Articles, Blog

The power of introverts | Susan Cain

August 24, 2019

When I was nine years old, I went off to summer camp
for the first time. And my mother packed me a suitcase
full of books, which to me seemed like
a perfectly natural thing to do. Because in my family,
reading was the primary group activity. And this might sound antisocial to you, but for us it was really just
a different way of being social. You have the animal warmth of your family
sitting right next to you, but you are also free to go
roaming around the adventureland inside your own mind. And I had this idea that camp was going to be
just like this, but better. (Laughter) I had a vision of 10 girls
sitting in a cabin cozily reading books
in their matching nightgowns. (Laughter) Camp was more like a keg party
without any alcohol. And on the very first day, our counselor gathered us all together and she taught us a cheer
that she said we would be doing every day for the rest of the summer
to instill camp spirit. And it went like this: “R-O-W-D-I-E, that’s the way we spell rowdie. Rowdie, rowdie, let’s get rowdie.” (Laughter) Yeah. So I couldn’t figure out
for the life of me why we were supposed to be so rowdy, or why we had to spell
this word incorrectly. (Laughter) But I recited a cheer. I recited
a cheer along with everybody else. I did my best. And I just waited for the time
that I could go off and read my books. But the first time that I took
my book out of my suitcase, the coolest girl in the bunk came up to me and she asked me, “Why
are you being so mellow?” — mellow, of course,
being the exact opposite of R-O-W-D-I-E. And then the second time I tried it, the counselor came up to me
with a concerned expression on her face and she repeated the point
about camp spirit and said we should all work very hard
to be outgoing. And so I put my books away, back in their suitcase, and I put them under my bed, and there they stayed
for the rest of the summer. And I felt kind of guilty about this. I felt as if the books needed me somehow, and they were calling out to me
and I was forsaking them. But I did forsake them
and I didn’t open that suitcase again until I was back home with my family
at the end of the summer. Now, I tell you this story
about summer camp. I could have told you
50 others just like it — all the times that I got the message that somehow my quiet
and introverted style of being was not necessarily the right way to go, that I should be trying to pass
as more of an extrovert. And I always sensed deep down
that this was wrong and that introverts were
pretty excellent just as they were. But for years I denied this intuition, and so I became a Wall Street
lawyer, of all things, instead of the writer
that I had always longed to be — partly because I needed to prove to myself
that I could be bold and assertive too. And I was always going off to crowded bars when I really would have preferred
to just have a nice dinner with friends. And I made these
self-negating choices so reflexively, that I wasn’t even aware
that I was making them. Now this is what many introverts do, and it’s our loss for sure, but it is also our colleagues’ loss and our communities’ loss. And at the risk of sounding grandiose,
it is the world’s loss. Because when it comes
to creativity and to leadership, we need introverts doing
what they do best. A third to a half of the population
are introverts — a third to a half. So that’s one out of every two
or three people you know. So even if you’re an extrovert yourself, I’m talking about your coworkers and your spouses and your children and the person sitting
next to you right now — all of them subject to this bias that is pretty deep
and real in our society. We all internalize it
from a very early age without even having a language
for what we’re doing. Now, to see the bias clearly, you need to understand
what introversion is. It’s different from being shy. Shyness is about fear of social judgment. Introversion is more about, how do you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation. So extroverts really crave
large amounts of stimulation, whereas introverts feel
at their most alive and their most switched-on
and their most capable when they’re in quieter,
more low-key environments. Not all the time —
these things aren’t absolute — but a lot of the time. So the key then to maximizing our talents is for us all to put ourselves in the zone of stimulation
that is right for us. But now here’s where the bias comes in. Our most important institutions, our schools and our workplaces, they are designed mostly for extroverts and for extroverts’ need
for lots of stimulation. And also we have
this belief system right now that I call the new groupthink, which holds that all creativity
and all productivity comes from a very oddly gregarious place. So if you picture the typical
classroom nowadays: When I was going to school,
we sat in rows. We sat in rows of desks like this, and we did most of our work
pretty autonomously. But nowadays, your typical classroom
has pods of desks — four or five or six or seven kids
all facing each other. And kids are working
in countless group assignments. Even in subjects like math
and creative writing, which you think would depend
on solo flights of thought, kids are now expected to act
as committee members. And for the kids who prefer to go off
by themselves or just to work alone, those kids are seen as outliers often or, worse, as problem cases. And the vast majority of teachers reports believing that
the ideal student is an extrovert as opposed to an introvert, even though introverts
actually get better grades and are more knowledgeable, according to research. (Laughter) Okay, same thing is true
in our workplaces. Now, most of us work in open plan offices, without walls, where we are subject to the constant
noise and gaze of our coworkers. And when it comes to leadership, introverts are routinely passed over
for leadership positions, even though introverts
tend to be very careful, much less likely to take outsize risks — which is something
