The Secret Lives of Introverts by Jenn Granneman
I was listening to Paula Pant’s podcast, ‘Afford Anything’ and she had a writer named Jenn Granneman as her guest. She is the founder of introvertdear.com, a website dedicated to introverts and highly sensitive people writing their thoughts on what it’s like to be an introvert/highly sensitive. She was on the podcast to discuss introversion with Paula and to promote her book “The Secret Lives of Introverts.” When the interview ended, Paula mentioned that she was giving away her book to 10 random people who would comment on her Instagram post of the book. So I figured to take a shot on trying to be one of the ten people so I went on to instagram and left a comment on about podcast episode with Jenn and one of my favorite 80s pop song (‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ by Wham if you want to know) since Paula recommended to add it for kicks.
A few days later I got a message from Paula’s publicist who handles her Instagram account saying that I was one of the ten who will receive the book. Listening to the podcast and receiving Granneman’s book inspired me to write about my own experiences on how I knew I was an introvert. As soon as it came in the mail, I started to read it that same night.
This book gave me more of a reason why I am an introvert. I could relate almost everything Jenn wrote on it. From the misconceptions of introverts, wanting to be alone, overthinking, socializing differently, being in relationships and how introverts fit into the workplace the mind of one has a temperament that is different than others.
What is this book about?
Granneman opens up to the minds of introverts. She describes how they think, their desires, and feelings. She lets introverts know that they are not alone in how they are because we understand why you are an introvert.
She wants to lets others (extroverts) know that we are living in a mainly extroverted world where it’s loud and a busy place but introverts can adapt to it by having our time and space to be alone to gain that energy and go back into the world of our demands in the workplace and with friends and family.
The book gives an in-depth perspective of what runs through the minds of introverts when they are quiet, how can they bring out their creative and insightful minds to the rest of the world, how do they fulfill themselves in the workplace and how do they grow and develop in an intimate relationship.
Points that stuck out in the book
The Science of Introversion – Granneman describes the chemical called dopamine which guarantees your will be excited by the possibility of receiving something. That something could be social status, attention, money or food . When extroverts see this possibility coming, they get that energy and motivation to achieve it. Which is why they are outgoing, loud, brash and bold and that keep that constant energy. With introverts, however, they are not on the same energy level as extroverts because they are not on the same motivation level with the same potential rewards especially on a social level. That is why most introverts feel tired after a night of socializing. They would rather be enjoying a run around the city, biking, socializing with a small group of people in a low pressure environment, hiking, reading, and other activities in a quieter environment. That is how they feel rewarded.
Misconceptions– Introverts have a bad reputation of being rude, antisocial, lack of passion, bad leaders and do not know how to have fun. Being quiet and reserved can be viewed as those misconceptions because extroverts are used to always engaging in conversations even if it’s small talk. And also extroverts think that not being too loud is viewed as not being passionate about something.
What they do not know is that introverts do not want to be outgoing and are not font engaging pleasantries. They would rather be satisfied with meaningful relationships, observant, enjoying their thoughts by themselves and want to save their energy for certain things. Introverts get drained out after social event because there is so much going on with interacting, so many people all in one space and making a good impression that they need regain their energy by being themselves and doing some self-reflection. This is something extroverts do not understand sometimes.
Introverts in Relationships – Granneman points out that introverts make amazing partners because of their listening skills, trying to figure out what our partner is saying and know where they are coming from when they express their thoughts. And since introverts are the quiet ones, they are more than happy to let their partner have their platform on their thoughts and feelings since they won’t divert their attention away. This is great for extroverts who are in relationships with an introvert. But the downside of an introvert-extrovert relationship is the energy level between the two. One may want to always go out and about while the other wants to chill out at home most of the time. Both have to understand where the other is coming from in terms of how they get their energy.
With an introvert-introvert relationship, both parties know that they are not font to social settings a lot so there will not be any pressure to go to one. They also giving each other space because they know their temperament. Their fun may consist of hiking, staying at home to watching TV together and go to bed early. So basically it’s more of a laid back environment. One of the challenges, however, with this type of relationship is being too isolated with each other. Since introverts are more independent, both tend to look for their own likes and interests and can cause the two to drift away even further. This can be problem especially when you are trying to get the relationship off the ground.
Introverts in the Workplace – Very focus, likes to work alone, coming up great ideas to help the company, gets in solving an issues by being persistent, and loves learning in order to build more specialty knowledge. In a nutshell those are great reasons why introverts are great for the workplace. Although introverts are the quiet ones, they want to have their work and actions to speak for themselves.
Unlike extroverts, introverts want to look inward when searching the right career. They want to find something that is authentic, having a career that is reflective to their identity. With extroverts, they want to look outward like where are the trendy jobs and how do their skills fit into the landscape of that trendy field of work.
Closing Thoughts on The Secret Lives of Introverts
This was a great guide of how introverts are with the way they think, how they like to energize themselves, how they handle being in an intimate relationship and function in the workplace. Grranneman provides thoughtful insights of what goes through the brain of an introvert. Being an introvert, I saw myself nodding my head in agreement with a lot of points she made about the empowerment of introverts. It’s a very honest and perspective where she does not pull any punches of having this temperament. Great read and highly recommended for not only introverts but also extroverts too so they would know what goes through the mind of one. It is a very loud book in an introverted way.