And if you don’t relate to the above - well, that’s all the more reason for you to read the piece, which is largely about the hegemony exercised by extroverts over introverts.
Extroverts dominate social life, so they tend to set expectations. In our extrovertist society, being outgoing is considered normal and therefore desirable, a mark of happiness, confidence, leadership. Extroverts are seen as bighearted, vibrant, warm, empathetic. “People person” is a compliment. Introverts are described with words like “guarded”, “loner”, “reserved”, “taciturn”, “self-contained”, “private”— narrow, ungenerous words, words that suggest emotional parsimony and smallness of personality. Female introverts, I suspect, must suffer especially ... a man can still sometimes get away with being what they used to call a strong and silent type; introverted women, lacking that alternative, are even more likely than men to be perceived as timid, withdrawn, haughty.
There’s much in the piece that I can strongly identify with. I often feel stressed out when there are a number of social obligations to be met in the course of a single day, even if most of them are inherently pleasant: say, going for a movie at 12, then meeting a friend for coffee at 3, sitting with guests at home in the evening, and then going out for a party at 9. You get the idea: even if there’s adequate time between the engagements so that they can all be done without things getting too rushed, I’ll still be completely drained when the day is finally over -- and I probably won’t want to do anything the next day that requires too much effort.
I’m not completely sure about the distinction Rauch makes between being introverted and being shy (possibly because I’m both myself), but his point that being introverted isn’t the same as being misanthropic is a vital one. Shyness being mistaken for arrogance is something that commonly afflicts our species.
Read the full piece and also this interview with Rauch. (Warning: some of it is tongue-in-cheek so try not to get too put off by assertions about introverts being “more intelligent, more reflective, more independent, more level-headed, more refined, and more sensitive” than extroverts. Though, uh, I’d like to think most of that is true as well!)
P.S. Enjoyed this line: “Many actors are introverts, and many introverts, when socialising, feel like actors.”