big adoration for sensitive souls

I’ve got big adoration for sensitive souls. I carry it around, a pea-sized pearl ready to burst forth at any moment (but most often shining when I’m coaching and photographing). I recognized all of this when I started reading The Introvert Advantage and realized my heroes are all the fictitious maybe-introverts the author lists in her second chapter. Let me demonstrate:

Amelie? Love that girl. Cunning, quiet. Full of salacious secrets; privy to the inside worlds of her unsuspecting neighbors.

Vianne from Chocolat, a headstrong, nomadic seductress who dances with Johnny Depp to a strummed guitar and turns a prudish town upside-down. With chocolate.

The two heroes of Notting Hill, one a nerdy reader up and down; the other a starlet who likes her privacy. (I attempt to fashion my most relaxing days after their tea-drinking, bath-taking, script-reading ways.)

And Piglet. Sweet, pink and little. With halting speech, a look of surprise, and a tendency to gesture mildly with those teeny hands. Piglet, I could just squooosh you!

In real life, some of the folks I treasure most dearly are the sensitives and the inward-focused:

A friend who knows the ins and outs of every medicinal herb there is, plus its antidote and what they all look like.

One dearie who’s brilliant and talented as they come, and has been known to blush when looked at by too many people at once.

And also the friend who looks you straight in the eye when he’s talking to you, and thinks about things like spirituality in ways that you were positive couldn’t be done by someone so young. Right?

There’s a lot of talk in the self-development/business/networking world (or maybe just the world at large) about how to overcome your introversion. How to toughen your skin. How to smash your fear of public speaking. While I value many of the resources that are offered to introverts and sensitives, and have benefited from some of them, I also believe that quieter folks are charming for what we are. I feel that our culture could benefit from bending to the needs of introverts (instead of always being the other way around).

You who are reading this: I wouldn’t trade your softly-spoken words for forced loudness. And those of you who have a gift for listening instead of talking make a stunning contribution. People want and need to be deeply listened to, and your ability to offer that makes you special.

Also, I’m unsure how I’d operate if I didn’t have Notting Hill to watch on rainy days when I’m feeling snuggly. (See what I’m saying? Quiet folks are important. They create compelling feel-good cinema. The end.)

15 Responses to big adoration for sensitive souls

  1. Lori September 6, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    I <3 you Kylie. On this dreary day, your post made me wish I could snuggle up with feel good cinema. Being an introvert as well I can certainly relate and adore Amelie as well. I have yet to watch the other two films, but think I must soon.

    I am also excited to find the Introvert Advantage is available for the Kindle. I had not heard of it, but it sounds very interesting so I think I will be adding the book today.

    Hope your soul feels all warm, squishy and cozy today.

  2. Ariane September 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    So sweet Kylie; thank you for this. For years I’ve read books and taken classes on how to basically not be an introvert. Like it is something to be ashamed of. But it is so nice to learn that it something that should be embraced. It is so nice to connect w/ someone who shares the same feelings as me.

    Be well :)

  3. Louise September 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    Lovely post, as usual! As I prepare (and fret) about the upcoming school year, working with a decidedly extroverted teaching partner, I have been thinking a lot about how my introverted nature could help me be a great teacher. Good teaching is listening, they say…

  4. Christa September 6, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    Hiding inside my extroverted shell is a very shy, big time introvert. You make her feel much more welcome in the world, thanks very much.

  5. Kylie September 7, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Lori: I ♥ you back, sweet pea! I think you’d love both movies. Like, a LOT. I have the Chocolat DVD if you’d like to borrow it sometime. I think you’ll like the book, too. Parts of it will be less applicable to each individual, but you can easily skip to the areas you’re most interested in. It’s a great reference, I think.

    Ariane: In my opinion, introversion is something to consciously work with, instead of trying to squish or hide away. I work to develop some of the more extroverted qualities in myself, and I consistently work on learning where I simply must draw the line, and when.

    Louise: Definitely! Did you ever have teachers you suspected were introverts, whom you really appreciated? I’d be intrigued to know. I think that, personally, I tend to be drawn to people in teaching positions who are able to identify with having a rich inner world.

    Christa: Sending a cup of tea to your inner introvert.

  6. Tatiana September 11, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    This is awesome – I have the Introvert Advantage sitting on my vanity! I love that book. It’s the first – and so far – only book I’ve read that really digs into what it means to be an introvert. I liked it because it painted being an introvert as a multi-faceted experience, versus the simplistic approach that many people have in discussing being an introvert.

    I definitely feel like we’re living in a world that caters to Extraverts – so I’m happy to have discovered your blog! :D

  7. Lorinda September 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    Such a fabulous post for a fabulous book!

    Thanks for the sensitive introvert kudos. Us sensitive types love that kind of thing!

  8. Kylie September 13, 2011 at 12:30 am #

    Tatiana: In the past few years, several books have come out catering to introverts. This is the first one I’ve read, but if I find any others that are great, I’ll definitely report back.

    Lorinda: It’s the truth. We love a little love for our natures. ♡

  9. Elizabeth September 15, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    Another book to read, yay!

    I love Amelie. I also love (darn it, I am forgetting her name) the girl in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I love her best when she is sitting on the window sill playing the guitar and singing.

  10. Laura September 16, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Wonderful post Kylie, so happy to have discovered your blog AND to have met you this week.

    Re: teachers who were introverts: Havi! (I like that she outright said it or I might not have known:) Hmmm, one of my favorite dance teachers in Spain, Manuel Liñan, thought at first he didn’t like me…one of my favorite English teachers in high school, anyway there were more, but reflecting upon this it seems many of the introverted teachers don’t give off that “persona” in class, their teacher self takes over and kind of covers it up? You know? (Actually, that’s true for myself as a teacher)

  11. Kylie September 16, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Elizabeth: Audrey Hepburn, I think. It’s been sooo long since I watched that movie. Perhaps it needs to go into the queue. It’s fascinating how many maybe-possibly introverts you can find if you give it a good think.

    Laura: Eeeh! I feel so very lucky to have rallied with you. {Big Hiro sigh.} You’re right: there are sooo many teachers (and performers, too) who are introverts. It’s pretty amazing. Introverts make brilliant leaders. Like yourself. I truly can’t wait for my next Rally. Hopefully I’ll get to see your lovely face there again, too!

  12. Briana September 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Kylie, I just love this post, so beautifully written. And love those fictional introverts, too — Amelie! I need to go right home and watch that movie.

    love to you!

  13. Kylie September 19, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    Briana: Love back atcha, sweetie! I know — how fantastic is that movie? Sweet and wonderful and beautiful.

  14. Adriana September 20, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    When I was in my last office job, I tried so so so hard to be an extrovert. But since it wasn’t me, it always came out so…wrong. I’d ruin the punchline of jokes because I was nervous, and I’d forget people’s names because I was focusing on my firm handshake and winning smile. I’m glad there are people like you out there who accept and appreciate us introverts just as we are…:) Love you!

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