After learning that the dopamine pathway = extrovert, acetylcholine pathway = introvert connection came from a book called The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney (Psy.D), I wanted to read that book to see what other useful information I could get out of it.
Well, I finally got around to delving into it and right off the bat I’m going to say it’s probably the best mainstream resource available on the subject of introversion.
The issue with other resources aimed at introverts online and elsewhere is that most of them are stuck in the “let’s try to be extroverted” paradigm which is quite frankly, alienating. This is all too familiar to those of us who are introverted.
The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World
In her book, Mrs. Laney touches upon all of the arcane knowledge of introversion and touches upon a few things that Anarcho-Introvert has yet to scratch the surface on:
- Introversion is not a flaw
- Introversion is not necessarily shyness, anxiety or schizoid personality disorder
- The difference between introverts and extroverts
- How to manage time and energy as an introvert
- Tactfulness, damage control and other social etiquette for introverts
- Introvert/introvert, introvert/extrovert relationships
- The infamous neurochemical theory on the differences between introvert/extrovert
For one, The Introvert Advantage is unapologetic about introversion, explaining all of the strengths and weaknesses that come with this mental orientation, and without kowtowing to ideas of “how to be more extroverted” or promoting the thought that being introverted is inherently a bad thing that must be rectified or corrected.
In an extroverted world, introverts are measured up against the standards of extroverts, expected to be seeking new people and doing new things at a fast pace.
After all, extroverts are estimated to make up 75% of the population at most, and it makes sense that they would set “the standard.” Because of this, many people who don’t know they are introverted may feel that they’re slower or dumber than everyone else because they aren’t moving at the same pace, or that they must hate people or otherwise be deficient in some way for not being able to keep up socially; this is not so.
The Introvert Advantage stresses that introversion is a matter of mental orientation and pacing: the introvert appears slower to the extroverted world because introverts are preoccupied with treading the depths of their own mental waters, so to speak. The extrovert appears unconcerned with this stuff because their minds are externally-oriented and reactionary: they don’t feel the time or the need to introspect on their actions or environment.
This book is not without its flaws however. It doesn’t apologize for introversion, but also appears to be oriented around coping strategies and assuming the reader will do something constructive with them from there. The book also contains a few things about children and the workplace which some of us as single or unmarried men may not find useful.
Nevertheless, this book will be a fantastic read for anyone who wants more insight as to how the introverted mind works, and a few new ways of approaching everyday things we may not have thought of, including energy management and social interaction. I learned some new things from reading this book myself, and it was reaffirming to see a couple things in here that I learned the hard way.
If you’re interested, grab yourself a copy of The Introvert Advantage at Amazon.