The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator sorts people into one of 16 personality types based on how they perceive the world and make decisions. Half of those types now have a new home on campus.
“We definitely wanted to have a community,” said Elizabeth Brady, co-founder of Quiet Club at UCLA. “UCLA, it’s just a sea of extroverts, and it’s very isolating when you’re not that personality type to connect with other people and everything. Our club alternates between socials, not really socials, anti-social socials and information sessions.”
Brady, who is also a third-year political science and public affairs student and former Daily Bruin Opinion writer, said she co-founded the Quiet Club this past fall with third-year psychology student Tara Srinivasan because they felt isolated at UCLA.
Srinivasan said her goal was to provide a place for introverted students to meet and interact free from the pressures of social interaction. Each week, the club hosts a social or informational presentation, which Srinivasan said discusses the benefits and psychology of introversion.
The club meets every Thursday and holds socials on odd weeks and information sessions on even weeks of the quarter, according to the Quiet Club Instagram. Socials include specific activities that can be done individually or with others, such as arts and crafts, which Brady said creates an environment that allows attendees to choose whatever level of social interaction they are comfortable with.
Third-year economics student Nathan Goldberg said he particularly enjoyed the club’s first social of the quarter, where members walked to Chinese restaurant Mr. Rice in Westwood Village without the pressure to converse for the entire walk.
“When I’ve been to parties in the past, … I definitely feel like I come off as awkward and feel really pressured to be more social than I’m really built for,” Goldberg said. “Here, that same pressure just isn’t there. I can actually feel more comfortable and not feel socially exhausted afterwards.”
Third-year political science student Rachel Mejia said she also appreciates how the club welcomes people who are less inclined to be talkative, which contrasts with her experiences in classes and other social settings.
Along with socials, the club holds information sessions that focus on different aspects of introversion and how to handle challenges such as public speaking anxiety.
“The information sessions really help you get to know what an introvert is, how you’re an introvert, how you interact with the world and how you can develop yourself to really fit in,” Brady said.
During their week four meeting on introversion in the workplace, Brady and Srinivasan discussed groupthink, in which groups make decisions in a way that hinders creativity and innovation. Because introverts prefer to work on their own and tend to be more thoughtful, issues such as groupthink can be minimized, Srinivasan said in the meeting.
The two co-presidents also encouraged attendees to think about leaders who were considered introverts, such as Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt, explaining the importance of recognizing how these well-known figures shaped society using thoughtfulness and attention to detail.
“Introverts really bring that inner thoughts and reflection that extroverts don’t necessarily think of or prioritize,” Srinivasan said. “There are a lot of introverted leaders out there historically that we just don’t think about, and so one of my main personal goals for this is to really show people that you can be a leader and can make a difference even if you are an introvert.”
The Quiet Club usually sees around 20 attendees at its events and currently has about 100 followers on Instagram. However, Srinivasan said the club has already received attention from professors, who have said they wish they had had a club for introverts during their undergraduate experience.
Brady said she hopes she can continue to provide the environment her club creates for introverts at UCLA and expand the concept to other colleges.
“It’s amazing that it’s come to be what it has and people really resonate with the idea, and I feel people connect a lot and people keep coming,” Brady said. “I really hope that we can inspire some other schools, other campuses to continue our mission.”