Every day, more than 1,673,007,068 people on this planet need to spend long, restorative stretches of time alone. That’s over 1½ billion – with a b – who prefer intimate, civilized, one-on-one conversations to rampant mixing and mingling. Who may be electrifying orators from the safe distance of a podium or stage or laptop but feel uncomfortable in close quarters with groups and impatient with chit-chat. A population greater than the People’s Republic of China that hates parties and needs quiet isolation and seclusion to recover from them.

In short, the world is lousy with introverts.

For every introvert holing up in Houston,

there are millions more dodging karaoke in

Beijing and poo-pooing polka in Prague.

d

Clearly, dear reader, you and I are not alone in our need to be alone. Just ask the 285 million people who play chess online worldwide. Or the 3,100,000 book lovers on goodreads.com. And then there are the unreckonable masses you’ll never even see: The leagues of company softball dodgers, the AWOL’s from after-work get-togethers and the no-shows at social shmooze-fests who contribute to our ranks by their very absence.

Which raises an interesting point: Maybe the world seems overrun by extraverts only because they’re so visible. Shamelessly flouncing about in public while the rest of us are home watching Celebrity Rehab – invisible to the naked eye, yet everywhere. Like ninjas. Or cockroaches. (Not the most flattering analogy, but we all know who’d prevail over whom in a nuclear blast.)

My point – and I do have one – is that our tribe is strong. Introverts may not be in the majority, but there is a colossal coterie of kindred spirits out there. And the best part is, none of them expects you to attend home jewelry parties or go folk dancing unless you darn well feel like it.


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