Innie or Outie? Quiet: The Power of Introverts {Great Reads}

The Power of Introverts

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Or are you both? What’s the power of introverts?

I’ve always considered myself an extrovert. Those who know me would agree.

This post was originally published on March 25, 2014. See how it all played out…

Comparing two seemingly opposite personality sides

I strike up conversations in public. I strike up conversations with teenagers I’ve never met, on my campus, nearly every day.  They sometimes (okay, often!) look at me like I’m crazy, but usually chat back and end up with a big smile.  In my family, we call it the “Mary Lee Legacy,” after my dear grandmother who’s never met a stranger in her life. She taught me well.  🙂


All fit.

Other days, I don’t want to be bothered.


These fit, too.

So how does one align these two apparently opposite ends of the spectrum?  Camouflage.  Masquerade.  Dance of the Peacock. Call it what you will.

book cover for Quiet: The Power of Introverts a book about introverts and extroverts, by Susan Cain

According to Sara Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, many introverts often mask themselves (to some degree) as extroverts, in order to “fit” in a world that values extroverts’ contributions. Could this explain my over-the-top teaching, action-packed presenting, and talk-in-the-produce-section shopping?? Only if you combine those qualities with my deep wish to be left the hell alone, thank-you-very-much.

Or maybe I really am more extroverted, but have discovered my introverted side as I’ve aged? Mellowed, maybe? I don’t know about the ‘mellow’ part. I’m pretty passionate (what a great example of a euphemism!) about a lot of things… and not afraid to show it.  So what gives?

I’m not entirely sure, but what I do know is this: To be alone is to engage with my own thoughts. I like quiet time.  Lots of it!  My brain seems to go 24/7 and I need an outlet.

writing provides an outlet. reading, a catalyst.

2021: Seven and a half years later I’ve learned a lot about myself.

I no longer have innie/outie conflict. Thank goodness! That’s a lot o’ stress for one person! 😉

In fact, I’ve embraced it fully, now retired from public Education, working quietly from home, and growing a thriving small business. As a full-time business owner who writes, creates, teaches, and coaches online, as well as creates in my art studio and sells online, it seems I’ve not only embraced my “innie” characteristics, but am playing to them!

Check out this list compiled by of 12 low-cost business ideas for introverts. Interesting: Many of the ones I’ve chosen make the list (phew!)— a list I only discovered today.

See who else is an introvert (and not doing too badly)…

faces of billionaires who are introverts

faces of famous people who are also introverts

Sooo….. in 2021, I’m feeling okay about this whole ‘innie’ thing and while I have no desire to be a billionaire, it’s nice to know I’m in great introvert company! Would you have guessed these folks are introverts??

How about you: Innie? Outie? Masquerading?  Or, are you sure about who you are??  ….   How do you know?

And the book? Highly recommend. I’d read it again and recommend it often.