we might all favor nowadays. And interesting research
by Adam Grant at the Wharton School has found that introverted leaders often deliver better outcomes
than extroverts do, because when they are managing
proactive employees, they’re much more likely to let
those employees run with their ideas, whereas an extrovert
can, quite unwittingly, get so excited about things that they’re putting
their own stamp on things, and other people’s ideas might not
as easily then bubble up to the surface. Now in fact, some of our transformative
leaders in history have been introverts. I’ll give you some examples. Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Gandhi — all these people described themselves
as quiet and soft-spoken and even shy. And they all took the spotlight, even though every bone in their bodies
was telling them not to. And this turns out to have
a special power all its own, because people could feel
that these leaders were at the helm not because they enjoyed directing others and not out of the pleasure
of being looked at; they were there
because they had no choice, because they were driven to do
what they thought was right. Now I think at this point
it’s important for me to say that I actually love extroverts. I always like to say some of my best
friends are extroverts, including my beloved husband. And we all fall
at different points, of course, along the introvert/extrovert spectrum. Even Carl Jung, the psychologist
who first popularized these terms, said that there’s no such thing
as a pure introvert or a pure extrovert. He said that such a man
would be in a lunatic asylum, if he existed at all. And some people fall smack in the middle
of the introvert/extrovert spectrum, and we call these people ambiverts. And I often think that they have
the best of all worlds. But many of us do recognize
ourselves as one type or the other. And what I’m saying is that culturally,
we need a much better balance. We need more of a yin and yang
between these two types. This is especially important when it comes to creativity
and to productivity, because when psychologists look
at the lives of the most creative people, what they find are people who are very good
at exchanging ideas and advancing ideas, but who also have a serious
streak of introversion in them. And this is because solitude is a crucial ingredient
often to creativity. So Darwin, he took long walks alone in the woods and emphatically turned down
dinner-party invitations. Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, he dreamed up many
of his amazing creations in a lonely bell tower office that he had in the back of his house
in La Jolla, California. And he was actually afraid to meet
the young children who read his books for fear that they were expecting him
this kind of jolly Santa Claus-like figure and would be disappointed
with his more reserved persona. Steve Wozniak invented
the first Apple computer sitting alone in his cubicle
in Hewlett-Packard where he was working at the time. And he says that he never would have
become such an expert in the first place had he not been too introverted
to leave the house when he was growing up. Now, of course, this does not mean that we should
all stop collaborating — and case in point, is Steve Wozniak
famously coming together with Steve Jobs to start Apple Computer — but it does mean that solitude matters and that for some people
it is the air that they breathe. And in fact, we have known for centuries
about the transcendent power of solitude. It’s only recently that
we’ve strangely begun to forget it. If you look at most
of the world’s major religions, you will find seekers — Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad — seekers who are going off by themselves
alone to the wilderness, where they then have profound
epiphanies and revelations that they then bring back
to the rest of the community. So, no wilderness, no revelations. This is no surprise, though, if you look at the insights
of contemporary psychology. It turns out that we can’t
even be in a group of people without instinctively mirroring,
mimicking their opinions. Even about seemingly
personal and visceral things like who you’re attracted to, you will start aping the beliefs
of the people around you without even realizing
that that’s what you’re doing. And groups famously follow the opinions of the most dominant
or charismatic person in the room, even though there’s zero correlation between being the best talker
and having the best ideas — I mean zero. So — (Laughter) You might be following the person
with the best ideas, but you might not. And do you really want
to leave it up to chance? Much better for everybody
to go off by themselves, generate their own ideas freed from the distortions
of group dynamics, and then come together as a team to talk them through
in a well-managed environment and take it from there. Now if all this is true, then why are we getting it so wrong? Why are we setting up our schools
this way, and our workplaces? And why are we making
these introverts feel so guilty about wanting to just go off
by themselves some of the time? One answer lies deep
in our cultural history. Western societies, and in particular the U.S., have always favored the man of action
over the “man” of contemplation. But in America’s early days, we lived in what historians
call a culture of character, where we still,
at that point, valued people for their inner selves
and their moral rectitude. And if you look at the self-help
books from this era, they all had titles with things like “Character, the Grandest
Thing in the World.” And they featured role models
like Abraham Lincoln, who was praised for being
modest and unassuming. Ralph Waldo Emerson called him “A man who does not
offend by superiority.” But then we hit the 20th century, and we entered a new culture that historians call
the culture of personality. What happened is we had evolved
an agricultural economy to a world of big business. And so suddenly people are moving
