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Is Being an Introvert Bittersweet? | Susan Cain

Is Being an Introvert Bittersweet? | Susan Cain

Society leads us to believe that you have to be extroverted to be successful. That’s just not the case. If you’re an introvert, you have just as much to offer the world as an extrovert. In fact, being introverted is a kind of superpower. Perhaps we can look at the ways of the introvert in order to learn how to deal with pain and grief in a more healthy, productive way.


Susan Cain is an introvert. How bittersweet.

As the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan herself is an introvert. The book obviously struck a nerve with introverts of the world because it spent seven years on The New York Times bestseller list. Her latest book, Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole, is about grief and sadness and how we should embrace those emotions instead of running from them. Susan has been named one of its Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, and LinkedIn has named her the 6th Top Influencer in the world. Not bad for an introvert!

I’m an introvert myself– which is why I’m always running back to nature after being surrounded by people. As Susan explains it, we all have an internal battery. While an extrovert gets their battery charged by social interaction, an introvert finds social interaction draining. Because of this, introverts usually need time alone to recharge and recoup after being overstimulated by the world. 

But if you’re an extrovert, don’t worry!

This conversation may have been between two introverts, but the main message was how we all need to understand ourselves better in order to understand others. In Susan’s latest book, she explores how grief and sadness can connect us. While writing the book, she was confronted with her own grief over her complicated relationship with her mother. Understanding those feelings, and how she, as an introvert, processed them, helped her gain closure and enjoy her present relationship with her mom.

I think the most important thing to grab from this fascinating episode, is that whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, it’s important to understand the strengths of others around you. We’re going to encounter both personality types in our everyday lives. So instead of focusing on our differences, we should instead learn how we can create positive environments for all. So introverts and extroverts of the world unite– and enjoy this powerful conversation.


[00:04:31] Introverts vs. Extroverts

[00:11:05] How to unleash the power of the introvert

[00:15:02] Creating space for self-awareness

[00:18:20] Are introverts just shy?

[00:22:03] Why grief and sadness connect us

[00:32:45] The impact of the “effortless perfection” concept

[00:36:08] Joy and sorrow are always paired

[00:40:22] Make your pain your creative offering


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1 Comment
  • Lisa Oarker
    Posted at 07:29h, 13 July

    I was doing an early morning trail walk to avoid the intense Texas heat and I turned on this podcast. I came home and ordered the book! So very insightful on today’s culture and just life in general and how we all interact. I totally loved it! Had a similar story with my own mom so I related to that too. What a beautiful way she described loss of one love can come back in another form.