Category Archives: Faking It

Opening the Door, Closing the Door

Front Door Syndrome — do you have it? We read Emily White’s piece over at Quiet Revolution and decided we do — sort of.


KathyWhen I spotted this amazing bag in a shop window this summer, I knew I had to have it.

I proudly showed Doodlebug, expecting her to get how perfect it was for me. She frowned, though, and said, “The Stay Home Club? That should be me and Daddy!”

Stay Home ClubAnd I laughed, because there is a certain dynamic that plays out every weekend around here. Usually I am the one proposing we Go Out and Do Something, while Doodlebug and iDad are happy to chill at home.

So what’s that about? What kind of weirdo introvert am I, always trying to pull people out of their happy places?

I know part of it is that I feel good when I’m accomplishing tasks. Checking items off a To Do list is one of my favorite things (see: Notebook of Power), and sometimes that does require leaving the house. I don’t mind doing errands by myself, because that comes with its own dose of quiet time – alone in the car, listening to whatever I want? I’ll do the grocery store run!

Another part, though, is that sometimes my introvert tank actually does get full. When Doodlebug’s in school and iDad and I are working away, alone, in our separate offices, I’m in a pretty good place. My needs for solitude are being met, so I have enough energy for weekend outings or an evening meeting. Of course, I’m well aware that Doodlebug is spending that same time extroverting her little heart out, so I get that she doesn’t want to spend her whole weekend on the go.

Because I, too, hear the siren call of the sofa. I too have thought “That sounds fun, I should go to that,” and then spent hours with a book or my laptop instead. And sometimes I think that’s okay. I want to be deliberate with my time. We’ve been talking lately about the “good” exhausted – why sign up for the bad kind when I already get plenty?

But I agree with Emily White that in order to find the things that wear you out AND fill you up, you have to look, so I do have a few strategies for tricking myself into trying something for the first time.

If I can talk a friend into going along, that always helps. Or my spouse. Or my child. (Hence the repeated attempts to get them out the door, I guess!)

I don’t like to let people down, so I know that if I commit to going to an event, I won’t back out. Yeah, I might start to daydream about getting sick and having to cancel, but if I tell someone I’ll come to the meeting, I’ll be there. If I sign up for a class, I will go – this one works especially well for me because after the first class you pretty much know what to expect. Plus I’ve paid for it – another great motivator!

But I also believe in cutting myself some slack. I tried joining a choir, which was something I loved in high school, but even after going a dozen times I never got to the point where I was eager for the next rehearsal. They were far away, on a weeknight, and I didn’t get to know anyone very well. It was a drain, and I stopped going (after the concert, of course).

So that one was a flop. But this weekend I’m trying out a book club, and I’m a mix of nervous and excited. I don’t know anyone, but I’ve got to think a group of readers has at least a couple of kindred spirits. Maybe I’ll bring my new bag.

— Kathy


Emily White’s article is good and I completely identify with most of it. It’s a little off, though, because it doesn’t really capture what needs to happen after an introvert outing. But we’ll get to that.

Kathy’s piece discusses how she revs herself up to interact. I am fine opening the door — most of the time. For the times I’m not here are some of my tips:

    1. Set a time limit. Before walking out the door, I say to myself, “Give it an hour. If you’re not having fun after an hour you can leave.” This gets a little complicated if I’m with Dreamy and the kids, but usually wherever we are does indeed turn out to be fun or interesting. The one exception: Slim and Lunchbox’s Back-to-School Open house. It was so crowded and loud and overwhelming I bolted after ten minutes.
  • Pacing matters. On weekends, one social event per day is my max. I would rather have given birth without anesthesia then to do errands, the grocery shopping, a birthday party, and dinner with friends on the same day. If I get some routine tasks accomplished during the week, the weekend isn’t so jam-packed and more time opens up for fun events.
  • Be honest – with yourself and your friends.  Chances are if I turn down an invitation or bail at the last minute, it’s not because I don’t like or want to spend time with you. It is more likely that I’m fried and need the time to be alone. I’ve gotten better at being honest but it’s been a struggle in the past to let people know why I really can’t come out or do activity X.  So it’s really not you, it’s me.
  • The Irish Exit. I’d never heard of this until reading Mindy Kaling’s book “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” Kaling, who I suspect is an introvert, details this, her preferred method of leaving parties: telling everyone you’re going to the bathroom or to get a drink when in reality you’re actually leaving. I ask you, dear readers, is this a thing? If so, how did I not know about it? Even I though I have yet to make an official Irish Exit, the number I’ve made in my head is roughly equivalent to our national debt.

