Growing up in a household of introverts I was blessed to have the support I needed to develop my soft and hard skills. Granted, as the most extroverted of the introverts the road ahead was going to be easy for me and inside my family circle, I became the nerd whisperer.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term whisperer, this means that I have an uncanny ability to decipher what traditional nerds and introverts are trying to say or do, sometimes even thinking. I could tell if someone was upset or needed assistance or figure out the word they were trying to use to communicate a particular thought or opinion. Case in point, my uncle, who rarely said one word to anyone but he’d have full blown talks with me on the phone or in person for hours!
In college, my psychology courses taught me that depending on the degree of comfort, some introverts could function as most extroverts do but they retain the analytical thinking portion that makes them avoid conflict and over sharing. It made me realize that my public speaking skills were an extension of the shy and pensive little girl that had imaginary friends and kept her feelings to herself. As a bookworm it was only natural that I lost myself in books and the knowledge they provided which in turn led me to the tomes I can recommend to you today:
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
In this book the author explores what defines and introvert and how to manage your own introverted side. It presents scientific data to explore what introverts and extroverts have in common and what makes them special. By the end, you are convinced that being an introvert in our boisterous, look at me culture is an asset and force to be reckoned with. We are the part of society that makes the world a better place, a functional and pragmatic one with common sense and lots of quiet introspective time. For those with introverted kids, the book provides insight as to how to deal with your child in a positive and caring way.
The Birth Order Book: Why You are the Way You Are by Dr. Kevin Leman
Once you realize you are an introvert, or have one in your midst, knowing how birth order affects their personality is key. The influences your siblings have on your development, older or younger and even only child-wise, make you who you are and shape your analytical and relational skills. You will have fun figuring out what parts of the theory apply to you and your family.
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Being an introvert and the eldest child I always knew that my style of loving and accepting others was a little different than most. My sister is eight years younger so she was raised as an only child with an older absent sibling (I was in college during her formative years), and this helped me understand how each member of the family functioned in relation to each other. However, I never understood why my sister and fellow introvert preferred certain shows of affection over my own methods. In comes this book which taught me what my love language was (all of them tied) and which ones applied to my loved ones. It made life so much easier.
Generation Me by Jean Twenge
I’m a borderline Millennial, the kind that was raised half Gen X and half Gen Y. I never understood why my counterparts were the way they were until I read this book. It explains the dichotomy between the way we were raised and the way the world turned out to be. Plus, it helped me understand what the USA mainstream 20 somethings are going through. If the subject matter doesn’t convince you, substitute this title for any generational diversity article or book. The read is always enlightening.
There are a few more books you can add to this list based on how deep you want to get into the study of introverts and human relationships but these will help you direct your journey.
I do not get paid by or am affiliated to any of these authors and books, and am providing these recommendations as a testament of what worked for me. If you know of other resources, leave a comment below and I will gladly research and add it to the list as pertinent. To check what type of personality you are take the Briggs-Myers personality quiz.