After watching “The Avengers” this summer, I turned to my introverted son and commented, “Your super power is silence, which makes you invisible, or in the least, camouflaged.” For, even though he doesn’t speak much, when he does, it’s powerful — either highly insightful or subtly hysterical. Interestingly enough, he agreed with my assessment, with the amendment of non-verbal communication for silence. I agree. After all, as a super hero he is a man of action, not passively silent.
Most of society are drawn to extroverts. Most extroverts want to change introverts to be more like them. And isn’t it also true that most of our protagonists are extroverts — people of action, moving the plots forward. People like to laugh out loud at quick comments or actions which easily flow from extroverts (along with lots and lots of irrelevant babble).
One time my husband described the different between an introvert and an extrovert as this: an introvert thinks before s/he talks and an extrovert doesn’t. Therefore, you will never find an introvert slapping his hand over his mouth and muttering, “Sorry. Did I say that out loud? Yikes. Sorry.”
So, is there a place for introvert main characters in our stories? I respond with a hearty YES! As a bona-fide extrovert who has a husband and one son who are introverts, I know how often their subtle humor soars over extroverts’ heads, for their presentation is quieter and deeper. If you care to check out a very funny blog post from an introvert, you may do so here .
Interesting post. I think lots of YA protagonists are introverts, but they have to be willing to initiate action.