women. writers.

Women In Writing: Jenn Granneman from Introvert, Dear

If you, like many writers, would call yourself an introvert, then you're going to want to meet this month's Women in Writing feature author, Jenn Granneman. She is the founder of the popular website Introvert, Dearwhich plays host to humorous and insightful stories of the introvert life by introverts of all types (Jenn herself is an INFJ). We're so thankful Jenn was able to stop by and chat with us! To learn more about this curiously wonderful introvert and her upcoming book, read on.

1) What made you take the step to celebrate introverts with a website? 

I created Introvert, Dear because I didn’t want other introverts to go through life feeling damaged or broken because of their introversion. Several years ago, I was in a used bookstore and happened to pick up Marti Olsen Laney’s book, The Introvert Advantage. I read the back and thought, hey, that sounds like me! After reading the whole book, cover to cover, I cried. I literally cried. Suddenly, my life made sense. I wasn’t “weird” or damaged. There was nothing wrong with me because I was quiet and liked spending time alone. I was simply an introvert. And the best part was, there were other people out there like me. I celebrate introverts on Introvert, Dear because I want other introverts to feel that same sense of relief that I felt when I first learned I am an introvert. I want other introverts to know it’s okay to be who they are.

2) How has its popularity impacted you, a self-described introvert, and how do you think it has impacted others?

Introvert, Dear began as my personal blog in 2013, and today it has grown into so much more. It’s less of a blog and more of an online publishing platform. It brings together thousands of introvert voices from all over the world.

I’ll tell you a secret: for a while, I tried to hide on my own site. I’m not really big on attention. For a year, I wrote my blog anonymously. The first picture of me on my “about me” page didn’t show my whole face. Even today, I’m a little disguised in my picture by some big sunglasses. It’s a little silly to want to hide my identity, but I guess that’s the introvert in me coming out.

I often get messages from readers that say Introvert, Dear helped them understand and embrace their introversion. Those kinds of messages make my day! That’s the whole reason I started my site. 

3) How do you think helping people understand introverts is beneficial?

I think many people get introversion wrong. I’ve been told by co-workers, “You can’t be an introvert! You talk and are social.” The reality is, I’m quite introverted. I wish I would have learned about my introversion when I was a child—it would have explained so much and saved me the pain of feeling like there was something wrong with me. Many people don’t realize that introversion is about needing less stimulation than extroverts to be happy. They think all introverts are shy, reclusive, and lacking self-confidence. Many introverts can put on an extroverted persona at times, but then they wonder why they are exhausted at the end of the day. 

I think helping introverts understand themselves is crucial. Once you understand your natural temperament, you can work with it, rather than fight against it. It’s important for extroverts to understand introverts, too. Extroverts should learn that when introverts want to be alone—and be away from them—that they shouldn’t take it personally. Also, just because an introvert isn’t talking right now doesn’t mean he or she is rude, angry, or bored.

4) Can you tell me a little about your book, The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World? What can we expect to learn from it that we haven't learned from Introvert, Dear?

The Secret Lives of Introverts is my first book, and I’m thrilled to be writing it! My book is an introvert manifesto of sorts. Using the latest research, interviews with introverts, and my own personal story, it will explore what it really means to be an introvert. It will examine misconceptions we have about introverts and reveal the secret truth. This will help introverts (and extroverts) understand their nature better. The book will be out in spring of 2017.

One difference between my book and Introvert, Dear is that I get quite personal in my book. Readers will learn more about me, how I’ve struggled as an introvert, and see some of the lessons I’ve learned. I guess I won’t be able to hide anymore! My book will also use research to explore introversion in-depth, as well as feature personal stories from other introverts.

5) In what ways did you draw from your own experiences for the book? From others?

I draw from my own experiences by sharing personal stories about my life. For example, I share about feeling tired after hanging out with my friends as a teenager; how I was quiet and shy even as a child; and how my introversion affected my life as an adult—I went through three career changes and a divorce before I understood myself. I also draw from the experiences of others. I’m interviewing dozens of introverts for the book, and will include personal stories from many of them.

More About Jenn
Jenn Granneman is the founder of Introvert, Dear, the popular community for introverts and highly-sensitive people. Jenn is an introvert, a highly-sensitive person, and an INFJ personality type. She started Introvert, Dear to help other introverts not feel so alone or weird. Look for her first book, The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World, in spring 2017.
1 comment on "Women In Writing: Jenn Granneman from Introvert, Dear"