TED Conversations

Fran Ontanaya

Editor - Multilingual Publishing, Freelance


This conversation is closed.

Introversion: is it regarded as normal in your country/culture?

History offers a rather positive view of introverts: the lone explorers, the poets, the genius scientists, the artists, the philosophers, are often portraited as powered by the particular qualities of introspection. But the day to day social reality within their local tribe may be rather different. Introverts may be admired from afar, but depending on the culture, not so much in their neighborhood.

This is not a big deal except when new generations are raised with only one role model in mind, and this role being a good marketer or short term social achiever, while the value of reflection and self examination is underestimated --note: not of 'thinking' per se, as that's not equivalent to 'introversion'.

My question is, does your country and culture have a model of introverted behaviour that is perceived as a normal social identity? If that's the case, what do you think that differentiates how young people is raised in your country/culture, as opposed to those in which introversion is not considered a normal behaviour? And the most important question, what parts of that education and enviroment do you think that could be exported elsewhere?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 7 2013: Introversion to Extroversion is measured on a 1-7 scale with 1 being very Introverted and 7 being very Extroverted.
    6's and 7's are often thought to be good salesmen and marketeers. However the evidence is the opposite of this. The very Extroverted make very poor marketeers and salesmen (because they never shut up).
    Likewise the very Introverted make poor marketeers and salesmen (because they won't initiate a conversion)
    The best are the 3's , 4's, and 5's in the scale (the middle of the road) because they will listen to the customer, and rather than say "I can do this" like the Tony Robins of the world espouse, they say "How can I do this".
    This is a much more positive, goal seeking approach that wins out more often than any other.
    Introverted and Extroverted behavious is very normal but it is also a continuum with everyone showing some aspect of both behaviours. It is normal behaviour.
    I am in Canada, but I think the only part of the education system that should be exported elsewhere is pure common sense. As I have said elsewhere, common sense is so uncommon it should be considered a superpower.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.