Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Introvert Advantage: How To Thrive In An Extrovert World By Marti Olsen Laney Psy.D.

The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World

The Introvert Advantage: How To Thrive In An Extrovert World By Marti Olsen Laney Psy.D.

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Product Description

At least one out of four people prefers to avoid the limelight, tends to listen more than they speak, feels alone in large groups, and requires lots of private time to restore their energy. They're introverts, and here is the book to help them boost their confidence while learning strategies for successfully living in an extrovert world.

After dispelling common myths about introverts-they're not necessarily shy, aloof, or antisocial--The Introvert Advantage explains the real issues. Introverts are hardwired from birth to focus inward, so outside stimulation-chitchat, phone calls, parties, office meetings-can easily become "too much."

The Introvert Advantage dispels introverts' belief that something is wrong with them and instead helps them recognize their inner strengths-their analytical skills, ability to think outside the box, and strong powers of concentration. It helps readers understand introversion and shows them how to determine where they fall on the introvert/extrovert continuum. It provides tools to improve relationships with partners, kids, colleagues, and friends, offering dozens of tips, including 10 ways to talk less and communicate more, 8 ways to showcase your abilities at work, how to take a child's temperament temperature, and strategies for socializing. Finally, it shows how to not just survive, but thrive-how to take advantage of the introvert's special qualities to create a life that's just right for the introvert temperament, to discover new ways to expand their energy reserves, and even how, when necessary, to confidently become a temporary extrovert.

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #2759 in Books
  • Published on: 2002-02-01
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: .75" h x 6.14" w x 8.96" l, .86 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 330 pages


  • ISBN13: 9780761123699
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
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Editorial Reviews

"Filled with Aha! moments of recognition, Dr. Laney's book will help millions of introverts . . ." -- Paul D. Tieger, co-author of Do What You Are

"Its clear, step-by-step advice will help introverts recognize and capitalize on their unique strengths." -- Dr. Bernardo J. Carducci, author of Shyness: A Bold New Approach

About the Author
Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D., is a researcher, educator, author, and psychotherapist. One of America's foremost authorities on introversion, she speaks and leads workshops on the topic in the United States and Canada. She and her extroverted husband have two grown daughters and four grandchildren. They live in Portland, Oregon.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Self-Assessment for Introverts

Take the test for introversion on a day when you are feeling relaxed and not stressed out. Pick a cozy nook where you won't be interrupted. Consider each statement in terms of what is generally true or false for you, not how you wish you were or how you are some of the time. Don't analyze or think too deeply about each statement. Your first impression is usually the best. For an outside view of yourself, it can be enlightening to have a partner or friend answer for you. Compare your results with your friend's score. If the two tallies differ, talk about both of your views.

Answer the following questions T or F, then add up your True answers and check the scoring at the end of the list to see if you're an introvert, fall in the middle of the continuum, or are an extrovert.

-- When I need to rest, I prefer to spend time along or with one or two close people rather than with a group.

-- When I work on projects, I like to have larger uninterrupted time periods rather than smaller chunks.

-- I sometimes rehearse things before speaking, occasionally writing notes for myself.

-- In general, I like to listen more than I like to talk.

-- People sometimes think I'm quiet, mysterious, aloof, or calm.

-- I like to share special occasion with just one person or a few close friends, rather than have big celebrations.

-- I usually need to think before I respond or speak.

-- I tend to notice details many people don't see.

-- If two people have just had a fight, I feel the tension in the air.

-- If I say I will do something, I almost always do it.

-- I feel anxious if I have a deadline or pressure to finish a project.

-- I can "zone out" if too much is going on.

-- I like to watch an activity for a while before I decide to join it.

-- I form lasting relationships.

-- I don't like to interrupt others; I don't like to be interrupted.

-- When I take in lots of information, it takes me a while to sort it out.

-- I don't like overstimulating environments. I can't imagine why folks want to go to horror movies or go on roller coasters.

-- I sometimes have strong reactions to smells, tastes, foods, weather, noises, etc.

-- I am creative and/or imaginative.

-- I feel drained after social situations, even when I enjoy myself.

-- I prefer to be introduced rather than to introduce others.