from small towns to the cities. And instead of working alongside people
they’ve known all their lives, now they are having to prove themselves
in a crowd of strangers. So, quite understandably, qualities like magnetism and charisma
suddenly come to seem really important. And sure enough, the self-help books
change to meet these new needs and they start to have names like “How to Win Friends
and Influence People.” And they feature as their role models
really great salesmen. So that’s the world we’re living in today. That’s our cultural inheritance. Now none of this is to say
that social skills are unimportant, and I’m also not calling
for the abolishing of teamwork at all. The same religions who send their sages
off to lonely mountain tops also teach us love and trust. And the problems that we are facing today in fields like science and in economics are so vast and so complex that we are going to need armies
of people coming together to solve them working together. But I am saying that the more freedom
that we give introverts to be themselves, the more likely that they are to come up with their own unique
solutions to these problems. So now I’d like to share with you
what’s in my suitcase today. Guess what? Books. I have a suitcase full of books. Here’s Margaret Atwood, “Cat’s Eye.” Here’s a novel by Milan Kundera. And here’s “The Guide for the Perplexed”
by Maimonides. But these are not exactly my books. I brought these books with me because they were written
by my grandfather’s favorite authors. My grandfather was a rabbi and he was a widower who lived alone in a small
apartment in Brooklyn that was my favorite place
in the world when I was growing up, partly because it was filled with
his very gentle, very courtly presence and partly because
it was filled with books. I mean literally every table,
every chair in this apartment had yielded its original function to now serve as a surface
for swaying stacks of books. Just like the rest of my family, my grandfather’s favorite thing to do
in the whole world was to read. But he also loved his congregation, and you could feel this love
in the sermons that he gave every week for the 62 years
that he was a rabbi. He would takes the fruits
of each week’s reading and he would weave these intricate tapestries
of ancient and humanist thought. And people would come from all over
to hear him speak. But here’s the thing about my grandfather. Underneath this ceremonial role, he was really modest
and really introverted — so much so that when
he delivered these sermons, he had trouble making eye contact with the very same congregation
that he had been speaking to for 62 years. And even away from the podium, when you called him to say hello, he would often end
the conversation prematurely for fear that he was taking up
too much of your time. But when he died at the age of 94, the police had to close down
the streets of his neighborhood to accommodate the crowd of people
who came out to mourn him. And so these days I try to learn
from my grandfather’s example in my own way. So I just published a book
about introversion, and it took me about seven years to write. And for me, that seven years
was like total bliss, because I was reading, I was writing, I was thinking, I was researching. It was my version of my grandfather’s hours
of the day alone in his library. But now all of a sudden
my job is very different, and my job is to be
out here talking about it, talking about introversion. (Laughter) And that’s a lot harder for me, because as honored as I am
to be here with all of you right now, this is not my natural milieu. So I prepared for moments
like these as best I could. I spent the last year
practicing public speaking every chance I could get. And I call this my “year
of speaking dangerously.” (Laughter) And that actually helped a lot. But I’ll tell you, what helps even more is my sense, my belief, my hope
that when it comes to our attitudes to introversion and to quiet
and to solitude, we truly are poised on the brink
on dramatic change. I mean, we are. And so I am going to leave you now with three calls for action
for those who share this vision. Number one: Stop the madness for constant group work. Just stop it. (Laughter) Thank you. (Applause) And I want to be clear
about what I’m saying, because I deeply believe our offices should be encouraging casual, chatty
cafe-style types of interactions — you know, the kind
where people come together and serendipitously have
an exchange of ideas. That is great. It’s great for introverts
and it’s great for extroverts. But we need much more privacy
and much more freedom and much more autonomy at work. School, same thing. We need to be teaching kids
to work together, for sure, but we also need to be teaching them
how to work on their own. This is especially important
for extroverted children too. They need to work on their own because that is where deep thought
comes from in part. Okay, number two: Go to the wilderness. Be like Buddha, have your own revelations. I’m not saying that we all have to now go off and build
our own cabins in the woods and never talk to each other again, but I am saying that we could
all stand to unplug and get inside our own heads
a little more often. Number three: Take a good look
at what’s inside your own suitcase and why you put it there. So extroverts, maybe your suitcases
are also full of books. Or maybe they’re full of champagne glasses
or skydiving equipment. Whatever it is, I hope you take
these things out every chance you get and grace us with your energy
and your joy. But introverts, you being you, you probably have the impulse
to guard very carefully what’s inside your own suitcase. And that’s okay. But occasionally, just occasionally, I hope you will open up your suitcases
for other people to see, because the world needs you and it
needs the things you carry. So I wish you the best
of all possible journeys and the courage to speak softly. Thank you very much. (Applause) Thank you. Thank you. (Applause)

