One mistake a lot of us make is that we see these two different personality types as complete opposites. It’s actually worth remembering that we’re all on a spectrum. So you might have either extroverted or introverted behaviors depending on the context and the situation. But we’re still more likely to be on one end of the spectrum than the other.
So one thing we should clear up right from the beginning is that a lot of the information you might find about this topic will have more to do with “pop psychology” than peer-reviewed scientific studies. It’s been a long time since Carl Jung coined the terms “interversion-extroversion” in his book, Psychological Types. It actually wasn’t even so long again that this interest in introverted personality picked up again. It started in the 2000s.
That was when there was neuropsychological research starting to happen that tried to explain how introverted brains process information. It’s also the same golden era when books like “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” by Susan Cain, came out. And little by little, we saw the beginnings of an all new science about introverted personality.
It’s also worth pointing out that nowadays the untrustworthy and highly researched facts get mixed up. We’re not bring that up for no reason. It’s common to run into classic articles that look at the introverted personality as if it had amazing, magical virtues. But actually introverts have to deal with all their limitations just like extroverts do. They work on getting to know themselves a little better with all their best and worst skills. They also learn strategies to reach their highest potential.
One way of doing these last few things is by reading some of the helpful books and scientific, peer-reviewed magazines that are out in the world.
The best books for understanding introverted personality
You might not have noticed, our most classic literature has always had some unforgettable main characters in it who were clearly introverts. So for example there’s Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, the portrait of the “Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Anne Elliot from Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion, or the rich characters that Virginia Woolf described so powerfully in The Waves.
These characters were all fascinating and gave some great lessons about overcoming things. Of course, they also struggled in the complex psychological worlds that often pushed them away from their own society. That last feeling, the feeling of being misunderstood, is the most characteristic thing about an introverted personality.
It’s also the starting point for a lot of books by psychologists and journalists who specialize in this subject. So what they try and to is explain why this feeling exists, and how to use this personality type’s values to achieve success. And now we’ll look at some of the books that can help you understand introverted personality much better.
1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain
One interesting thing that Susan Cain points out is how introversion and extroversion aren’t polar opposites. They’re actually two dimensions that can show up in all of us in a lot of different ways. But you have to find that perfect spot that puts you in the best place to develop yourself. That way you can grow psychologically and emotionally.
Quiet is an inspiring book that marked a clear beginning and tried to clear up a lot of mistaken ideas. For example, how introverts have no social skills, or how people from this personality type aren’t very likely to get positions of power because they don’t have the traits that define a leader.
2. The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, Elaine Aron
We’ve probably mentioned The Highly Sensitive Person somewhere else on this site already. Scientists estimate that between 60 to 70% of introverted people are also highly sensitive. So even though not all introverts are highly sensitive, this book collects strategies, ideas, and theories that can help you understand this personality type much better.
3. Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life is Your Hidden Strength, Laurie Helgoe
Laurie Helgoe is a psychologist well-known for all the work she’s done on introverted personality. In Introvert Power she explains how you can take advantage of that inner strength. She talks about channeling your energy through solitude and reflection to reach your highest potential and have better relationships in your personal and work life.
It’s a practical book where she explains how society has always focused more on extroverted personalities. And she also explains how we can start to change that focus.
“As an introvert, you can be your own best friend or your worst enemy. The good news is we generally like our own company, a quality that extroverts often envy. We find comfort in solitude and know how to soothe ourselves.”Share
4. The Awakened Introvert,
This book is amazing for one simple reason: it an gives you mindfulness techniques meant for introverted people. It also tries to boost all introverts’ natural skills like the power of observation, creativity, and introspection. That way you can reach success and turn all those built-in talents into useful tools for your daily life.
5. The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World, Marti Olsen Laney
Dr. Marti Olsen Laney is another author who’s extremely well-known for bringing interesting studies about introverted personality to the public. So here are some of the wide range of things she gives strategies for in her many publications:
- How to improve self-confidence in the extrovert dominant areas.
- How to survive in places where noise and overstimulation are the norm.
- Lastly, how to face up to situations where introverts feel like their energy is leaking out of them. These could be work meetings, parties, public events, and plenty of other things…
6. The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child: How to Help Your Child Thrive in an Extroverted World, Marti Olsen Laney
We’re listing one more book by Dr. Olsen Laney to finish off this list. The book poses a really important question: how can you help your introverted child? You’ll usually see an introverted child in their classroom or a city park disconnected from everyone else and shut off in their own world. There’s nothing wrong with that, but giving them strategies from an early age will help them get to know themselves better and get the most out of their talents.
This book is perfect for moms, dads, and educators. It’s a simple guide for improving both family and social dynamics that’s truly interesting and also very useful.
Before we go, we want to mention that there’s plenty of other material out there about introverted personalities. They’re all interesting and important books that will help you get to know yourself a little better.