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Introverts vss. Extroverts

Some people are born salespersons. They could sell freezers to Eskimos.

Then there are the rest of us. I usually end up giving away things at yard sales because I can’t convince people to buy them. Chalk it up to an introverted nature.

According to a book I read, salesmanship often is a matter of personality: extrovert verses introvert. Having done some research on personality types, I’ve learned that being an introvert isn’t necessarily a liability. It can be an asset.

Quiet people among us have made significant contributions to our world. These include Albert Einstein (E=mc²), the composer Chopin, author George Orwell, Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss of The Cat in the Hat books), even Larry Page, inventor of Google. Of course, we can’t forget Abraham Lincoln, Elon Musk, and even Roy Rogers, King of the Cowboys. These introverts functioned best in quiet surroundings, away from crowds.

The problem for introverted people came in the early part of the twentieth century, when our American culture encouraged aggressive, outgoing personality traits. Advertisers urged bold behavior.

Educational psychologists then labeled introverted students as potentially troubled. The quiet ones were trained that to become successful in society, they had to become almost party animals. Successful people-- from corporation executives to presidents of the United States-- became notoriously absent of reclusive character traits.

So, where does that leave us, the one-third to one-half of the population who prefer staying home and curling up with books?

Not feeling guilty! According to research, introverted people are the thinkers in our world, the ones who analyze information thoughtfully before jumping in with both feet.

We function well without sleep, practice delaying gratification, and quietly go about our business while the extroverted people snatch the limelight.

Most of us are okay with that.

If it weren’t for the extroverts among us, who would carry the conversations at parties while we introverts sit in the corner watching? I depend on my extroverted husband to do most of the talking when we’re together in public. It allows me to engage in my favorite sport--people watching. And that gives me fodder to write about later.

So, if you’re one of us introverts, take heart. You’re in good company. Leave the sales jobs to your talkative friends.

What about you---introvert or extrovert? In the comment boxes below, tell us why you like being that way. Or maybe why you would like to be the opposite.


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