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  • Reply SonaliD August 9, 2019 at 4:28 am

    A lot of people here are mistaking antisocial with introvert-ism. It is not the same thing.

  • Reply krakonošzkrkonoš August 9, 2019 at 4:30 am

    Omg Why is she speaking so fast. I cant even read subtitles.

  • Reply Anna G August 9, 2019 at 6:38 am

    I'm quiet cause I have 1058392074291038 thoughts going on at once lol

  • Reply camerahammer woody August 9, 2019 at 9:55 am

    One of the very best videos I have watched on YouTube. Thank you.

  • Reply Virtual Buick August 9, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    There is no " I " in " TEAM ",..henceforth lies the problem.

  • Reply Chillu August 10, 2019 at 2:15 am

    clicks for confirmation bias..

  • Reply big fan or darth August 10, 2019 at 7:38 am

    this vid is a circle-jerk

  • Reply kevin jones August 10, 2019 at 7:58 am

    2.4k extroverts disliked this video

  • Reply jdragon jds August 10, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Gandhi was a moron and did nothing for india

  • Reply TheBlockBreakers August 10, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Yeah, I'm a strong introvert; my idea of a decent afternoon is one with a videogame or book. Despite this, after working at Maccas (Macdonald's) part-time in the dining room, talking to 100s of customers every shift, I have still been promoted to one of the heads of the dining area. Introverts absolutely have the capacity to do well in busy circumstances, and in communicating for long periods of time, but yeah, not preferable.

    I know I'm mirroring part of Cain's message, but I thought another comment would be nice 😀

  • Reply Movie matics August 10, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    I'm guessing all the dislikes are from extroverts lol

  • Reply THE FUTURE YOUTUBER August 10, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    A man becomes introvert when he is married 😝😝😝😂😂

  • Reply Natalie T. August 10, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    2.4k butthurt extroverts disliked this video.

  • Reply M Romero August 10, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    I've yet to have a deep conversation with someone and that makes me sad.

  • Reply Loza Loza August 10, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    My extrovert low key extra narcissistic husband is eating my poor introvert soul alive. I am just tired. Lost all my creativity. I crave alone time but he’s just so needy and takes up too much of my vital space. I am in mental pain right now. I feel like all I have left to do is part ways with him

  • Reply Surux Strawde August 11, 2019 at 7:52 am

    Not sure if it's that i'm introverted or just not lonely cause I love being alone sometimes, never get lonely- just bored.

    I suppose i'll watch more to get my answer.

    (after-) I seem to be a slightly introverted and very stable ambivert, but my parents are both introverted so i'm not used to being out all the time, yet it doesn't stress me out like it does them when it happens. I'm also much more calm than both of them if that's related any.

  • Reply Nhật Trọng August 11, 2019 at 8:23 am

    19m…hmm too short for her

  • Reply Freaty the Dreary August 11, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    I want this lady to be my mom

  • Reply Anonymous Last name August 11, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    I’m an introvert

  • Reply Kounong Lor August 11, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    Why she wearing a hmong necklace. Don't tell me a hmong guy put a ring on it…

  • Reply Lore Restful August 11, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    When you don't even know if you're an introvert or extrovert

  • Reply Robby Genschel August 11, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    The talk that starts at 15:50 when she starts talking about how unusual and uncomfortable it is for her to speak in front of so many people is something I always wanted to do in school after presentations. It feels so good to hear someone say that in front of so many people

  • Reply Hannah Ahmed August 12, 2019 at 12:54 am

    In ny school project you acn do it with a a group or alone its your choice and we sit in a raw two desks next to each ather

  • Reply Random Fandom August 12, 2019 at 3:21 am

    am i the only introvert that doesn't read?

