INTROVERTS REVISITED….Speaking of Jon Rauch, the Atlantic emails to inform me that the most popular piece ever posted on their website is Rauch’s 2003 essay called “Caring for Your Introvert.” Today, in an interview about the response to that essay, Rauch expands on the difference between introversion and shyness:
I marvel at Michael [Rauch’s extroverted partner] who can always somehow turn the conversation right over effortlessly and keep it going even when what he says is not necessarily profound or interesting. What he comes up with is perfectly tuned to the sense and flow of the conversation. But it’s not words that are particularly intended to convey ideas or mean things. It’s words that socialize ? that simply continue the conversation. It’s chit-chat. I have no gift for that. I have to think about what to say next, and sometimes I can’t think fast enough and end up saying something stupid. Or sometimes I just come up dry and the conversation kind of ends for while until I can think of another topic.
This is why it’s work for me. It takes positive cognition on my part. I think that’s probably a core introvert characteristic that you and I have in common and which can probably be distinguished from shyness per se ? that small talk takes conscious effort and is very hard work. There’s nothing small about small talk if you’re an introvert.
That sounds about right to me.