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Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength Paperback – February 1, 2013
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"It changed my life. No kidding. Dr. Helgoe's book opened the door to discovery that has helped free me be myself." - Sophia Dembling, author of The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World
"Like a modern-day Thoreau, psychologist Laurie Helgoe leads us to a tranquil Walden Pond within our soul, and shows us the blessings of solitude we can find there." - Stephen Bertman, author of The Eight Pillars of Greek Wisdom
"I love Laurie Helgoe's book. I just wish I'd had it when I was growing up; it would have reduced the number of decades it took me to treasure my own introversion. Now as I read each page I'm saying "Yes!"" - Josephine Humphreys, novelist and winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature
"Extroverts have to read this remarkable book too. It's not just that we'll better understand the other 50 percent of the population but that they have so much to teach us. The party always ends, after all. Being alone is unavoidable. Helgoe and the introverts among us know a secret: It's after all the music and dancing stops that we often become our most graceful selves." - Ethan Watters, author of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche
"Laurie Helgoe's Introvert Power is The Bhagavad Gita for introverts....Laurie fans the embers of wisdom in each of us to honor yearnings that serve as both compass and anchor. I'm now giving myself permission to get a lock for my office door and replace my reading chair with something that would delight my younger self. I owe it to her." - Mary Hershey, author for children & young adults, co-creater of Shrinking Violets, Marketing for Introverts
About the Author
Laurie Helgoe, PhD, is a writer, psychologist, part-time actor, and model-and introvert. This is her fifth book.
Top customer reviews
What an enlightening book. It made me laugh and it made me think back to all those times that I was struggling to understand. Now I do. AND, it is so true, that you are NEVER too old to learn and discover new things that will explain your many questions and forever change your outlook. I am SO very happy that Laurie Helgoe, wrote this beautiful book. I am so happy to have it in my library, to be able to refer to it anytime I need it.
This book will never be one that anyone could ever find boring. It has set me free to just be who I am, a friendly, joyful and happy person who loves people, animals and TREES...and just need a bit more quiet time than others may.
Second, this book helped me realize that I am not alone or weird - I am not even in the minority. According to the research cited in this book - half of all people are introverts and half are extroverts - neither better nor worse than the other and both required for balance in the universe. While I gained many wonderful insights from this book, my favorite quote that I will carrying with me is this:
"Relinquish the belief that society is extroverted . . . our society is made up of a healthy mix (50/50) of both introverts and extroverts." Wherever you are, 50% are the same as you.
This book should be required reading in schools. Much pain and misunderstanding could be avoided.
My message to you: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
My own experiences, and how the book has helped
As an introverted artist, there has been no sweeter pleasure than to spend hours/days/weeks alone crafting art, reading, writing, thinking, taking long walks, etc - basically tuning in and traveling far & wide in my inner world. In solitude I felt wonderful, but with others buzzing around me I felt miserable: exhausted and unable to think, talk or connect with anyone. So confusing and embarrassing! At social gatherings, I was judged as weird, boring, timid, shy, weak, spacey, stuck-up, a mouse, too serious, and in need of "a breakthrough"; yet when I avoided socializing I was judged as unfriendly and a party-pooper. A no-win situation and a self-esteem crippler. It's amazing what our extraverted society reads into someone who's quiet or wants to be left alone. Anyway, for not being loud & chatty, I have lived with that dreaded conclusion: there must be something terribly wrong with me.
Thanks to Introvert Power things finally MAKE SENSE! For the first time in my life I feel understood and validated. I now know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me (or any introvert); I can now appreciate my gifts, draw strength from my inner world, and finally understand and appreciate the way I am. I feel free to take time for myself and be alone. I also feel confident being quiet in groups and declining invitations. This book has truly changed my life!
Contents of the Book
Rich with insights, advice and empowering perspectives, Introvert Power presents introversion in an entirely positive light, instead of a weakness to be overcome. The introvert's way of thinking and communicating as well as why we thrive in peace and solitude are explained rationally. Also presented is the important contribution we make to society - a real self-esteem booster for any introvert feeling inadequate in an extroverted society.
Some of the empowering points/quotes presented include:
-Introverts comprise over half the population, instead of the typical assumption we are on the fringe
-There is no pure introvert or extrovert - we all have some of each, with one out-weighing the other
-"[Introverts] gain energy and power through inner reflection, and get more excited by ideas than by external activities."
-Introvert brains are busier and get easily overstimulated, which is why we need to retreat to our inner world; while extroverts seek out more external stimuli by creating a rich outer/social world
-Most of us are taught the value of social skills, but what about the value of solitude skills? I.e. protecting boundaries, fostering imagination, nurturing the life of the mind, etc
-Introverts contribute so much to society! When you look around at the world, notice technical innovations, captivating novels and artistic creations - these are most likely products of introverts
Also covered are:
-Insights on societies where introversion prevails, such as Scandinavia and Japan
-Conversation styles of introverts vs extroverts
-Visualizing your ideal room and ideal world, and getting clear on what feeds your soul
-Cultivating the joys of being a "flaneur" (or "passionate spectator") for inspiration and insight, instead of shutting down when external stimuli gets to be too much
-Strategies for handling parties, dealing with the work world (chatty co-workers, meetings, etc), and declining invitations by being tactfully honest
-Insights for no longer apologizing for introversion, and accepting and embracing the gifts it offers
...and so much more
If you're an introvert feeling misunderstood and out of place in an extroverted society, I urge you to read this book to know loud and clear that 1) there is nothing wrong with you, 2) you are not alone, and 3) you are indeed a thoughtful, perceptive, gifted and interesting person!
If you're an extrovert, I also urge you read this book to gain insight and empathy for how introverts work. Please don't conclude we are weird, boring, depressed, etc just because we prefer solitude, quiet and deep conversation to crowds and noisy chit-chat. We just have a different way of experiencing life, and it works for us.
Thank you Laurie Helgoe for an amazing book! I hope it reaches the best-seller list :-)