  • Reply Nicole Holland August 12, 2019 at 3:54 am

    "Extroverts are the ideal students"

  • Reply Soviet Spy August 12, 2019 at 5:21 am

    I’m an ambivert with my extremely small friend group two or three but now that I’m at a new school I don’t know whether I’ll I’ll still be one and just go full introvert because I’m 2/5 extrovert and 3/5 introvert. And I socialize most while in class (with teacher) because I need good grades.
    Edit discovered new term: Social introvert I can socialize but I need to recharge by being alone.

  • Reply Risky Biskets August 12, 2019 at 5:51 am

    People have the wrong image of introverts, and this really annoys me being a very introverted person myself. When people think of introverts, they think of a person who sits by themselves all day in their room reading books, talking to absolutely no one and having no fun. While a lot of introverted people read books in their rooms, not all introverts are like that. People need to understand that being an introvert can be a lot of different things, I mean, I really don’t like reading, and I get really annoyed when people get shocked when I tell them that I am introverted and I don’t like reading. People stereotype introverted people and it really annoys me, which is one reason that I never tell people that I’m introverted, because if I do, they automatically think that I am some person who doesn’t know how to talk to people, absolutely hates social interaction, and just sits in my room all day doing “nothing fun.” If you think that all introverted people are like this, than please know that not all introverted people are just boring people who don’t like to talk to anyone, because if you really take the time to get to know an introvert, than you might be surprised to know that they can be really good friends, good people, and they can actually be really fun people to be around.

    And I want to make it clear that if you are an introvert, and you like to read books and sit in your room, I have absolutely nothing against you, in fact, if you are like this, you are probably a better person than most people in this world, I’m just using that as an example because people think ALL introverts are like that, and that’s what annoys me, because pretty much every single introverted friend I have, including me, doesn’t like reading that much.

    I’m surprised if you made it this far, if you actually read the whole thing, thanks I guess? It had to be long if I wanted to share everything I wanted to share.

  • Reply master koala August 12, 2019 at 6:50 am

    i'm not an introvert, kinda, i'm like the most introverted of all extroverts. but people seem to think i am since i don't talk to them a lot and it's like, i don't like you, that's all. you don't make me feel comfortable. i'm loud and talkative around people i like, most of the time. and sometimes, that's the case for introverts. they're comfortable around people they like. idk why i wrote this actually.

  • Reply Crocoshark August 12, 2019 at 7:35 am

    So is the culture of personality partly the reason we haven't had a Washington or a Lincoln in a long time?

  • Reply Jclass August 12, 2019 at 8:44 am

    I’ll never understand people who go to school and just talk for the whole hour each hour just constantly

  • Reply Faustin Gashakamba August 12, 2019 at 10:52 am

    What's a unicorn?
    an introvert lawyer!

  • Reply AnifleX August 12, 2019 at 11:13 am

    I just can't find things to talk about.
    And it is pretty weird to talk about things u already know about.

  • Reply CreativeUsernameEh August 12, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Introverts, remember when we were stuck in a group, and had to work at the same pace as the dumbest kid or (more often) the slacker who doesn’t care? And then we’d get scolded for getting ahead of the other kids? Ugh. School was the worst.

  • Reply Mario Wong August 12, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    I love this lady

  • Reply Rachel Johnstone August 13, 2019 at 1:49 am

    I distinctly remember my first experience discovering that my introverted nature wasn't considered okay.
    I was sitting at school during break, crossed legged on the bench at the end of I block just feeling the sun on my skin, and watching people, play sports, walk around listening the orchestra practicing on the other side of the wall. And a girl I didnt know came and sat next to me. And said "I noticed you were upset". Eventually getting to know her and her at the time not knowing I am an introvert I know she did mean anything harmful by her actions but it took a long time for me to reconcile who I was with the societal expectation. I still struggle with it almost a decade later.

  • Reply Ronnie Wood August 13, 2019 at 3:38 am

    I am a Introvert, One of the most frustrating things about People to Me. Is the fact that they don't want to understand my needs, Or just don't care about them. I need My space and privacy, I need My alone time. Great video!

  • Reply mea my August 13, 2019 at 4:48 am

    It amazed me how people can easily converse with each other as if they knew each other for long time when in fact that was their first time meeting each other. I don't even have the idea on how to start a conversation with other people especially stranger, i barely talk to my family, because i really have no idea on what to talk about. My former teacher always complain to my mother about how quiet i was in the class. People always told me to talk more. My friends tease me for having no feelings, i do have feelings actually, everyone does.

