Description: Of course the holiday period in late December is supposed to be a time away from work and engaged in other activities such as spending time with loved ones, friends and family. This does NOT mean that it is a time to be away from Psychology (in fact maybe just the opposite)! It can, in fact, be particularly important to plan or to consider some of what we might call holiday research. Last week, for example, I posted about some ongoing research into the myth that suicide rates climb during the holiday period (it is NOT true). What other holiday season issues could use a research look? In another post this week I took a look at the clinical and self-help approaches to dealing with intense feelings of loneliness. This post looks in another direction. What about intensely introverted individuals? What might their experiences withing the holiday season be like? As in a number of areas there is a general assumption that the best or the most adaptive way to be in the world is to be extroverted. Think about this in relation to the holiday season and then think a bit about what this might mean for introverts and might, could, or should be done to help them at this time of year. After you have your thoughts in order, read the article linked below for some suggestions.
Source: How introverts can stay sane this holiday season, Kristen Rogers, CNN.
Date: December 17, 2022
So, there was not a lot of psychology in articles was there. One thing to consider is why, despite noting that our culture seems to place a higher value on extroversion over introversion, there is no discussion of how we might (or should) change that, if only in support of and respect for diversity. Might psychology be a bit too individualistic, and extraversion focused as well? Perhaps instead of suggesting more ‘how to duck and hide in or out of plain sight’ advice for introverts we need to find some ways to note and begin to address the stigma against introversion that seems to be supported by western culture. Maybe that would make a good New Years resolution for psychology, psychologist and those interested in psychology!?
Questions for Discussion:
- What are some of the things we can observe that suggest that western culture may have a bias towards extroversion over introversion?
- What are some of the suggestions offered in the linked article to introverts as ways of holiday coping?
- What sorts of things might we do or work towards if we decide we might want to try and reduce the sense of stigma possible associated with introversion in western culture?
References (Read Further):
Condon, M., & Ruth-Sahd, L. (2013). Responding to introverted and shy students: Best practice guidelines for educators and advisors. Open Journal of Nursing, 3(07), 503. Link
Bowers, L. N. (2017). Stigmas that Exist Regarding Technology. Link
Cain, S. (2012). The power of introverts. TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. Link
Zelenski, J. M., Sobocko, K., & Whelan, A. D. C. (2013). Introversion, solitude, and subjective well‐being. The handbook of solitude: Psychological perspectives on social isolation, social withdrawal, and being alone, 184-201. Link
Gohil, A. (2020). inVisible: a guide to understanding & designing for introverts. Link
Thomas, L. E. (2011). Introverted perspectives on happiness: A phenomenological inquiry (Doctoral dissertation, University of Calgary, Divison of Applied Psychology). Link
McCord, M. A., & Joseph, D. L. (2020). A framework of negative responses to introversion at work. Personality and Individual Differences, 161, 109944. Summary
Pannapacker, W (2012) Screening Out the Introverts. Chronicle of Higher Education. Link