Jack Canfield Jack Canfield author. speaker. motivator.

Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]

 
Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]

 
Seth Godin Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]

 
Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]

 
Norman Lear Norman Lear producer. philanthropist. tv legend.

Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]

 
Leilani Münter Leilani Münter race car driver. activist. carbon free girl.

Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]

 
Kevin Bales Kevin Bales Freedom Fighter. Philanthropist. Game Changer.

By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]

 
Sophie Chiche Sophie Chiche mom. big dreamer. lady in red.

Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]

 
Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]

 
Liz Phair Liz Phair singer. musician. crier.

Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]

 
Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]

 
Zainab Salbi Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]

 
Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]

 
Kia Miller Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]

 
Simon Mainwaring Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]

 
Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]

 
Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]

 
Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com

 

understand

Tamisha Ford Tamisha Ford soul teacher. passionate writer. proud introvert.

Tamisha Ford, MBA, is a strengths strategist, assertiveness coach, and guide. She is the Founder of Strong & Soulful Living, which helps people embrace their strengths and spirituality in a socially saturated and distracted culture. [www.tamishaford.com]

Lately, I’ve had my nose buried in Sophia Dembling’s new book, The Introvert’s Way. Introverts, like me, tend to feel like the most misunderstood people on the planet, and we don’t prefer to be told we have a victim mentality because of that. Others don’t seem to get our observant nature, our slow and deep thinking, our re-energized state from being alone, or our desire to be around small groups of people more often than large ones.

We resent being called sensitive because we have a low tolerance for pain, loud noises, boisterous behavior in others, loud or unnecessary commentary, or conversations which aren’t deep and succinct. When we connect, we really connect.  When we’re annoyed, we’re really annoyed.

While many of us often feel so misunderstood in our day-to-day living, introverts tend to feel this at a deeper level. As a former extrovert, I am just now getting to a place where I understand why many people sometimes don’t initially “get” me, and why my actions and habits have changed over the past several years. I think they changed as a result of me getting comfortable living alone, becoming more and more independent, and self-actualizing more. The more I wanted to go inside and learn more about myself, the more introverted I became.

As Sophia mentions, I now understand the vibe I can put off, which is “leave me alone.” But that’s not what I want at all. It’s because introverts by nature are not small talkers or chronic smilers. It’s not that we don’t want to talk or converse, or that we aren’t happy individuals. We are simply taking everything in. We observe from a distance.

One of the things I teach is that the first law of relationships is to seek first to understand then to be understood, not vice versa.  So regardless of whether or not you’re an introvert or an extrovert, understanding is often the highest form of connection because it takes the most work.

I don’t believe introverts are better than extroverts, or vice versa. Both are gifts in their own way. Understanding is about compassion, identity and connection. But I want my fellow introverts to know, you are understood by someone, and you are not alone.

– Tamisha Ford

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