White’s article opened my eyes to my real issue: what happens when I get home. After being out, particularly if “out” involves a combination of high-interaction events, I need to recharge. Easier said than done when your kids and spouse fall more on the extrovert end of the personality spectrum. I know, without a doubt, there have been times when my parenting has been less than awesome because I didn’t have the chance to refill my tank after a busy day or a big occasion.

Fortunately my schedule now is more flexible and there are more opportunities for quiet time. I know, for example, that Friday afternoons are going to be mine — no groceries, no school work, no chores. They will probably involve the couch and Netflix, maybe some exercise. I am thankful to White’s article for helping me see the error of my ways and for underscoring the importance of not only opening the door, but closing it as well.

— Tiffany

Book Review: Me, Myself, and Us by Brian R. Little

Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being

By Brian R. Little, 2014


KathyAll of you Susan Cain fans (which is hopefully all of you!) probably remember the story in Quiet about Brian Little, the introverted psychology professor who hides out in the bathroom after he gives a big presentation.

That story also appears in Me, Myself and Us, Little’s own book about personality, but he goes beyond talking about introverts and extroverts. He explores other personality traits and argues that it’s common to act out of character, especially if it’s in service of a project that’s important to you. The bad news is, that can come at a cost. But Little argues that, by carving out a “restorative niche” for yourself (see: bathroom hideout), you can help lessen the impacts.

As I said in my post about my goals for the year, parenting is of course one my personal projects, one where I’m willing to go out of my introvert comfort zone again and again. Here on the blog we’ve talked a lot about ways to balance out all the extroverting that goes along with being a parent.

But it was the other personality scales Little discussed that made this book most interesting for me. I ended up wishing I’d taken more psychology classes in college, because this is such cool stuff. The other scales and ranges included things like conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, and openness (along with extroversion, these make up the so-called Big Five personality traits). Little also discusses self-monitoring, or how much you change your actions based on the situation you’re in; how much control you feel you have over your life; stress and resilience; creativity; and even how well your personality is matched to the personality of the place you live.

I was really intrigued by the idea that I might want to look at strategies to counterbalance acting out of character in some of these other arenas, too. I think we do this instinctively in some sense – I score pretty low on openness to new experiences, so if I have a day involving a new volunteer task at Doodlebug’s school followed by driving her to an appointment at a new doctor’s office, by dinnertime I know I’m not going to feel like tackling a recipe I’ve never made before. I’m probably going to want grilled cheese and soup, and that’s okay. In fact, Little seems to be saying I might want to plan an evening re-reading a favorite book, too. Works for me.

Little’s discussion of control reminded me that I’m someone who likes to think I can figure anything out if I try hard enough. Parenting, of course, is not something you can simply master and be done with – kids are always changing, and the strategy that worked great a week ago may be totally useless today. I’m not sure what a restorative niche might look like here – solving crossword puzzles or math problems or something else concrete? I’ll have to keep thinking about that one.

Ultimately, Me, Myself, and Us made me believe even more strongly that I need to carefully choose which projects I want to take on, so I don’t devote too many precious resources to things I don’t care about that much. I’ve always thought that was a good policy for introverts, so it was interesting to see it reinforced from an entirely different direction. Recommended!

— Kathy

Bonus materials: Dr. Little’s web site has more information about his theories and includes a downloadable tool to evaluate and assess your own personal projects.

I Am … Queen LaTeacha

tiffany_head_128“So, if you’re such an introvert, how are you going to manage interacting with a hundred students each day?” — Dreamy

“Wait, you’re an introvert?  Why do you hang out with us then?” — Anthony, eighth grader

I asked myself these questions, or variations of them, multiple times over the past few years. The best answer I can offer goes something like this: remember a few years ago when Beyoncé released an album called I Am … Sasha Fierce? While promoting the record she explained Sasha Fierce is her onstage personality who emerges during the superstar’s showstopping performances. Sasha is confident, in control, and a force to be reckoned with. In other words, as Beyoncé’s alter ego, Sasha owns it.

