We are on day 54 of our lockdown in South Africa. I am so very, very grateful that I’m an introvert at this time. I can only imagine what extroverts are going through. For introverts, this is so much easier.

I read Susan Cain’s book “Quiet” recently – on the power of introverts in a world that never stops talking. Her insights into the demand for extroversion in our social milieu are fascinating. She talks, for instance, of open plan offices and clusters of desks in classrooms. An introvert wants, immediately, to run a mile. Her book is so well worth the read – I’ll leave a more detailed review for another day.

Understanding and living according to our own level of introversion or extroversion is incredibly important; we’ll only really feel comfortable, and in the right spaces, if our life choices match who we are.

Try this quiz to understand (or confirm) your introversion/extroversion; the quiz is taken from Susan’s book “Quiet”(and published on nextbigidea.com, to be used free) :

“Answer each question True or False, choosing the answer that applies to you more often than not.

1. I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities.
2. I often prefer to express myself in writing.
3. I enjoy solitude.
4. I seem to care about wealth, fame, and status less than my peers.
5. I dislike small talk, but I enjoy talking in-depth about topics that matter to me.
6. People tell me that I’m a good listener.
7. I’m not a big risk-taker.
8. I enjoy work that allows me to “dive in” with few interruptions.
9. I like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, with only one or two close friends or family members.
10. People describe me as “soft-spoken” or “mellow.”
11. I prefer not to show or discuss my work with others until it’s finished.
12. I dislike conflict.
13. I do my best work on my own.
14. I tend to think before I speak.
15. I feel drained after being out and about, even if I’ve enjoyed myself.
16. I often let calls go through to voice-mail.
17. If I had to choose, I’d prefer a weekend with absolutely nothing to do to one with too many things scheduled.
18. I don’t enjoy multi-tasking.
19. I can concentrate easily.
20. In classroom situations, I prefer lectures to seminars.

The more often you answered True, the more introverted you probably are. Lots of Falses suggests you’re an extrovert. If you had a roughly equal number of Trues and Falses, then you may be an “ambivert” – yes, there really is such a word.”