Many books are written on how to put your extroverted self out there to be better, stronger, faster! so it’s great to find a book with a different take on how to help give voice to those on the more introverted side. The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D, is a book that focuses on pointing out the unique thinking patterns and skills that introverts bring to problem solving and life. An introvert is someone who gets their recharge energy from being alone, whereas an extrovert is someone who gets their recharge energy from being out in the excitement with other people. An example might be going to a dinner party: an extrovert will be revved up after all the stimulating conversation and want to continue the party by going out to a club with friends afterwards. An introvert will enjoy the party but long to get home and snuggle in bed alone with a good book afterwards.
A notable feature in the book was the brain maps. The extroverted brain has a shorter pathway and is fueled by Dopamine – meaning extroverts can make quick decisions. The introverted brain has a longer pathway and is fueled by Acetylcholine – meaning introvert’s answers may take longer but are more thought out. So neurologically, introverts and extroverts brains are wired and nourished differently.
Introverts can sometimes feel like fish out of water but yet look calm to others from the outside. Part one of the book gives the background on how our brains work, giving respect to our abilities – both in our own eyes, as well as any extroverts reading (which you might want to do if you’re an extrovert so you can better understand your introvert employees, or better raise your introvert child). Part two gives tips on how introverts can manage in extroverted waters, such as relationships, parenting, socializing, and at work. Part three goes in depth on ways to protect ourselves from being sucked dry so we’ve got energy to invest in the things most important to us.
It was quite enlightening for me to see that many things I’d berated myself for years as being ‘wrong’ are part of being an introvert personality…and are actually valued skills (others told me that before, but I never quite believed them because the grass always looks greener on the other side, right?).
If you are an introvert, this book will help you get a handle on your strengths, give you the energy you need to succeed, and give you the self respect to stand up and change the world with those many good ideas racing around in your head. To learn more about author Marti Olsen Laney Psy.D and her book The Introvert Advantage, click here.