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Friday, October 19, 2012


Our Book Club Friday guest today is Phyllis Humphrey, author of fourteen books published. Most are romance or romantic suspense. Learn more about Phyllis at her website. -- AP
Hello, God. It’s Me, the Introvert

Last Spring a cover story in TIME Magazine was about Introverts. And I’m one.

The article, THE UPSIDE OF BEING AN INTROVERT, “And Why Extroverts are Overrated,” by Bryan Walsh, tells us that about thirty percent of the population fall in the Introvert category. It also states that Introvert does not mean “shy,” although there’s “some overlap.” Introverts don’t shun people--they just prefer them in smaller groups and less often. This is especially difficult to do in America, which Walsh calls, “the land of the loud and the home of the talkative.”

Because we Introverts are outnumbered, and the culture expects people to be outgoing and sociable, we can feel anxious and uncomfortable in situations which Extroverts enjoy. To make matters worse, those who don’t understand our personality can sometimes be unintentionally cruel. They may chide, or even insult us, or treat us as if we have a silly problem we just need “to get over. ”

Make no mistake: we’re born this way. Scientific studies have shown that small babies exhibit behavior that marks them as future Introverts. If the parents of such a child are Extroverts, they may try to influence his or her behavior, thinking it’s not normal, thereby causing, at an early age, the tension that goes with feeling different. At the very least, parents fear that the child will not have friends or be successful in life.

Not to worry. Introverts learn to adapt early and there are plenty of occupations which require what Introverts are good at, such as thinking things through thoroughly. Yes, it turns out we Introverts are usually smarter than Extroverts, make fewer wrong decisions, are less likely to get into dangerous situations, and take better care of our health. And why not, since we’re spending our time reading or thinking while Extroverts are bungee jumping or talking?

Among the well-known Introverts, according to Walsh, are Mahatma Ghandi, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Mother Teresa. The author didn’t list any famous writers, but I suspect all writers are Introverts. Why else are we happy to spend so much time alone, in front of our computers, inventing stories? 

As for me, my latest release is Stranger in Paradise, first published by Kensington and now an e-book. Or check out my other books on Amazon and let everyone else go skydiving. (Alone in my ivory tower, I once wrote about that too.)

Stranger in Paradise
DANA GIFFORD, assistant manager of a hotel in Hawaii, has good reasons to avoid the handsome stranger, MATT HAMPTON, who arrives in the islands. If his company buys her hotel, she'll lose her job. Nevertheless, they fall in love and Dana realizes this is the real thing. Then, a tsunami hits the island and severely damages the hotel of Dana's best friend. Dana asks Matt to help in solving the financial crisis, but that precipitates even more trouble. Believing Matt has deliberately sabotaged her friend, Dana is devastated and regrets allowing herself to fall in love with him. But can love find a way to solve the problem and let Matt stay in paradise with Dana?

Thanks for joining us today, Phyllis! -- AP


Mia Fisher said...

Excellent post!! I'm an introvert and very happy to be so. Being a "joiner" or "hanging" every possible moment doesn't interfere with my writing time!

Kathleen Kaska said...

It's nice to know that Mother Theresa and I have something in common. That's why I write fiction. I can live vicariously through my protagonist. She has the nerve to say and do things I'd don't. Thanks for the post, Phyllis.

Donnell said...

Great post, Phyllis. Agree with you 100 percent about writers being introverts. Audrey Hepburn said it best...

I have to be alone very often. I'd be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That's how I refuel.

so great to see you releasing your books in e-format! Best wishes!

Reese Ryan said...

I've come to the conclusion that I'm an introvert masquerading as an extrovert. I can be the life of teh party, but I need to prep mentally for big social situations. I've been told that whether you're an introvert or an extrovert depends on how you renew your energy. I definitely need solo or quiet time to re-energize.

Karen mcCullough said...

I'm an introvert, too, as are most of the writers I know personally. I've heard that a lot of actors are also. I'm not particularly shy and I can act like an extrovert when necessary, but it takes a lot of energy and tends to leave me flattened. I always need a few days of solitary to recover from conferences.

Phyllis Humphrey said...

Good morning Mia, Kathleen, Donnell, Reese and karen: Well, its still morning here in California. Thankls for the comments. I'm so glad to prove writers are Introverts.

And I also believe many actors are too. I act in local plays from time to time and explain it by saying we lose ourselves in our stage roles, so it's not reaaly "us."


Michael Murphy said...

Great post and dead on about writers being introverts. Including me. Best of success, Phyllis.

Phyllis Humphrey said...


Thanks for the comment. Nice to know we are not alone.


Terry Shames said...

Interesting post. I find myself in an odd category. I love big parties, can work a room like a pro, have scads of friends--but I have to be alone most of the time, or I get overloaded.

Over the years I've had to learn to say no when there are too many things going on, because I know I'll have a meltdown.

Phyllis Humphrey said...

I believe many introverts do the same thing. We're social creatures, and need to interact with others - and get ideas for our books - but Introverts need time to be alone too. Thanks for sharing.

T.S. Richardson said...

Great post, Phyllis,

I'm 50/50 on the introvert extrovert line. I've taken the Briggs Meyers test twice and came out 51/49 and 48/52. I like being isolated and alone at times (spent 4 months in a cabin with just a dog once and loved it), but I also like talking and joking with people. It depends on the situation and company. I become introverted around ultra aggressive alphas. They seem to be in competition for something and I don't want to join. On another note, I can be introverted online as well. Not posting for weeks or over thinking comments (like this one) to the point I don't post or the moment is gone.

Phyllis Humphrey said...

Your comment is most interesting. I don't think i could l;ive with just a dog for four months, but I certainly relate to the feeling of discomfort around extreme extroverts. Thanks for sharing.

DirtyMartini said...

I read that Time article btw...and I would put myself in the introvert category...and I definitely have an easier time expressing myself through written word than speech...most of the time anyway...


Phyllis Humphrey said...

I agree. We Introverts have an easier time with written words than speech. I used to hate having to telephone people, but now I have e-mail, and I love it. Thanks for the reminder.