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After the Show: The Many Faces of the Performer

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.” ― Pearl S. Buck

An unpublished study of introversion, extroversion and creativity by Jennifer O. Grimes was cited by Scott Barry Kaufman at Psychology Today, Huffington Post, and Scientific American: After the Show: The Many Faces of the Performer:

“While most of the musicians reported some degree of shyness at some time in their lives, this was not reported as the main motivator for their reclusion. Social reclusion was reported as a result of their constant “overthinking”, rumination, concern regarding future events and possibilities, suspicions, and/or a sense of being philosophically overwhelmed. Most of Grimes’ subjects reported “overthinking everything” and being hypercritical, exhibiting critical attention to detail and a careful method of planning everything.”

“Many of Grimes’ subjects felt as though they were often misunderstood or perceived in a negative light, sometimes due to shyness. Other reasons for feeling misunderstood stemmed from a preference for solitude and an accompanying belief that their perceptions of appropriate social exchange with certain friends is dissonant from the expectations of these friends.”

“Subjects were in agreement that relating through art allowed them to ‘bridge the gap’ between their inner world and their outer world, and to be able to constructively enjoy their creativity without the pressures of emergent anxiety or a desire to withdraw.”

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