My teacher alter ego is named Queen LaTeacha. She takes the stage Monday through Friday from 7:50 a.m. to 11:17 a.m. The Queen is animated, expressive, outgoing, and – dare I say? – an extrovert. That said, however, by the end of my last class I am wiped. out.

Recharging begins at precisely 11:21 a.m., after my students have left and the hallways have cleared. I close my classroom door, sit down, and exhale. Sometimes I stare at the wall for a few minutes, sometimes I put on some music and begin puttering around the room, stacking chairs and tidying up. Organizing helps me feel in control, and that feeling, combined with a few moments of quiet , has so far helped me to refocus before taking on grading, planning, and preparing for the next day.

What I wondered about most was how does this switcheroo happen, exactly? How am I able to suddenly and seamlessly switch from my introverted self to Queen LaTeacha?

As usual Susan Cain comes to the rescue. Chapter nine of Quiet is simply revelatory. She profiles Professor Brian Little, a popular lecturer and professor whose work on personality and motivational psychology is groundbreaking. Little’s work helped me to identify teaching as one of my “core personal projects” (p. 209) and thus helped me to understand how these two parts of my personality work together in service of a larger goal or mission. I am motivated, passionate, and plain ol’ excited about this new path, and feeling this way enables my extroverted traits to take center stage.

How does this alter ego business affect parenting? Now more than ever I am acutely aware of the need to better manage my energy levels. And, as we’ve seen, I am not very good at this.  It is critical I reserve energy for my own kids, not just the ones I teach. My husband needs some too, as do friends and other family members.

As Kathy notes, parenting is also a core personal project which requires loads of additional energy. So do I still feel crunched and pressured to be “on” most of the time? Of course. But here’s the thing: my job makes me happy, and this seems to offset some of the adverse effects of so much extroverting. As long as small chunks of the day can be reserved for recharging I am confident this new lifestyle will sort itself out. That’s the only way I can see these various pieces fitting together to create a healthy and unified whole.

Unless you, dear readers, have ideas. The Queen is taking any and all suggestions.

— Tiffany


KathySchool can actually be a great place to be an introvert – for students, I mean. Lots of structure, stretches of quiet where you’re expected to focus on your own work, and plenty of opportunities to read and write. But it can also be loud, chaotic, and severely draining.

That’s not just my perspective as an adult returning to volunteer (or sneaking in to drop off cupcakes). I have very clear memories of seventh grade and the relief I felt when I was finally deemed old enough to come home to an empty house. Before that I went to a series of babysitters after school with bunches of other kids, and while that was definitely fun (kind of like having a rotating group of extra siblings through the years), it added an extra couple hours of “on” time to the end of an already-long school day.

Middle school was also when all the angsty friend/boy drama kicked into high gear, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that after school I gorged on alone time, happily watching Guiding Light, playing Tetris, and writing stories until the rest of my family got home. High school wasn’t much less draining in that respect – I can remember sighing to my mom that “At school you have to be nice to everyone all the time.”

So I think I’m extra aware that my little introvert needs her own downtime after school. Doodlebug’s only extracurricular activity right now is Brownies, and that’s one night each month. On top of a standing appointment she has once a week, that’s it. I would love to get her into an art class or swimming lessons, but I’m wary of messing with a schedule that already seems tight for her. On afternoons when I have to drag her on an errand or three, I grit my teeth and anticipate a dinnertime meltdown. Possibly from either one of us – it’s draining for me, too!

And after reading articles like this interview with our hero Susan Cain, I’m wondering more about ways Doodlebug can grab pockets of quiet time during the school day. Her class’s schedule seems to have several self-directed components, which is great, and they have reading time each day. But they are still sitting at tables, not desks, even though they’re third graders. I hope this ends next year – sometimes everyone just needs their own space, even extroverts.

Doodlebug has been lucky so far to get teachers who understand that she needs time to warm up and who push her just far enough. And I’m excited about the ways technology will let her and other younger introverts contribute in class at their own speed. I never felt comfortable jumping into a classroom debate at 90 mph, but I would have loved having a class blog or message board.

Or a Guiding Light message board! Ohhh, the hours I could have wasted after school on that!

— Kathy

The Introvert Table

KathyAs Doodlebug’s preschool teacher used to say: I have wonderful news! I survived the Brownie fall festival. You remember the Brownie fall festival, right? Last year it wiped me out so completely that I started dreading this year’s immediately afterward.