  • Reply Pinecone uwu August 13, 2019 at 7:19 am

    so when I was in primary school (elementary), I had the same teacher three times. She watched me grow. I first joined her class at the age of 8, she would give me my reports and they would have advice like: "participate more in class" "put your hand up". she did that for me until I came into year 6. The last report she gave me, she didn't put that on there and I asked her why. she said
    "Some just are the way they are, if you don't feel the need to participate on the carpet, then you don't need to. And its wrong to force someone to do something that isn't in their nature. besides, you have a beautiful imagination that has no reason to be forced out." She will always be my favourite teacher. She is the kindest ever and tries so hard to understand all her students. the world needs more teachers…no…people like this, that can understand that everyone is different and unique and just because you don't talk too much doesn't mean you don't have potential.

  • Reply Gloomy Mae Glow August 13, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Why do introverts do the work in a a group anyway?!…. A group is called a group because they work together and not individually… Every time that our teacher makes a group work everyone wanted me to be the leader and it's not even amazing ( for some extroverts and narcissists it is better that way) they wanted me to do all the work they wanted me to make everything they wanted me to create the package…. In other words they wanted me to MAKE THEIR GRADES….. So I'd rather make it myself BUT not for their grades but for my future as well

  • Reply Vertutame August 13, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    I noticed something about introvert, they tend to use a word I don't know of lol.

  • Reply Vertutame August 13, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    I often walked out of class when I was a child, I don't like being in a room full with people. back then I was the best in my school about math so people think I would do better in highschool but nope.
    I went alone, drawing alone and now I'm working in my room alone lol. Some people asked me if I'm lonely at all.
    Sometime, not that often. We have internet so I can talk whenever I want, we have like millions of people waiting to read and interacting with other 24 hours a day.
    I think it's great place to be to the point I feel like I'm turning in to anti-social.
    It's not like I don't like talking to other but I prefer it to be small group when I can clearly explain thing so we don't have misunderstanding because I believe that the more people listening, they more of misunderstanding and that's reason I hate writing.

  • Reply noaeyal August 14, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    People usually assume that we're shy when the truth is,
    sometimes we choose to be quiet because we feel more comfortable that way. It's not always a default for us, introverts.

  • Reply LindaKatharina August 14, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    When I was little my mom wanted to arrange play dates for me but I always told her that I’d rather play on my own 🤷🏽‍♀️ this was when I was like 5 .. I learned to force myself to be social and in some situations I can be really good at getting to know new people but it really drains me. It’s hard when people around you don’t give you space and this you’re boring because you need some time alone..

  • Reply DarK LinK August 15, 2019 at 12:38 am

    I am an ambivert. I love being outgoing with friends and being myself and I like making new friends. I recharge by reading or playing videogames with a small group

  • Reply OSMON August 15, 2019 at 1:34 am


  • Reply Voranart Sirisubsoontorn August 15, 2019 at 1:53 am

    Being extrovert who must accept being introvert because being in a society that reject extrovert Is the worse situation to me haha.

  • Reply RelativeObjectivity August 15, 2019 at 10:41 am

    Group centrism is the undoing of civil human society. It is fascist. Cooperation of extroverts and introverts. Cooperation of men and women. Cooperation of the races. This what they fear.

  • Reply Inaa Isaa August 15, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    I've never thought about being introverted, I just thought that I am different and I was conscious that there are people like this, people like me. But nowadays our society and education tend to oppress introverted people. Why? Why putting me in groups and then say u didn't really work as a group? Why putting me a label and then say you don't correspond to this? Why putting me in a box where I don't fit. Just let me, let us. Because we are different doesn't mean that we are wrong!
    Really nice speech!

  • Reply Caleb Vidic August 15, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    The real strength of an introvert comes out when they accept they are the strongest version of themselves as they are. Relying on extroverts to "bolster" our abilities and empower us is not going to happen. Extroverts naturally try to control their social environment and telling an introvert to talk more or open up is a form of that control. Here's a tip next time an extrovert says something like that simply say to them "this is the way I am" with a slight smile. I guarantee that person is going to shift their attention to you big time.