-- I can become grouchy if I'm around people or activities too long.

-- I often feel uncomfortable in new surroundings.

-- I like people to come to my home, but I don't like them to stay too long.

-- I often dread returning phone calls.

-- I find my mind sometimes goes blank when I meet people or when I am asked to speak unexpectedly.

-- I talk slowly or have gaps in my words, especially if I am tired or if I am trying to speak and think at once.

-- I don't think of casual acquaintances as friends.

-- I feel as if I can't show other people my work or ideas until they are fully formulated.

-- Other people may surprise me by thinking I am smarter than I think I am.

Add up the number of Trues. Then read the following to see where you fall.

20-29 True: Pretty darn introverted. As a result, it is extremely important for you to understand how to keep your energy flowing and how our brain processes information. You relate to life through your ideas, impressions, hopes and values. You are not at the mercy of your external environment. This book can help you use your inner knowledge and create your own path.

10-19 True: Somewhere in the middle. Like being ambidextrous, you are both introverted and extroverted. You may feel torn between needing to be alone and wanting to be out and about. So it's very helpful to notice when and how you consistently feel more energized. You judge yourself by your own thoughts and feelings and by the standards of other people. This gives you a broad view, but at times you may get caught up in seeing both sides of a situation and not know where you stand. It is important to learn to assess your temperament so you can maintain your energy and balance.

1-9 True: You are more extroverted. You judge yourself in the light of the values and reality of others. You work within the bounds of what exists to bring about change. As you reach midlife and your body slows down, you may surprise yourself by wanting to take a break from socializing or needing time to yourself and then not knowing what to do. You can develop techniques to help yourself remember what is best for you to do when you need solitude. To do this you will have to balance your extroverting skills by learning more introverting skills.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

474 of 489 people found the following review helpful.
5Quiet Reflection on a Noisy Planet
By Rebecca Johnson
"Introverts are like a rechargeable battery. They need to stop expending energy and rest in order to recharge. Extroverts are like solar panels that need the sun to recharge. Extroverts need to be out and about to refuel." ~Marti Olsen Laney

Imagine feeling alone in a crowd, preferring a quiet corner to the limelight and feeling overwhelmed by phones, parties and office meetings. Do people often think you are shy, aloof or antisocial? If you are an introvert, you are going to completely relate to a variety of comments that are like fireworks going off in recognition of truth. Introverts can hide their talents and only show them in certain situations.

Through reading this wonderful and often humorous book, you will be assured that nothing is wrong with you. In fact, there is a connection between Introversion and Intelligence.

What is fascinating is how Marti Olsen Laney explains how introverts create energy in the opposite way extroverts do. I'm often drained of all energy after being with people for extended periods of time, but being with a book can set me on fire with creativity and energy. I can handle small groups and connecting with familiar faces can actually energize me, but after three hours, I want to find a more peaceful setting.

This book helped me understand why I have deeper thoughts when I'm by myself than in a group setting. People seem to not know who I am in the "real-world," but online, I have found a place to show my true self. This is apparently because introverts are more comfortable with writing than speaking in public.

Are You an Introvert?

Are you detail oriented yet details in public spaces overwhelm you?
Do you prefer small parties with intimate friends?
Do you avoid crowds?
Would you rather be reading books in bed in your pajamas?
Do you get tired when you are around people, but energized when alone?
Do you feel guilty about having to "limit" your social experiences so you can survive?

Does your mind sometimes go blank in group situations?
Do you dislike being interrupted in the middle of a project?

The author has divided her comments into three main sections. First you find out if you really are an introvert, then you discover how to navigate the extrovert world. The last section explains how you can create the perfect life by "extroverting." This is just another way of saying that an introvert can also shine their light out into the world.

After reading the list of famous introverts, you will see similarities in their personalities. The author also gives a list of movies to add to your "must-see" list. Marti also spends time seeking the in-depth answers to brain chemistry. You will also find out if you are a Right or Left-Brained Introvert.

