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Thread: An INFJ Reviews the Book: 'The Introvert Advantage'

  1. #11
    Senior Member Array Blackwater's Avatar
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    May 2007


    -Yearh I agree with your criticism and you are entirely correct that the author has her own ambitions about writing in the field. She just contributed this short piece about the evidence for introversion: (has yet to be proof-read)
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  2. #12
    Professional Trickster Array Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    Dec 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    I’m catching a whiff of Pi. The writer is doing something which reminds me of something I do myself, and I only realize that tunnel-vision was affecting my perspective in retrospect. Something will seem ‘clearly’ more or less true because of some precept I’ve already got in my head, and I’ll only be able to see how short-sighted it is later on (i.e. shortsighted in that I won’t recognize how the external reality was something slightly different than what was going on in my head, that the precept didn’t exactly match the external reality as well as I was thinking it did at the time). Overall, it seems to me like the reviewer is primed... to listen to certain... information- as if a very specific criteria... has been constructed in this person’s head, and they're automatically dismissing information that doesn’t easily fit into the template they’ve constructed.
    Z Buck McFate, I love what you wrote here. I was thinking the exact same thing. And, I've noticed this among people with Pi. I think it's sometimes hard for someone with Pi to disentangle themselves from their donnée, or underlying assumptions.

    Please don't take this as a criticism of Pi. All I mean is that what you wrote helps me better understanding what Pi is like. Since I have Ji, it's sometimes really hard for me to get my head around Pi.

    For anyone else trying to understand Pi, maybe this will help: Another way, I understand Pi is to think of how I have the same problems as Pi in reverse. In other words, it's hard for me to decide upon a precept from all the options I see before me. And, I have a tendency to postpone choosing a precept because it might cause me to limit my options prematurely. Only in retrospect do I see that by not choosing any precept (because it never seemed to match the external reality perfectly) do I make the choice of no choice at all... and this leads to an entirely different set of problems. (<- How very Fi of me to process what Z Buck said through the lens of my own experience. Ha ha!)

    So back to what Z Buck McFate said: I think the reviewer definitely had an agenda. She didn't hold open her judgment long enough to get a complete picture and thus she went forward with a not entirely accurate set of facts.

    BTW, I've read this book and thought it was pretty helpful in understanding the special gifts that come with being introverted. As an extravert, it can be so hard to understand introversion sometimes. But this really helped me understand how to better tailor my approach to Introverts while living in a society that overvalues extroversion.
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  3. #13
    (blankpages) Array Xenon's Avatar
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    Oct 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Lily Bart View Post
    ...I think Lainey said it was part of a graduate thesis of some sort -- which shows, because the rest of the book is pretty disappointing. It doesn't indicate any advantage in being introverted, but instead points out all the disadvantages and supplies handy tips on how to meet people, date, get jobs, go to parties, raise kids, etc. The tips were all fairly elementary and aimed toward getting introverts to act more like extroverts than focusing on introverts' strengths.
    Yeah, the bolded was my main problem with the book. I wanted to like it, but there wasn't anything in it about "how to thrive" or use your personal advantages. Instead, it was page after page of "there,'ll never be an extrovert, so take extra-special care of yourself by doing x, y and z and don't expect too much". (Where did she say it was a graduate thesis, by the way? I thought I remembered her saying she got the idea after working as a therapist for years.)

    There were a few useful parts, like part on adapting parenting style to children's temperaments, or communicating with co-workers with different personality types. I'm mixed on the neuroscience part of it. It was written to be understandable to the general public, so of course she wouldn't write some thorough literature review about all sides of the topic. Her main point was that there are real physiological differences underlying extroversion and introversion, and the "randomly selected scientific research" she provided worked plenty well for that. I thought some parts didn't make sense, especially her explanation about the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and their role in the different stress reactions of "innies" and "outies" (ugh, cutesy language). IIRC, she claimed introverts' parasympathetic nervous systems were more active, and this was why introverts tend to "freeze up" under stress rather than act out. But the parasympathetic nervous system promotes relaxation, not freezing up. If we had more active parasympathetic nervous systems, we wouldn't be prone to being overwhelmed and anxious all the time, which is what she seems to assume throughout the book.

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