Show 8 – Revenge Of The Introvert

PI4MM Revenge of the Introvert

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Carlton’s original Rant on Introversion:

“You don’t need to be an introvert to be a good copywriter… however, most of the outstanding ones I’ve known are. You might not realize it when you see them stalking a stage at a seminar, or yukking it up at the bar… but they’re mimicking extrovert behavior (which they’ve picked up by studying the real thing in the field).

Quick test: Go to a party or all-day seminar. Have fun. Come home. If you’re still pumped, you’re likely an extrovert. If you’re exhausted from dealing with people, you’re probably an introvert. Most folks are a little of both, depending on the situation. The advantage of introversion is being the outsider who studies and adopts the tactics of the natural extrovert. Empathy becomes a survival tool, which can smoothly translate to top-level writing chops. 

Hard-core extroverts (in my experience) tend to be like bulls in the china shop, just reveling in social situations and bothering the wallflowers (who observe everything with fascinated horror). They have no obvious reason to learn introvert ways, and since they’d have to practice those skills alone anyway, there is almost zero motivation to follow through.”

40 thoughts on “Show 8 – Revenge Of The Introvert

  1. Karen

    Susan Cain said “The most recent study found that half the population are introverts. Other studies have said a third of the population.”
    So much of the population consists of introverts, it’s amazing how everything is still so extrovert-oriented. When I started working from home, so many people thought I was crazy. “Aren’t you going to be bored?”
    Seriously? I couldn’t imagine going back to working in an office, it was literally killing me (slowly…).

    Even now, people I work with try to get me to come to the office, to useless “brainstorming” meetings where they spend three hours saying nothing and what really drives me crazy is that the people that know me say “yea, she’s just like that” when I refuse to attend these things.

    Sorry, now I’m ranting.

    In short – thanks for this 😉


    1. John Carlton

      I don’t believe most of the studies that claim to accurately measure the number of “true” extroverts vs. “true” introverts — most folks have a mix of both styles in their personality. I know many stone-cold extroverts who are nevertheless terrified of public speaking, for example… while I’ve never been afraid of being on stage (starting out as a teen in 4-piece rock bands) — and Kevin even chose a career (before getting into copywriting) that demanded the riskiest kind of public, on-stage performance possible.

      Our main message is that being an introvert is NOT a handicap at all… and, in fact, can be a great tool for any career that requires deeper analysis of what’s “really” going on. Nor is being an extrovert an advantage — if you’re missing the psychologically deeper parts of your quest for success, you need to explore and adopt more of the introvert style (examination, observation, analysis).

      It’s easy to be bullied, as an introvert in a world dominated by louder, more aggressive extroverts. If this podcast kicks the butt of even a few introverts and opens some new doors, we’ve done our job.

      Ranting is fine, Karen. Thanks for the note.

  2. Kevin Rogers

    Hi Karen…

    Sing it sister! It really is bizarre to us introvees why seemingly sensible people would sit around yammering at one another when they could be off alone with their thoughts. Just as it must be freakish to extros how we consider “the place to be” more like “the place to avoid.”

    It’s like Leno people vs Letterman people, we’ll just never “get” each other (have to find a new analogy now that Jay’s retired, damnit!).

    Just know you are not alone! Even though you’d probably prefer to be.

    Thanks for listening and commenting


  3. Jason Parker


    I thought ALL you guys were extroverts 😉

    I’m an introvert myself.

    Feels good to know we introverts can do some damage.

    That said, i still wish I were an extrovert.

    It would be way more fun.

    1. John Carlton

      Actually, it’s more fun to slip into an extroverty state of mind, and be conscious of what you’re doing. Mostly, it’s very tough for an extrovert to understand how introverts work… the “extro’s” tend to be a little too self-centered to look further than surface stuff. The “intro’s” must adapt in order to survive, and so you can bounce back and forth with ease — thus, you even think we’re extroverts, because we have the extro skills of interaction down pat. Yet, Kevin and I both are classic introverts… who have just figured out how to thrive in an extrovert’s world.

      You can do it, too. Being conscious is the first step.

      Thanks for the note, Jason. Good luck to you.

  4. Charlie C

    You guys nailed it. Glad to hear others feel the same way about recharging by being alone and reflecting on the day’s events. Having been a lifelong salesman while also an introvert is draining! That’s why I’m transitioning to copywriting. I feel like I’m more amongst “my kind”. Thanks for the post!

  5. Big jason

    I’m super introverted…. I’m infamous for showing up to gatherings for 5 minutes and then bailing…

    “Dude, why did you leave so early?”