  • Reply Ethan Cryder August 15, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    As an extrovert, this video has been highly informative, but the comments by the introverts here are quite judgmental of extroverts as well lol. Like for example, in group projects I always did my work, and I don’t talk just to talk, it’s always for a purpose, whether to build relationally with somebody, or to enjoy some R & R with someone. That being said, I think both extroverts and introverts are misunderstood by both parties just simply because of who we are on this spectrum lol

  • Reply Elisa Shay August 16, 2019 at 8:07 am

    my boss almost didnt pass my evaluation because i was too introverted😂😂😂

  • Reply Kevin Thompson August 16, 2019 at 8:54 am

    "The best of all journeys and the courage to speak softly"… from an extroverted introvert… thank you for this.

  • Reply Harsh Raj Always free August 16, 2019 at 9:35 am

    sexy cringe

  • Reply Harsh Raj Always free August 16, 2019 at 9:37 am

    this is straight up bullcrap

  • Reply 泉よるこ August 16, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    I'm crying.

  • Reply Tatsujiro Kurogane August 16, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    I have been watching The Onion Talks a lot lately and now I am being bombarded with this vapid, middling class hugfest TED schlock. Curse you, Youtube algorithm

  • Reply Justin 993 August 16, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Alone but not lonely

  • Reply Clea Ferguson August 17, 2019 at 5:45 am

    Susan, thank you.

  • Reply joey kopp August 17, 2019 at 8:26 am

    Half of the world are introverts, but because of their influence, 90% of society are extroverts, meaning society pressures more extroversion out of people which stifles, worries, and do some serious damage to that other half of the world, the introverts

  • Reply Baiju Damodaran August 17, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Introversion is not a fricking crime. Personally I've found introverts to be a lot more interesting. Not that extroverts are stupid.

  • Reply VIKASH PANDEY August 17, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Those who disliked it are extrovert ! 😂😂

  • Reply TheTexasViper August 17, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    She's RIGHT ON! Culture of personality elected Obama and Trump…their character was put on the back burners.

  • Reply Paul Bryan August 18, 2019 at 2:38 am

    We had an activity to write your impression of your classmates

    well I got Loner, loner, loner, loner, loner, loner, loner, loner, loner, loner ,loner

  • Reply Alyssa Shoemaker August 18, 2019 at 3:07 am

    Why do you sound and act exactly like phoebe from Friends 🤣

  • Reply Tatyana Nikolova August 18, 2019 at 5:13 am

    Can I join your family? I'd love to just sit around people and read

  • Reply Dapur Indonesia di Florida August 18, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Now i am confuse i am introvert or frugal😐

  • Reply Dev Unhelkar August 18, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    Anime = Best session for introvert.

  • Reply night slash39 August 18, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    I’ve always heard the typical, “why is he so quiet” etc.

    I used to talk a lot as a kid but why always shy as well, the more I grew up I spent a lot of time thinking thinking and still thinking to this day, I’ve always been a quiet guy and don’t really feel bothered by it I love my peace and quiet but most people I know say they can’t handle that they’d go crazy not talking with anyone for a while or just being silent for long periods of time and I own my individuality now.

  • Reply Claudia Aquino August 19, 2019 at 12:24 am

    I am a introvert!
    I love this!

  • Reply William Pollard August 19, 2019 at 3:04 am


  • Reply Son T.i. August 19, 2019 at 8:19 am

    I love her words

  • Reply Jael M Z August 19, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    I was forced to be an extrovert lol when I was a child I used to love reading and playing with dolls on my own (or with my mum exclusively), but both my parents are extremely extroverted: loud, lots of friends and charismatic af. As I grew up, I became more and more like them. Now at the end she says to have the courage to speak more softly, I swear to God I don't know how

  • Reply Miku Kyut August 19, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    My math teacher gives highest marks to the people who pass to the board and do the exercises. For me, an introvert, is so unfair. I don't like to participate because I'm afraid of making mistakes and people laughing at me or thinking I'm stupid..

  • Reply Coleman Adamson August 20, 2019 at 12:07 am

    Moses and Jesus were/are a man whom God talked with and instructed and God's only begotten (of woman) Son. "Ms." Cain steps over the line with her concept that this man and this God/man can in any way be grouped with puny men.

  • Reply Marhek August 20, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    I tried to write a quote about introvert..but didn’t get an idea

  • Reply Deus Mortis August 20, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    It's hard being with a group of creative introverts if you yourself is also that… And leading the charge…

  • Reply R2D2 from Star Trek August 21, 2019 at 1:52 am

    3:54 looks around


  • Reply Terrie Johnston August 21, 2019 at 2:26 am

    FANTASTIC EXPRESSION OF INTROVERSION. QUIET. SOLITUDE. AS AN ARTIST…READER…[email protected] BREATHE. SOLITUDE. Extroverts. Introverts. We need each other…like the Ocean needs the Shore. Period. Great Ted Talk…Sister

  • Reply Ancient Laws August 21, 2019 at 2:44 am

    She's like pheobe from friends!