And even though last year I felt like I’d been smart, this year I was determined to be even smarter. I made a conscious effort to save my energy for the day of the festival and not use it up in the getting-ready phase, as I realize I did last time.

There were several danger zones. The first was the meeting on Thursday night before the festival. I knew it would be easy for me to get sucked in to helping, but I also know from past experience that Brownie meetings are incredibly draining for me. Solution: iDad dropped Doodlebug off so I wouldn’t be tempted to linger.

Then, on Friday night the girls had another meeting to start setting up. Last year I went along, which meant I helped supervise the decoration of the haunted trail. Herding twelve girls wielding fake cobwebs and skeleton hands is not part of my skill set. This was also when I got stuck with Costco duty. We all know how well that went.

iDad to the rescue again – he’s more likely to be amused, not exasperated, by third-grader antics, so he went along with Doodlebug while I stayed home and made pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins for the bake sale. Win-win.

On Saturday morning, then, my Introvert Energy Tank was pretty full. Luckily this year the entire event was more organized, with each family being in charge of one station instead of the floating mystery assignments we had last year. Even better, the girls chose the game or activity they wanted to run, and Doodlebug decided to set up a puppet-making station. We had coloring sheets left over from last year, so we brought those along too.

This turned out to be such a genius idea, because I realized halfway through the festival that we were running the Introvert Table. We didn’t get a ton of kids, but the ones who stopped by stayed for ten, twenty, thirty minutes, coloring or applying stickers or making bats. Some kids needed that. I needed that.

I didn’t have to supervise the hay pile, or explain the rules for pumpkin bowling two hundred times, or drag other Brownies back to their stations. It was perfect. I’m not saying that I loved every minute, but I didn’t feel sick and pathetic afterwards, either, so it was a huge improvement.


Smiles all around

It was a reminder to keep adjusting, keep tweaking, and keep playing to my strengths. I won’t say that I’m looking forward to next year, but hopefully I won’t start losing sleep over it until at least September.

Kidding. Kind of.

— Kathy

Leadership in Lowercase

KathyAfter the recent brouhaha over Sheryl Sandberg’s Ban Bossy campaign, I looked over the website’s materials for girls, parents, and teachers. There’s a lot of good stuff there, urging girls to speak up about what’s important to them and giving adults strategies for helping them be heard.

I wouldn’t be sorry to see the word bossy fade away. I can see that fear of being called something negative could make some girls reluctant to speak up. But my bigger issue is with a word that’s all over the materials created by Sandberg and the Girl Scouts, who are co-sponsoring the campaign: Leadership.

I haven’t read Sandberg’s book Lean In, but I know she wants more women to hold positions of power in the corporate world. In the “Leadership Tips for Girls” handout on the Ban Bossy website, these numbers are front and center: Women make up just 19% of Congress, 17% of corporate boards, and 5% of Fortune 1,000 CEO positions. I don’t like those numbers any more than she does – I’d love to see women equally represented in government and business.

However. Not everyone wants to be that kind of leader. Obviously those big-ticket positions are not her only goal – there are many possible stepping stones or stopping points, so I’ll say this, too: Not everyone wants to be the director of a library division (a possible career trajectory for me if I hadn’t changed my path). Not everyone wants to be the head room parent for her daughter’s class.

A friend sent me this article from The Atlantic in response to Ban Bossy, which points out (again) that introverts can be excellent leaders, thank you very much. “[S]ome girls prefer to plot their world domination quietly,” notes Olga Khazan.

I agree with her that some tips in the handout for girls seem anti-quiet. #1, Speak Up in Class, with the added instruction of “Avoid editing what you want to say in your head” beforehand. Wha? Thanks for invalidating my entire thinking process.

Others, though, I really like. #7, Trust Your Inner Voice, recommends keeping a journal if you don’t want to share your thoughts out loud. Or #5, Don’t Do Everyone Else’s Work, which is essential for group projects at school but also a good reminder for parents who need to resist picking up everyone else’s dirty socks.

That’s where I think the emphasis on Leadership is missing the mark: these are not leadership tips, they’re life tips. The handout is full of techniques for being true to yourself and navigating relationships. Girls and boys should know this stuff. But I disagree that the logical next step after #3, Challenge Yourself, is Run Something.

Maybe you’d rather make jewelry, or research cures for cancer, or introduce kids to J. K. Rowling, or be the next J. K. Rowling.

Maybe you’d rather blog.

