Book Review: Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength

After reading the last book on introversion which was a real disappointment, I ordered this book Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength, which I enjoyed Immensely.

This book is written by psychologist Laurie Helgoe, PhD. and is a very enlightening book, not nearly as strident as quiet about the extroverts. It is actually surprising according to research by the developers of the Myers and Briggs personality test, that introverts may actually be slightly in the advantage. It may well be that over the last years the stigma associated with being an introvert is starting to lift. Being an introvert might be cool. In some ways there may be more introverts who are very social who you wouldn’t think are. Of course there are also the Shadow Dwellers, who can seem more asocial or people such as the goth teens, who may have been victims of abuse, which are she shadow in Jungian terminology. These people can also include your geek types.

She also refutes what people may mistake about introverts: We are not antisocial, but some may be asocial. The difference is substantial. A person who has an antisocial personality disorder is a person with real problems that don’t have positive outcomes. A person who is asocial may just not enjoy interacting with people much. Extroverts may think we are snobs, but is not nearly the truth, perhaps it’s just an incorrect interpretation.

For those who are not aware of Carl Jung’s Personality theory, the positive potential in introversion has been found in his work. Jung would suggest that we all have both introvert and extrovert aspects of our personality, how much of each is what matters. She suggests that being able to accept the opposite and try to use some of it is a good thing. Yes we need time alone to recover, and you don’t need to love parties, but putting yourself out there a little more can be to your advantage. The shadow in Jung’s work is the dark side that we don’t show in our personality, with the caveat that what we don’t accept and embrace may come out in a odd way.  an example of the shadow is you may have a person who seems kind, but turns out to be abusive.

She suggests our real power is in what’s inside us, in our inner world.  the majority of the book is focused on us, our strengths, and how to have a good life.

 

The Brain that Changes Itself

The Brain that Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge, M.D. Published 2007 by Penguin Books.

According to Doidge, the common belief in neurology was that if the brain got damaged or missed key developmental milestones, the brain would never improve, and would never get better. More recent research and practical experience has shown that given a stimulating environment that nourishes and causes the brain to create new neurons, substantial changes can develop. This is called neuroplasticity. It seems very promising. Given some of the problems that some gifted people struggle with with Asperger’s for instance, or sensory processing issues, maybe people can find support and assistance that can help them change. I have concerns that people find that while may help, may lead people to feel disappointed and blaming themselves for hoping that change is possible. I think one needs to keep one’s expectations in check. It’s also curious that the author, who comes from the psychoanalytic world view is thinking about neuroplasticity. It had been typical for psychoanalytic people to suggest the best we can have is self-knowledge and much of our struggle will continue, just as ordinary unhappiness.

Author’s Website.