Mind & Body posts


Culture Clash

A few months ago my husband forwarded a Psychology Today article to me that does an excellent job of summarizing the modern introvert’s dilemma: whether one should adapt oneself to the prevailing culture’s penchant for loud and fast interaction, or stay true to one’s preferred mode of being. Either way, the introvert’s happiness level is […]


The Benefits of Solitude

Despite its silly name and its author’s knee-jerk bias against the unsociable, the recent article The power of lonely from the Boston Globe manages to provide a decent rundown of current research about solitude and its benefits. Among the gems in the article is a quote from Professor Christopher Long, who as a graduate student […]


The Visible Woman

When I was a kid, I used to think that there were times when I was invisible to others, when I was so wrapped up in my own imagination, so focused on inward daydreams, that the external world didn’t matter. Of course I wasn’t invisible, just oblivious, but it was a pleasant illusion. It was […]


More on Sensitivity

On the CNN Web site today there was another article about the study that came out recently regarding sensory perception sensitivity (yesterday I wrote about a similar article that appeared on the Livescience Web site). It mentioned a lot of the same information I had seen in the previous article, but included one new detail […]


Studying Sensitivity

A reader just sent me a link to a great article on the Livescience Web site. Although I find it annoying that the writer conflates shyness and introversion (one of my pet peeves), I found the main content of the article to be very thought-provoking. It describes a new study looking at the incidence of […]


Promoting Self-Promotion

Today I ran across an interesting blog on the Psychology Today Web site called Self-Promotion for Introverts. I’m eager to explore this blog in-depth, since to me, “self-promotion” and “introvert” are usually mutually exclusive terms. For the moment, I thought I would point you in the direction of one of blogger Nancy Ancowitz’s recent posts […]


Future Introvert?

Today was a big day in the Spectatrix household. My husband and I found out that the baby I’m having in June will be a boy! This new knowledge brought up a whole host of emotions as well as questions — now that we know a bit more about this growing person, what other kinds […]


Loner Lore

As I’ve written about in previous posts, I think the term “loner” is too often used to describe behavior that falls outside the normal range of introvert experience. Instead of a negative term that denotes a dangerously isolated individual, I think “loner” should be reclaimed for those who simply enjoy spending time alone. Because of […]


The Four Temperaments

In a recent comment on the post Austen’s Introvert, a reader mentioned having seen a reference to eight types of introversion. I was curious to know more about this, and in the course of my online searching, ran across the Web site for the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. Looking over the site, I realized that the […]


Time Out

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything here, and I suppose I should feel guilty about that, but the truth is that I don’t. For the last half year or so I have just not had the inclination to put anything of myself out into the world (apart from short notes on Twitter); […]


Attention vs. Interaction

In previous posts I’ve mentioned the salon.com advice column, Since You Asked, written by the inimitable Cary Tennis, which often seems to feature introvert-related issues. Today’s question, posed by a forlorn introvert, had to do with that age-old problem (at least for introverts): how do you stay true to yourself yet still make friends? The […]


Writing and the Solitary Life

I had the good fortune recently to come across an interview with acclaimed novelist Marilynne Robinson that ran in the Fall 2008 issue of the Paris Review. I had heard of Robinson’s work, especially her 2004 novel, Gilead, which earned her the Pulitzer Prize, but I’d never read any of it. This interview not only […]


Summer, and the Living Ain’t Easy

Summer has always been my least favorite season, so I was delighted to see an article on Salon.com last week with the blunt title Why I hate summer. The author, Rachel Shukert, shares painful memories of childhood summers spent at camp, where she encountered the “tyranny of enforced merrymaking,” and preferred to hide out in […]


Noise News

I’m not sure if an aversion to excessive noise is a hallmark of the introverted personality, but I do know that few things set me on edge more than exposure to constant, chaotic noise (making the ear-splitting renovation hubbub going on below our apartment for the past few weeks such a joy). It could be […]


Sad and Shy, or Melancholy and Introverted?

One of my favorite Web sites is Arts & Letters Daily, a round-up of interesting articles from across the Web. This week the site brought two articles to my attention that I found noteworthy for a variety of reasons, and the more I thought about them, the more they seemed to fit together in some […]