The handout notes that our society hasn’t quite figured out how powerful it wants girls to be. But there’s more than one way to be powerful, and I’m afraid some girls will read these materials and hear “Your way is wrong.” That’s not a message I want to send to my daughter, or to anyone else’s.

— Kathy

Fun, Fun, Fun?

In which the Moms attend a fun fair and live to tell the tale.

KathyThe scene: a fall fun fair hosted by Doodlebug and Princess Slim’s Girl Scout troop. Bean bag toss. Find-the-penny-in-the-hay. Food sales. Bunches of kids hopped up on sugar. An introvert’s ultimate nightmare, right?

But not for me. Or so I thought. Because I have this thing down now. I’m being smart about my time this year. Yes, I got sucked into going to Costco for food, but I said no to other jobs I thought would be draining. Most importantly, I knew I could take the afternoon off when it was all over. (Thank you, iDad!)

During the fun fair, I was fine. I chatted. I helped. I grumbled a little with Tiffany, but only a little, I swear! On the way home, though, I could feel the energy, adrenaline, faux-extroversion, whatever-it-was that had powered me through the past five hours draining away. And I spent the rest of the day feeling tired, cold, achy, and mildly nauseated. I was useless.

I’ve been there before, that completely used-up place. Not lately, though, not to that extent. I guess I’d started to think I wouldn’t have to be there again. I’ve spent so much time writing for this blog, talking about being an introvert with my friends and family, coming up with ways to honor and respect my personality that I thought maybe I was… what, cured? Like there’s something wrong with me? Apply some Susan Cain, stat!

I’m happy I’m an introvert. And, after some time with an awesome book on Saturday afternoon and a quiet Sunday with my family, of course I’ve recovered from the “fun” fair. Still, sometimes it’s so frustrating that I have to take that time, that I can’t bounce back quicker. Sometimes I still feel like everyone else is going along fine and I’m the weird one, the only one who can’t keep up.

I know that’s not true. Tiffany reports that she went home and took a nap, and I’m willing to bet that nearly every adult there was worn out when we were done. It was a hard day, but it was worth it – overall, the event was a success, and the girls provided an afternoon of fun for the community.

So next time there’s a big event, of course I will help out. I will keep tweaking my coping techniques, I will keep speaking up for what I need, and I will suggest that someone else handle the Costco run. Because, seriously. That place is INSANE.

— Kathy

Playground Politics

KathyLast week it rained for days and days. We forgot what blue sky looked like. Doodlebug went through severe bike-time withdrawal. I considered buying an ark.

There was one benefit, though – no playground time after school.

Playground time means other moms, and when other moms are around, you have to chat. I’m not such a fan of chatting – I like talking to my friends, of course, but none of them are at the playground after school. They’re at work, or in the kiss and ride line, or meeting their kids somewhere else on the school grounds, which means I have a choice: stand around looking at my phone or try to make conversation with people I don’t know very well.

It’s probably no surprise that I usually go with the phone option. But when I do, I always end up feeling like a middle-school kid eating alone in the cafeteria, shunned by all. This is one of the areas where my introversion and my shyness don’t play so well together – I do realize that, by talking to the other parents, I could get to know them better. If I knew them better, we would have things to talk about and I could avoid the dreaded chatting.

This is Doodlebug’s third year at this school, and all the parents I consider friends are also my neighbors, or the parents of Doodlebug’s friends, or both. In other words, people I see more than every once in a while on the playground. They’re people I’ve known long enough to have real conversations with.

They’re also my Facebook friends, mostly, which isn’t surprising – as an introvert, I’m much more talkative online. I feel weird friending people I’ve only talked to a few times in real life, though, so until I can boost my courage and take that step, I’ll be over by the monkey bars, checking the weather forecast.

— Kathy

Fake It Until You Make It?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reports introverts would be happier if they just acted like extroverts more often.


The Moms have some issues with this.

Big ones.


KathyI will go ahead and estimate that I own 1000 books. I’m constantly maxing out the 50-book limit on my library card, too. I track book release dates like other people track movie releases, and sitting down with a new book by an author I love is one of my favorite things in the world. And if I have uninterrupted time to read that book in one or two big gulps? Bliss.

