee
A professional teacher and works at a private school as an English teacher. She is interested in Psychology, Counselling and Gender Studies. Reading novels, journaling, gardening, writing movie reviews and indulging in photography are some of her hobbies. She loves to work with children having learning problems.
If you thinking that you are unable to cope mentally, you can seek professional help.