Then onward to "dating." The "Relationships: Face the Music and Dance" chapter shows how personality types collide, how to meet the challenge and then how to appreciate the differences. Even by reading the chapter on Parenting, I started to understand extroverts in a new way. I find extroverts to be fascinating, yet at times they overwhelm my cozy-sit-in-the-corner cat nature with their tiger tactics. Extroverts just seem so aggressive at times. The world can look a little threatening and a party can be overwhelming.

I love the author's ideas about how to be a sea anemone at a party. I've survived many parties with this tactic. If you are worried about what to say at a party, Marti gives plenty of solutions in the form of openers, sustainers, transitions and closers. Then she dives into the hazards from 9 to 5. This chapter will also shed some light on your personal relationships. Ok, by the time I read "Pack Your Survival Kit" this book had been more than helpful. These tips alone will encourage you to create a more peaceful planet.

"The Introvert Advantage" is an encouraging book for anyone who has felt the pain of being an introvert in an extrovert world. Marti Olsen Laney also shows how it can be equally painful and unfulfilling to remain in a state of seclusion. Through reading thoughtful segments on a daily basis, you can finally start to find balance in your daily existence.

This is a must-read book for all Introverts and the people who love them. The author has a comfortable writing style and you will feel "at home" and find yourself "completely" relating to her experiences. It is rare to find a book where you just fall in love with an author's personality. She is cute, witty and intellectual too. Finally someone out there understands! The author has really done her research.

Highly recommended. Add this book to your Top Ten must-read books this year. After all, it will help you understand 25% of the population.

~The Rebecca Review

A Right-brained "mostly" Introvert (INFP) and proud of it.

149 of 152 people found the following review helpful.
5YES, But then on to which type of Introvert are you ?
By Bosse de Nage
I like this book. It is an excellent place to start exploring life as an Introvert, or for an Extravert to start trying to understand Introverts. Author Marti Laney sees Introversion as a personality type -- a particular collection or pattern of personality traits. Her 30-question quiz scores you on a continuum from Introverted to Extraverted. Yet a limitation shows up here, in that the Introvert prototype in this book is based on the exact combination of traits that the author says she herself possesses as an Introvert, which is actually just one subtype of Introversion. For example, Jungian personality type approaches talk about 8 subtypes of Introverts -- see David Keirsey's book Please Understand Me II for details. Below I will suggest step 2 in the quest for understanding Introversion, for follow up after reading The Introvert Advantage, by mentioning some books that focus on one or another subtype of Introverts:
Thoughtful--introspective: Solitude by A. Storr
Shy--socially anxious: The Gift of Shyness by A. Avila
Artistic--creative: The Highly Sensitive Person by E. Aron
Worried: The Positive Power of Negative Thinking by J. Norem
Lonely--isolated: Just Your Type by P. Tieger
Loner--alone by preference: Party of One by A. Rufus
Low Energy: High Energy Living by R. Cooper
Literary--observer: Jane Austen, The Complete Novels
Different books for different introverts. As Carl Jung said, each individual is ultimately a unique crystal, but type theories can be helpful for navigating social life.

157 of 165 people found the following review helpful.
3Fun, Quick Read - But Needs More Substance
By Molly
Pros: The book neatly covers issues important to introverts - dating, parenting, socializing, work. Each introvert might find a few useful tips. Most fascinating to me was the chapter on biology and genetic causes of introversion and extroversion. It reassures that you're not alone - there are other introverts out there!

Cons: Though called "Introvert ADVANTAGE", it's more coping than celebrating. It dwells on introvert inadequacy, guilt, shame and paralyzing fear. The author seems biased towards her personal experience - right-brained, probably an F (feeling), and married to an extrovert. The book is confusing from a Meyers-Briggs/Keirsey (INTP, ESFJ, etc) standpoint since she divides almost ALL personality traits as introvert or extrovert.

There are style issues as well: The font is large. Many chapters feel introductory at best. Frequent long, rambling stories about the author's family and patients. Hard statistics and clinical/medical studies are sporadic. A lot of "conflict resolution" tips are touchy-feely self-help rather than introvert or extrovert related.

Overall: The book is a quick and easy read, and fun to flip through. The best chapter is personality brain chemistry. While the book could improve from further editing and more research study citations, it is still a fun way to spend an afternoon.

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