Scientists now know that, while introverts have no special advantage
in intelligence, they do seem to process more information than others in
any given situation. To digest it, they do best in quiet environments,
interacting one on one. Further, their brains are less dependent on
external stimuli and rewards to feel good.
As a result,
introverts are not driven to seek big hits of positive emotional
arousal—they'd rather find meaning than bliss—making them relatively
immune to the search for happiness that permeates contemporary American
culture. In fact, the cultural emphasis on happiness may actually
threaten their mental health. As American life becomes increasingly
competitive and aggressive, to say nothing of blindingly fast, the
pressures to produce on demand, be a team player, and make snap
decisions cut introverts off from their inner power source, leaving them
stressed and depleted. Introverts today face one overarching
challenge—not to feel like misfits in their own culture.