Extroverted? Here’s Some Tips From a Zen Monk on How To Be More Quiet and Reflective.
In a world obsessed with introverts, here’s advice for all my fellow extroverts.
It seems like the world is obsessed with introverts. We want to understand them, laugh about them, and even try to change them. As an extrovert who has mostly dated introverted people I’ve laughed at the memes about introverts being relieved when people cancel plans, had my heart melt at comics about how loved introverts feel when people lovingly give them space, and even marveled at how my partners can feel totally depleted after a party when I feel fully energized.
In April 2019, Tom and Lorenzo responded to a tweet by Oprah that featured an article titled “Introverted? Here’s how to be more social”. He asked a simple question, “Where are the articles titled: Extroverted? Here’s some tips on How to be more Quiet and Reflective.”
And he makes a good point. For the first twenty years of my life I was a passionate, outgoing, extrovert known for arguing any point that crossed my path and interrupting people to say “actually . . . “ and share my knowledge on a given subject.
But in my late twenties I moved into and lived at a Zen monastery for two years and what I learned there about being quiet and reflective changed my life. Sure introverts are interesting for their sometimes counterintuitive behavior, but what’s really unexamined is the strange thing that drives extroverts to talk and how changing it can help you in all sorts of ways.
Extroverts who learn self control around speaking and connecting . . .
- Appear more confident and powerful
- Have people listen to them more closely
- Experience greater satisfaction and depth in life
- Have stronger and more intimate relationships
- Appreciate the small things in life more
- And take fewer things personally