You know what else I love? Amusement parks. I love Skee-ball. I love funnel cakes and cotton candy. I love twirly, twisty, spinning rides, and I love roller coasters (warning: I’m a screamer). I love photo booths, and one day I WILL convince my family to do one of those old-timey dress up photo shoots with me.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the fact that I, an introvert, can enjoy an amusement park proves that introverts should totally act like extroverts. All the time! We’d be so much happier! Just, you know, get out there and have fun and stuff!

To which I say: Are you kidding me with this?

No one is saying that introverts can’t or don’t enjoy many of the same activities extroverts do. Yes, I love to read, but I also like talking with friends, even at (gasp!) parties. I’m currently obsessed with Netflixing “Friday Night Lights,” but I also enjoy going to real-live football games. And while you’re more likely to find me singing along with Coldplay alone in my car, I was there in the nosebleed section the last time they came to town.

But here’s the thing – those more intense activities, done for sustained periods of time, are draining for introverts. That’s why I have an issue with the second study cited in the Wall Street Journal article.

Dr. John Zelenski’s research, which was presented in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that introverts underestimated how much fun it would be to act extroverted and also overestimated how taxing it would be. But in these studies, which lasted only 20 minutes, the subjects were asked to do things like chat with a new person or work with a group to put a puzzle together.

That hardly sounds intense to me. In fact, that sounds like everyday life. What (I believe) is truly taxing for an introvert is the successive, repeated, sometimes undesired occasions when we are required to act extroverted throughout the course of a day. The study didn’t measure this. And it certainly wasn’t able to measure the effects of a major event like, say, a trip to an amusement park.

Yes, I love them. But I know that I’ll need time to recharge afterward, to regain the energy I expended having all that fun. So I don’t think, as the study suggests, that I’m talking myself out of enjoyable events by choosing not to spend every weekend at an amusement park. I think I’m being realistic and honoring my own temperament by not going so often that I collapse in a heap next to the Tilt-A-Whirl. Because, frankly, that doesn’t sound like much fun to me.

— Kathy

tiffany_head_128I am not a psychologist. I do not play one on TV, nor do I have any experience designing psychological research studies or interpreting their results. In fact, during my first read of the Zelenski study, with its many pages containing what looked like terrifyingly complicated equations, I had almost had a panic attack.

But I digress.

While the Wall Street Journal article offers additional and a somewhat contrary perspective towards the end of the piece, it goes without saying I disagree with the article’s, erm, dumbass title and the study Kathy references above.

Let me repeat:  I am not a social scientist. Multiple readings of Dr. Zelenski’s study, however, left me with the following questions:

  • Study subjects represent a very narrow demographic group — university undergraduate students.  Why the lack of diversity among participants?

Again, Survey Novice here, but I suspect a deeper and wider sample would generate vastly different results.  Kathy came up with the term “experienced introvert,” and I think improving the breadth and depth of the survey pool — to include people of different ages who are probably more comfortable in their own skins, and, more importantly, people from different life stages including parents, working professionals, and senior citizens — would offer a better representation of the general population.

  • What’s behind the descriptive word choices in the Method section, Materials subsection?

The language used in the extraverted instructions is unabashedly positive (“bold,” “adventurous,” “assertive”) while the word choices for the introverted instructions are decidedly negative (“lethargic,” “passive,” “unadventurous”). These words seem obviously biased to me and I wonder how their use might influence potential outcomes.

  • The study also relies on something called “affective forecasting,” defined by Psychology Today as:

                  Affective forecasting is predicting how you will feel in the future. As it turns out, we’re                       terrible at it. We’re not good judges of what will make us happy, and we have trouble                      seeing through the filter of the now. Our feelings in the present blind us to how we’ll                        make decisions in the future when we might be feeling differently.

If affective forecasting as a concept is weak sauce, doesn’t it follow that it would be a rather shaky foundation upon which to build a serious academic inquiry?

To be fair the authors do express reluctance to be “prescriptive,” yet the last lines of the study — “ … a few more moments of extraverted behavior might be good for their [introvert’s] happiness (even if they do not think so)” — make me want to deliver a karate kick to their collective shins.

One of my favorite Anna Quindlen quotes addresses the idea of giving up on being perfect and “beginning the work of becoming yourself.” Perfection doesn’t exist (whatever, Beyoncé), but pretending to be something you aren’t or to like doing something that you don’t is a long way from becoming yourself and being true to your inner disposition. And that, dear reader, is an enormous part of achieving happiness.

— Tiffany