Am I an extraverted introvert?

Those who know me, see an often whacky, outward personality. However, not too far beneath the surface lurks the shy little girl who could often be found quietly entertaining herself. Raised to be humble, I am just beginning to realise introversion has always been in my DNA.

I am currently reading a book titled Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, and I can’t help thinking to myself, Yes! Yes! Yes!


For years I thought I was just being sensitive to the cacophony of sound in the workplace, the arrogance, constant self promotion and the me, me, me! Don’t get me wrong, if that is what floats your boat, all power to you. It goes against my grain, and that is ok too.

Much of my professional work life has been in marketing, an industry that thrives on being larger than life, loud and brash, an irony which is not lost on me.
I have managed to carve myself a small creative niche, but as the world becomes more global and even louder, I finally realise why I have always felt so unsettled.

Loud, grating voices, intrusive mobiles, noise and big personalities, things that often drive me crazy, when all I really want is a quiet space to think. My brain isn’t wired to filter this mishmash of noise and as I read this book I am beginning to understand why.

Society would like us to believe that to be successful we all need to be team-oriented, loud and competitive, some of this I can do, but most of it leaves me cold. I loathe open plan offices and the constant ‘we must work as a team philosophy’. Some of us are simply more productive when left to our own devices in a quiet space. After years working in busy environments I can hold my own, but it is definitely not my natural working state and often leaves my soul drained.

I can lose a day in my drawing and painting, and manage to disconnect from much external interference. It is in these moments of immersion my best work emerges. It may have taken me half a lifetime to realise, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to work in the background, there are more than enough extraverts in the world to pick up the slack.

The further I read into this insightful book, the more I am learning to be content in my own skin.
I no longer beat myself up about not wanting to be up in the mix. The time and space I have to myself is helping me to become a stronger, more prolific artist.