  • Reply shawn mendrek August 21, 2019 at 6:00 am

    Good ted talk. She obviously knows what she is talking about and is sure to make changes in the future.

  • Reply Raeesah Kara August 21, 2019 at 12:42 pm


  • Reply koningkont August 21, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    There's a gun in my suitcase.

  • Reply Desiree Silveira August 22, 2019 at 4:58 am

    Now I know the underlying reason for my need to have a glass or two of alcohol when I go for social events.

  • Reply xx x August 22, 2019 at 10:27 am


  • Reply Peter Parker August 22, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    I do think that social interaction is very important as it upholds and creates communities, but only if you enjoy it. If not the community is probably going to be unhealthy

    Also, I think most introverts are actually fairly comfortable with one on one interactions, I myself just don't large noisy groups (nobody listens to each other)

  • Reply Peter Parker August 22, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    I think one of the more important points she made was that not all interactions are hated by introverts. I really like having quiet conversations with my friends, for example, but don't get anything from bigger de-personalised and disrespectful group interactions (mostly because I'm usually far too quiet to be heard!)

  • Reply ROHIT JOSHI August 22, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    Does she look like Phoebe Buffay? I think so.

  • Reply gerry morgan August 22, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    Speak softly and carry a big stick, just in case..Some of those extroverts see introverts as the next meal ticket.

  • Reply Ava Hendrix August 23, 2019 at 12:51 am

    its 2:03 am

  • Reply Anne Torres August 23, 2019 at 1:36 am

    I read her book; it was really good! Being an introvert in Extrovert America (or the west in general) is definitely challenging. Not all introverts are shy, antisocial, in fact I'm quite bold and outspoken, I just require a ton of alone time to recharge. And group work sucks. The bane of my existence.

  • Reply Adam Ahmed August 23, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Introverts quietly run the country, extroverts just keep popping up every where in media, news, hoardings, radio and everywhere they could get. Finally they just bring down the economy…

  • Reply chris kazakoff August 23, 2019 at 7:15 am

    You know things are serious when the introverts show up

  • Reply Adam Ahmed August 23, 2019 at 7:18 am

    Finally I got to know I am normal, its problem with people that they do not like if I do not be the way they want.. I was ditched for so many years thinking I was crazy or something

  • Reply J.M. Landwermeyer August 23, 2019 at 7:50 am

    While I can only give this video one thumb up, it deserves much more, so I'm also giving it *****! Of all the TED videos I've watched, this by far is the best. So much of it resonated with me. Thank you for sharing your story. Being a fellow introvert, I know that wasn't the easiest thing for you to do. Thank you.

  • Reply PHΞdя૯il August 23, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Group projects.
    You do the work, they celebrate.

  • Reply Lucía Piano August 23, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    I always get emotional at the last second of this video. It feels like having a number of introverts stand and clap with me. LET'S HAVE THE COURAGE TO SPEAK SOFTLY!!

  • Reply Sooki Yakima August 23, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    back here in 2019 with donald j trump. girl was a prophet. man of personality for sure.

  • Reply ICE-T LIEK OG August 23, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    i felt this. philippines' senior high school system is just weeks full of group tasks/works like in the one mentioned by the speaker – creative writing – i never got it; writing is a about space, privacy and reflection, so personal that it gets kind of "meh" when it's done by group. and as well as, art projects, i have so much dilemma about this bc personally, it frustrates me to no end when you're more than two in a group but end up doing the work alone due to ideas clashing or simply some don't give a fck anymore. i honestly had to take some meds for my head splitting migraine when we did a project with more than 10 people crowding everywhere in a small space and i just wanted to have relish some creative outlet but due to too many overwhelming energy, it just made my head spin and i never wanted to experience that again but i guess luck was never in my side. my teachers even kept reminding us that shs is about engaging and group work is the key but it just tires me to no end, i hope school administrations look onto this issue and make some changes for the better because introversion is real and practicing self work is OKAY too.

  • Reply Jesus Landeros. August 24, 2019 at 4:37 am

    I wasn't gonna watch the thing but that Phoebe-like voice caught me.

  • Reply fatima adreeta August 24, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    It is a beautiful video. How she ended the video gave me goosebumps 💚❣️

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