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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Introvert

In Forge. More on Medium.

You don’t have to be loud for your voice to be heard

One rising above the rest.
One rising above the rest.
Photo: Richard Drury/Getty Images

It’s an idea that seems baked into American culture: Shyness is a problem to overcome, and the extroverts shall inherit the earth. But Michael Thompson has a different take: “I’ve been observing how quiet people stand out,” he writes on Medium. Here are his major findings for how the naturally shy can stand out:

  1. Be bold in the moments that matter most.
  2. Pick just one uncomfortable skill to seriously push.
  3. Live to be stolen from.
  4. Be a bridge.
  5. Keep an eclectic group of friends.
  6. Never stop building your empathy muscle.
  7. Share the stories you’re…


From The Forge Daily Tip, a quick morning email to help you start each day on the right foot.


Whichever personality type you identify with, there’s something to glean from the experience of self-isolation

Friends waving to each other during a large video conference call on a computer screen.
Friends waving to each other during a large video conference call on a computer screen.
Photo: SolStock/E+/Getty Images

If the great lockdown’s memes are any indication, this global pause has introverts finding out they’re extroverts — and vice versa:

Carl Jung first proposed a psychological theory on introverts and extroverts as personality types in 1921. Since then we’ve come to think of it like this: Introverts gain energy from solitude, while extroverts recharge by being around other people. Psychology broadly recognizes that introversion and extroversion happens along a continuum, but in the popular imagination it’s often perceived as binary.

The idea that people can get all their energy from one source or the other is…


Introversion is a personality trait, not a disorder

An anxious woman looks down while at the park.
An anxious woman looks down while at the park.
Photo: martin-dm/E+/Getty Images

A thirtysomething couple named Toni and Adam were visiting my psychology practice to discuss their daughter’s upcoming transition to the fifth grade. When making the appointment over the phone, Toni explained that 9-year-old Alina had always felt uneasy in social settings. Even as a baby, she’d been “fussy and tense.”

“Her social anxiety started very early,” Adam said urgently at our first in-person meeting. He and Toni went on to express concern over Alina’s reluctance to have her two close friends over on weekends. …


Social distancing is a way of life for some of us

Photo: Justin Paget/Getty Images

COVID-19 has had some interesting side effects: In my case, chapped knuckle skin from all that hand-washing, a strange stockpile of boxed soups my children will never actually eat, and a lot — a whole lot! — of canceled plans.

There’s the conference I’d been looking forward to but also slightly dreading. The girls-night drinks put off to an unspecified future date. The many, many work meetings either canceled or done remotely from my kitchen table. It’s the best!

Just to be clear: I don’t want to minimize the suffering of people who have been personally affected by the virus…


Breaking news for introverts: New research on the ‘social biome’ shows that solitude is crucial for well-being

Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

Scientists are only just beginning to understand the full reach of the gut microbiome — the diverse community of microorganisms living inside your digestive tract that’s been shown to influence everything from your immune system to your mood. Maintaining balance in this community, a growing body of research suggests, has a strong ripple effect for both mental and physical health.

It’s also, as the communications researcher Jeffrey Hall argues, a great metaphor. The microbiome is the framing he uses to explain his concept of the “social biome,” the idea that social well-being depends on a regular, varied mix of interactions.

Forge

A publication from Medium on personal development.

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