    I felt like killing everyone and thought it better to just leave…

  6. Deb

    I, being an introvert, have taken things I observed and shared them with some extroverts. Nobody is ever sure how to take me but I almost always give them something to think about. When I must go out I make a point of being as friendly and outgoing as my mood permits to increase the chance that they will treat me the same way. Now if people see me and I’m not smiling or whatever they just leave me alone. One trip to the grocery store amuses me, fills my need for social interaction, educates me as to what is going on in town… usually a great time but sometimes you run into those people who just drain you, as long as I can avoid those people or keep them in small doses all is good.
    PI4MM rocks!
    As soon as you stop judging yourself in accordance with other people’s standards you are free to observe with an unbiased eye. Just a thought.

  7. Cedric

    This podcast hit home for me. I’m can be very sociable if I have to but prefer to spend time reading, writing, and thinking. It was like John and Kevin were speaking directly to me in this podcast. Scary accurate. This is like revenge of the introverts! Good stuff.

    1. Kevin Rogers

      Glad the episode hit home for you, Cedric. I know exactly what you’re saying about needing some space to chill and think. It’s a refuel. I wonder how many introverts go around running on reserve because they don’t make time.

      You may have it tougher than most Cedric since your name is famously associated with “Entertainer”. Do people automatically assume that all Cedrics are funny?

      1. Cedric

        Yes people assume all Cedric’s are funny like “The Entertainer”. It’s cool to crack a joke or two but after that I like to retreat to take a breather.

  8. FM

    John and Kevin,

    This podcast was music to my soul. I’ve been an introvert for as long as I can remember and an ‘extrovert’ whenever it’s demanded of me — though I find it exhausting and draining. All the points you guys made hit home!

    But can you please touch upon ‘Anxiety’ and how we can channelize it as introverts?

    I’m pretty sure all introverts feel a ton of anxiety before they have to attend to ‘extro-oriented’ jobs. For me, it’s going to any social engagement where I have to ‘enjoy myself’ with people! LOL. Who thought it would sound like a crisis???

    Somebody once said “Anxiety is only experiencing failure before the event”. I took that to heart. Because invariably, the hell you imagine you’ll go through (before the event) seems silly in hindsight. Until it re-surfaces again, just before you have to dress up and head out into the real world…

    It’ll be great to hear your point of view. Thanks!

    1. John Carlton

      I believe we have a show on anxiety in the cooler… can’t remember if we explicitly talked about channeling it as energy, but I’d be stunned if we didn’t. Keep after us with suggestions for new shows, though, we love the feedback and ideas…

  9. David

    Hi guys, was really excited about some early morning wisdom today but on 3 attempts on my iPad, I could only get to 1:21 into the show before it stalls out. Have a smoking connection so that’s not it. Mobile, particularly Apple can be tricky but there is one or two of us in the world who live on them. Thought you would want to know.

  10. Steve Stapleton

    Great podcast guys. It explains a lot for me. I’ve not been able to describe myself before apart from “ant-social” or “shy”, but I own & run a store – and love it!!

    Just like you said about being on stage, once I’m out of the store, I need to recharge & be left alone to be introspective.

    Interestingly, I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed “making bullets” for others to shoot, which, from what you say, is how we introverts get things done!

    This also explains why I enjoy reading John’s stuff – even though I thought he was totally extroverted & not my type!

    Thanks for the wake-up call (it’s time to get on with the podcasts I’ve been putting off).


    1. John Carlton

      Hey, thanks for the comment, Steve. We had a hunch we’d startle some folks by coming out as introverts, and if we’ve helped anyone find their own footing, we’ve done our job.

  11. Amy

    Hi John,
    Excellent talk, many thanks. By the way, not all of us women are demanding and ignorant! If you were in a car with me for an hour not saying anything I would have enjoyed the silence. Some of us women have a high degree of emotional maturity and actually understand introversion….and love it when our guys are introverts.
    Thanks for the info.

    1. John Carlton

      We weren’t talking about you, Amy. 🙂 Appreciate you taking the time to point this out, however — there are exceptions to every “rule”, and shades of gray to every lesson.


  12. Candace

    Thank you, I found this interview affirming and so encouraging. Your conversation helped me to value my gifts of insight and empathy. I really enjoy being quiet and alone with my thoughts. (I love words and writing too!) I crave this time and space. I have been irritable and impatient with people that demand my time and attention, when I need to recharge. I wasn’t aware of this until you pointed it out. Thanks again!

    1. Kevin Rogers

      Hi Candace,

      Living in a house with a wife and two tweeners I can relate.

      In a perfect world we could schedule our attention so that everyone gets a piece, but life just isn’t that organized. The best solution I’ve found is scheduling an hour (usually early AM) where I can indulge without distraction. Sort of fills the tank for the day.

      Good luck and thanks for listening.


  13. Jiyaad

    This was really helpful as an extrovert, but now I sort of feel doomed to be lumped in with drug addicts and needy psycho girl friends 🙂

    I know you guys touched on this, but any advice on how extroverts can get some of those “hidden skills” that introverts have?

    I’m sure in the same way introverts can learn extrovert behavior, extroverts can learn introvert behavior 🙂

    Thanks for the insights guys.

    1. John Carlton

      I’ve found that extro’s can learn the intro’s tricks… but it takes a few extra steps. First, stop believing you’re “normal” and introverts are not. Second, stop believing that the way you do shit is the “preferred” way, and intro’s should learn from you. Last, murder your ego, go inside, and start ruminating.

      There will be lots of squirming and need for practice… just as introverts have to do their entire lives if they want to have any social life at all. So, squirm, keep after it, and allow the insights that only come with discipline and effort to wash over your bad extroverted ass…

  14. Matt

    HI John and Kevin….that was a fascinating podcast for me. I hummed like a tuning fork to all the pointers you made…..that’s me….that’s me. I’m a realtor and hoping to be author. When you said you love to sit down in front of the screen and tap at the keys….yup, that’s me. I love to see where I will be next as I tap away and develop my story. As a realtor I need to craft copy. That’s why I have your “Kick Ass ” course and also your Entrepreneur’s Guide (on my Kindle/iphone app). Many thanks for the podcast. I really connected with being OK to be on stage…be it a party or working with clients. And yet once it’s done I feel drained and really to relax. Perhaps even the with the Magic Dragon. 🙂

  15. Jake

    Thanks for this guys,

    it really hit home. I had to think about it for a few days, by myself, and I’ve decided I’m an introvert.

    I obviously can’t speak for everyone, but I definitely get a charge from people as well, it just depends on the people and how we are getting on. While I definitely dread getting into some social situations. I know they are good for me to release all that I’ve pent up. For me it’s like knowing will feel better when I exercise. It really is like a muscle though, the more you do it, the easier it gets.

    Much Love guys,


  16. Lauren Doyle

    Hi Kevin & John,

    I listened to this podcast this morning and was CRACKING UP!
    I was just telling a friend of mine that I really have to build up my energy to talk to people, especially to talk on the phone. I was trying to explain that I actually have some level of anxiety about calling people on the phone and that I have to really prepare myself to socialize. They were laughing because they were like, “but you have had a career in sales and you can talk to every person in the room!”.
    Just like you two were talking about, Yes, I am able to do that, but I have to prepare myself for it and need a serious break and energy re-charge afterwards. I had never really pegged it as introvertedness, but I had a great big laugh during the whole podcast.
    When it comes to copywriting, I feel like writing gives me the time to say what I really want to say much more thoughtfully and eloquently than I could ever express through speaking. Maybe that is the case for most introverts?
    No matter how comfortable I get, there is still the “socializing filter anxiety” where I find myself editing or even rushing what I say when speaking to people and yes, like you, Kevin, I tend to analyze my conversations afterwards.
    Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the laugh, I love the podcast:)
    Talk Soon,

    1. Kevin Rogers

      Hi Lauren,

      Laughter is the ultimate prize. Glad you got some from us here. It’s draining to analyze those convos sometimes. Must be a critical part of our learning and adapting system.

      Clicked your link and the site looks great!

      Nice to hear from you.


  17. Brian

    I was parked next to a busy street watching a cute girl walk by right as Kevin said “please stop looking at that girl and leave some comments” Scared the hell out of me :p

  18. Tracy

    Holy cow… Just listened to this and I swear you guys were detailing my life. From the long drives in silence with my single best friend to needing to recharge after even a short time with groups of people, it was like you guys were talking directly about me.

    I’ve always thought of myself as shy and it wasn’t until recently that I found I’m really just an introvert. I’m shy too, but I think it’s mostly due to steering away from situations that meant I’d have to be around more than one person at a time for more than a brief amount of time.

    When I was running my first restaurant, I could be “on” for the customers for the whole day, but if I saw any of them outside of that “safe” atmosphere I’d have nothing to say. You’d never see me starting a conversation with anyone or having any idea of how to do the small talk thing. At work though, no problem. It was like I was performing or something. Playing a part.

    Even now, I can talk with customers while going down the road and have great conversations about all kinds of things. But outside of that truck, in the “real” world, not gonna happen.

    And I never get bored. Never really thought about that before, and at times it would be a sore point with my family because they’d think I was bored when out and about. Simply because I wasn’t “actively” participating and only observing while they do the things they like, they think I’m too bored being around them. Not true at all, I just enjoy watching them have a good time and don’t feel the need to be an active participant in many of the things they do.

    I think this, in large part, is what has kept me from doing many things throughout the years and am curious where I’d be now if I was aware of this before. Not that I regret where I am now, just that if I knew what was going on and how to work through it, maybe I’d have tried more things.

    Anyway, GREAT podcast guys. Thanks a lot.


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