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Home » Books & writing

Text, Don’t Call: An Illustrated Guide to the Introverted Life

Submitted by on September 27, 2017 – 1:11 am One Comment

Being an INFJ (the rarest personality type), I was happy to come across this book. The following review appeared originally in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.

Twenty years ago, as illustrator and author Aaron Caycedo-Kimura was trying to figure out what to do with his life, he made a monumental discovery: he was an introvert, specifically an INFJ, according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. “The description nailed and validated me; among other things, INFJs are deeply emotional, empathetic, relational, and INTROVERTED.”

Later, during a creative dry spell, Caycedo-Kimura, using the handle INFJoe, began posting illustrations online about his life as an introvert. “The response was amazing…! One person wrote, ‘I’m so happy to find out I’m not the only one.’ ” Following that experience, Caycedo-Kimura created Text, Don’t Call: An Illustrated Guide to the Introverted Life.

The guide is intended to help introverts understand themselves better and navigate the extroverted world. Caycedo-Kimura points out, for example, that introverts often describe themselves as antisocial or shy, but he illustrates how introversion differs from those two other qualities: being shy stems from a lack of confidence and antisocial behavior indicates an aggressive attitude toward others, while “introversion is the preference for directing our attention inward.”

The guide could also help extroverts be introvert allies—e.g., by ensuring at social gatherings that introverts “have a quiet corner where people don’t crowd [them]”—or simply be more empathic when introverts feel “peopled out” (exhausted after spending time at large gatherings). The drawings have a gentle wit, getting Caycedo-Kimura’s points across in a conversational, nonclinical style. Introverts will find he nails and validates them, by making it clear “we introverts are alone together.”

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