Anyone who knows me will not be surprised when I say that I am more comfortable in nature, or when reading/writing, than I am out in human community or trying to participate in group activities. So, I particularly like this quote from Cain's book where she is researching the nearly-mandatory extroversion of evangelical training and services (she earlier had shared her experiences visiting the highly-extroverted Harvard Business School):
"As the service wears on, I feel the same sense of alienation that McHugh has described. Events like this don't give me the sense of oneness others seem to enjoy; it's always been private occasions that make me feel connected to the joys and sorrows of the world, often in the form of communion with writers and musicians I'll never meet in person. Proust called these moments of unity between writer and reader 'that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.' ..."
"McHugh, as if reading my mind turns to me when the service is over. 'Everything in the service involved communication,' he says with gentle exasperation. 'Greeting people, the lengthy sermon, the singing. There was no emphasis on quiet, liturgy, ritual, things that give you space for contemplation.' ..."
The McHugh that Cain refers to is an evangelical pastor who wrote "Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture."
This isn't about one being 'better' than the other; that would be ridiculous. But it does point to our tendency to exclude and include, to put everyone into a one-size-fits-all, which can be so damaging to soul and, ultimately, to our world.
Of course, I first heard about Susan Cain through Ted Talks: