What Kind of Introvert Are You?

Are you an introvert? It depends on which book you read. Here’s a sampling of the various conceptualizations of introversion in pop culture [1]: Preference for quiet, minimally stimulating environments: Quiet by Susan Cain Preference for concentration and solitude: The Introvert’s Way by Sophia Dembling Rechargeable battery: The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney Thoughtful-introspective

Are you an introvert? It depends on which book you read.

Here’s a sampling of the various conceptualizations of introversion in pop culture [1]:

Historically, there has been just as much confusion in the psychological literature. Carl Jung originally defined introversion as a focus on one’s “inwardly directed psychic energy”. However, in the 30s, the psychologist J.P. Guilford showed that various attempts to measure Jung’s conceptualization of introversion resulted in multiple, distinct factors. In other words, there didn’t appear to be a single dimension of personality that captured all of introversion.

In the 60s Patricia Carrigan echoed this point, arguing that introversion was not effectively captured by a single scale. She cautioned that if the phrase introversion is to continue to be used, “care must be taken to specify its conceptual and operational referent. What appear to be minor distinctions between the various conceptions may in fact be crucial ones.” In the 70s, the heated debate continued, with a much older Guilford arguing with H.J. Eysenck over whether introversion can possibly, or even should, be captured by a single scale.

All seemed to be settled in the 90s with the emergence of the “Big Five” framework of personality. The five main factors of personality– extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and intellect/imagination– were empirically derived based on what patterns of behavior tend to go together within individuals. Under this framework, introversion is merely defined as the opposite of extraversion.

In the Big Five framework, extraversion comprises two main aspectsenthusiasm (reflecting sociability, positive emotions, and warmth) and assertiveness (reflecting the tendency to take charge, become a leader, and captivate attention). The common factor seems to be high sensitivity to rewards in the environment— which due to the highly social nature of humans throughout the course of human evolution, most prominently consists of rewards associated with social attention.

Therefore, under the dominant personality framework in modern psychology, if you score low in enthusiasm and assertiveness, you’re an introvert

Here’s the problem: the Big Five framework forces a definition of introversion onto people, many of whom do not conceptualize introversion in the same way. For instance, one study did a comparison of common-sense/everyday notions of introversion and ‘scientific’ conceptions of introversion. They found that the most prototypical characteristic of introversion, as identified by the general public, was the following item:

Clearly, many people equate introversion with introspection. In the Big Five framework, however, this item is classified as part of the intellect/imagination domain of personality, not the introversion domain. So there’s a serious mismatch between folk definitions of introversion and scientific definitions. People who view themselves as introverted because they are highly introspective are being told by scientists: “You aren’t really introverted based on patterns of covariation among the general population.” To which everyday people rightfully respond: “WTF?” [3]

As noted personality psychologist Jonathan Cheek told me, “by invalidating the ordinary language meaning of introversion by defining it solely as the opposite of Big Five Extraversion, the Big Five researchers are guilty of Psychological Imperialism [4].” Influenced by the seminal work of Jung, Guilford, and Carrigan, Cheek and his colleagues have decided to take a different approach, by focusing on the phenomenon of introversion on its own, free from having to be force-fit into one scheme or another.

As Carl Jung said, each individual is ultimately a unique crystal, but type theories can be helpful for navigating social life. Embracing this Jungian philosophy, Cheek and his colleagues argue that when people use the term “introversion”, they should never just use it by itself. Instead, they argue that researchers should put a specific modifier in front of the term. What modifiers could be used?

In her masters thesis (written under the advisement of Cheek), Jennifer Odessa Grimes defined four meanings of introversion: social, thinking, anxious, and restrained (which happens to form the positive acronym STAR). It’s possible to score high or low on either of these flavors of introversion. For instance, you could be low in social introversion by preference but not be particularly anxious in the presence of people. Or you could suffer from crippling social anxiety, but still have the desire to be highly social. Or any other combination of these four meanings of introversion.

By this point you’re probably wondering what kind of introvert you are. Well, you’re in luck. There’s a new test for that.

Best Lifestyle Blogs to Follow in 2021

Lifestyle Blog niche is one of the most competitive blogging niches around. Lifestyle bloggers are competing against digital lifestyle magazines, in a niche that is already quite saturated. So lifestyle blogs that gain a large readership are of a high standard in both design and content.

Online mags often have huge budgets, a print edition as well as digital, and content that is varied and expertly written, with professional photos. But lifestyle blogs have an edge in that they can supply new content every day if they so wish. Lifestyle blogs are free to access whereas digital magazine editions can only be accessed through paid subscriptions.

For a lifestyle blog to thrive, the authors need to provide excellent, accurate content and photos that create interest and capture the readers’ imaginations. Lifestyle bloggers have raised their standards to compete with the best of both online mags and other lifestyle blogs.

But what exactly constitutes a lifestyle blog?

Let’s find out!

Defining Lifestyle Blogs

A lifestyle blog is defined as digital content representing the author’s everyday life and interests. The word “lifestyle” according to the dictionary means “habits, attitudes, moral standards, which together constitute the way of life of a given person or group”. (source: dictionary.com)

As a result, lifestyle blogs can fall into many micro-niches. This allows bloggers to provide content for a specific target audience. Lifestyle bloggers often promote products, brands, and services to monetize their blogs. So it’s almost essential that the person behind the blog is well-versed in whatever the specific topics are.

Here’s a shortlist of typical Lifestyle Blogging niches:

  • Luxury Lifestyle Blogs
  • Foodie Lifestyle Blogs
  • Home & Garden Lifestyle Blogs
  • Fashion Blogs & Beauty Lifestyle Blogs
  • Travel Blogs & Photography Lifestyle Blogs
  • Health & Fitness Lifestyle Blogs
  • Men’s Lifestyle Blogs
  • Natural Living Lifestyle Blogs
  • Outdoor Lifestyle Blogs
  • And Lifestyle Blogs for people with children (also called mom blogs or parenting blogs.)

Sometimes even these categories get split into various combinations, depending on the blogger. So you could end up with a Fashion and Travel Blog, A Natural Living Mom Blog, or even a Foodie and Photography Lifestyle blog.

Lifestyle blog vs. personal blog

Lifestyle blogs are not personal blogs because they focus more on users (readers). The content is created here for the reader and his expectations. What’s more, lifestyle blogs focus on the author’s benefits, not just on telling stories.

In personal blogs, the most important are the author’s emotions and thoughts, who expresses his opinions, writes about his experiences, feelings, reflections. In the personal blog, the author himself is the most important, not the reader.

I can’t write about lifestyle blogs without mentioning a few from each niche. I’ve tried to give you a selection of the most captivating from each subgenre (or micro-niche). These Lifestyle blogs check all the boxes. They are fun, relevant, trendy, polished, and loaded with content that appeals to a specific target audience.

A Quick Note To Would-Be Lifestyle Bloggers

Before I launch into “Our Best Of” list, a word of caution to would-be lifestyle bloggers; even if you have many areas of interest yourself, try to whittle your content down to cover only one or two main topics. This helps when you are trying to grow a steady, loyal readership.

Male readers don’t want to read about fishing, fashion, and raising a brood of ankle snappers! A young professional will not be interested in “Ten Tips To Wean Your Child off Breast Milk”, and your Luxury Lifestyle blog will not impress our Tree Hugging friends who will recoil in horror at the decadence of luxury lifestyles! Readers who enjoy luxury will also not be impressed with Frugal Living!

On the other hand, the lifestyle blogging niche allows the most freedom for bloggers who genuinely do have a vast array of topics that pair well together. If you can create the content and maintain the variety, then you will create space for a wider readership.

Top blogs in lifestyle category

This collection of blogs showcases the variety and range of lifestyle blogs that get it right!

1. Goop.com

Goop was one of the first lifestyle blogs to hit the circuit, way back in 2008. The brainchild of actress and mother, Gwyneth Paltrow, Goop covers everything for the modern woman. She focuses on wellness and how to create a balance between parenting and work. Something all working moms know about! She has a strong team behind her and Goop is a mini-empire in its own right.

Goop covers:

  • Beauty
  • Food & Home
  • Style
  • Travel
  • Wellness

Target Audience: Women of all ages and enlightened men.

2. The Pioneer Woman (thepioneerwoman.com)

This is a lifestyle blog that stands out for me. Unlike so many lifestyle blogs, Ree Drummond blogs about a lifestyle that all Americans know and love. Pure salt of the earth, rustic ranch life. The blog packs a punch! Ree has combined recipes, style, beauty, home & life, food & cooking, news, and entertainment. And great giveaways. She started as a lone ranger but now has a team of editors assisting her in keeping the blog relevant, trendy, and homegrown.

Target Audience: People keen on ranch-style living.

*3. Brightbazaarblog.com

Bright Bazaar blog was founded in 2009 by Will Taylor. This is the place where Will blogs about his love for colorful design, travel, and fashion. This blog is recommended by esteemed publishing houses Elle Decor, Martha Stewart Living, and many others.

If you need more home inspiration, look at other famous bloggers in the article: The Best Interior Design Blogs.

Target Audience: People who love design.

4. Cup of Jo (cupofjo.com)

Joanna Goddard is a perfect example of what can be achieved through blogging. Joanna launched Cup of Jo in 2007, as a hobby. At that time her career was quite a high-powered one. She has loads of editorial experience and her resume brags the likes of Cosmo, Bene, Glamour, and New York.

Today Cup of Jo has a team of writers and is Joanna’s full-time gig. She lives in Brooklynn with her husband and two kids. The blog covers relationships, design, food, style, travel, culture, and motherhood. This is a great blog for women.

Target Audience: Women and mothers of all ages

. Say Yes (sayyes.com)

. Say Yes (sayyes.com)

How important personal hygiene is to fight against Covid-19?

We know the virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person through coughing and sneezing, and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus. The virus may survive on surfaces for a few hours up to several days.

Taking necessary precautionary measures will help us to fight the deadly virus. Precautionary measures such as use of masks, maintaining social distance norms and sanitizing hands and  should be strictly followed.

Covid-19 case numbers and deaths were exponentially rising in India. We all have seen how effectively our corona warriors have fought the battle. The second wave was too powerful and the number of cases in a single day stretched our health community badly. Though, the cases are now in control but we are not in that environment where we can live like the normal days. This is the time when we all need to come together and have a spirit by doing our bit in fighting against the disease.

Have we ever questioned ourselves, why the second wave took this drastic shape? This happened because of not having the right attitude, taking the virus as a normal flu, not wearing the mask properly. When the cases came drastically down in January, people thought that the virus has gone and this resulted the spike in the cases. As a responsible citizen, we need to understand that our focus should be on maintaining personal hygiene not only for ourselves, but for others also. Wherever we go, we should sanitize the area properly, maintain social distance, and wash our hands properly to win the war against the deadly virus.

Keeping in mind the situation many brands stood up and launched products in hygiene and safety category at affordable prices.

The main purpose is to prevent UTI, which is becoming a common concern among women. The infection involves greater risk when one uses public washrooms that are often unclean and unhygienic. Apart from Toilet seats and toilet tops it is important to spray the disinfectant on flush, faucets, door knobs and other hard surfaces to avoid the chances of getting infected.

Increase in COVID- 19 cases saw a spike and this generated a surge in the requirement of masks, sanitisers and other COVID products as well.

The pandemic has caused tremendous disruption to the lives and work processes. Irrespective of how severely or mildly it affects a person, it is still capable of wreaking havoc with our physical and mental fitness and ability to perform various tasks. In such a scenario, using hygiene and sanitation products and adhering to cleanliness can keep us safe from illness.

People are requested to take utmost care of themselves by using mask, sanitisers and break the COVID- 19 chain which is a duty of every citizen and don’t take safety for granted. 

LAL BAHADUR SHASTRI AND THE MAKING OF INDIA.

LAL BAHADUR SHASTRI AND THE MAKING OF INDIA.

Amongst the most noteworthy ‘Satyagrahi’, politician turned minister was the “little man” – LAL BAHADUR SHASTRI. Most people associate him as the second Prime Minister of INDIA for a brief period from 9th June 1964 to 11th January 1966 and seldom assess his importance on the basis of his Prime Ministerial period, but very few know about his previous political achievements. Therefore, in order to critically analyse his role in the making of India after independence, one has to consider from the very beginning of his political career.

LAL BAHADUR was born on 2nd October 1904 in Mughalsarai to SHARADA PRASAD and RAMDULARI DEVI. He lost his father when he was barely a year and a half old, for which his maternal grandfather HAZARI LAL took them to his house where Lal spent most of his childhood. He went to Harishchandra High School, it was here that Lal Bahadur’s heart throbbed with patriotism under the guidance of his teacher and mentor, Nishkameshwar Prasad Misra. He listened to Mahatma Gandhi and Lokmanya tilak’s speeches, being spellbound by their charisma, he realized there was no greater force than truth and justice. Thus, when Gandhiji started the Civil Disobedience Movement, Lal Bahadur not only left his school but also actively participated throughout the movement spreading the spirit of patriotism and nationalism. He then joined the Kashi Vidyapeeth – a nationalist school by patriots – where he took his degree in philosophy and came out as Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1926 to take up the responsibility of a nation builder.

He joined the Servants of the People Society founded by Lala Lajpat Rai in 1926 and became its third president after Purushottamdas Tondon. Tondon made him secretary of the District Congress Committee alongside his lifetime membership of the People Society. It was through these positions in Allahabad that Lal Bahadur carried out the first phase of his political career. He himself acknowledged, “ It was due to life membership of the Servants of the People Society that I got an opportunity to serve my country the most. Society has been instrumental in inculcating in me the true meaning of the term ‘servants of people’”. Lal Bahadur caught the attention of the congress “ top brass ” when he was elected in the U.P Assembly and his Land Reform Report became the basis of the Land Reform Legislation in 1937. Even during the Quit India Agitation, where all the congress leaders were arrested, Lal Bahadur kept hiding and continued the congress “underground” work.

Lal Bahadur Shastri

His return from the jail in 1945 and the Independence of India marks the second phase of Lal Bahadur’s political career. Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant appointed Lal Bahadur as one of his parliamentary secretaries. Impressed by his hard work and sincerity, Pant appointed him as the Police and Transport Minister in the Government when the position stood vacant. As the police and transport minister, he sought to bring a better understanding between the people and the Police Force. For this, he injected young men into the police cadre and created the Prantiya Raksha Dal – the second line of defence – which comprised young men from society who instilled a spirit of patriotism and discipline and years later fought the Chinese invaders bravely. He initiated nationalised road transport in UP, which established contact with the hitherto backward areas and brought trade and economic prosperity. He took a socially radical move by opening bus conducting jobs to women and enforced law and order with firmness and impartiality. When Nehru took over Congress Presidentship, he appointed Lal Bahadur as the General Secretary of the Congress Party Headquarters, which the latter accepted and moved to New Delhi in 1951. 

Lal Bahadur proved his skills and sincerity for which he was straightway included in the central cabinet as the Railways and Transport Minister. Lal bahadur had to take up “ the triple task of rejuvenating the railway administration and repairing the ravages of partition and providing more amenities to the ever-mounting number of passengers who were outstripping the capacity of the Indian railways.” He rearranged the travelling classes, introduced reserved three and two-tier accommodations, third class air-conditioned chair car and electric fans for the third class compartments and even solved the food problem, thus, bringing extensive relief to middle-class passengers. To improve railway efficiency, an Efficiency Bureau was set up along with a Security Adviser and a Railway Protection Force and was even responsible for the reconstitution of new units such as South-Eastern and Central Railways. He constituted Railway User’s Consultative Committee at every level and in 1954-55, approved the Ganga Bridge Project Administration for the construction of road cum rail bridge across the Ganga. These measures led to the advancement of the previously neglected sphere of Railways and inaugurated the process of making India.

In the 1957 elections, Lal Bahadur was given the Ministry of Transport and Communication for a short period, where he brought some changes in administration in accordance with the then economy. He was then moved to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. His tenure saw remarkable progress in Commercial and Industrial fields. The Heavy Engineering Corporation was set up with the help of the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, Small Scale Enterprises and Industries were supported and Agro-Industries were encouraged. The Automobile Industry saw a boost in its output and these measures sought to eradicate the problem of Agricultural Unemployment and Underemployment. After the death of Home Minister, Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant in April 1961, he was appointed as the Union Minister for Home Affairs. In his new position, he faced the threat of Tara Singh in Punjab and the critical situation of Assam, where the former was a political demand; the latter arose out of language controversy. These turmoils threatened internal peace and order and disrupted the stability of the country.

Lal Bahadur was able to elope the problems and tactfully overcame the challenges. The Shastri formula was somewhat successful in re-establishing communal harmony in Assam, but the language problem was not only the “apple of discord” in Assam, rather generated tensions in other parts of the country, especially between the South and the North. He convened a National Integration Conference in New Delhi, where it was accepted that ultimately Hindi would become the national language but the need for continuation of English till the time Hindi was fully developed was also realised. The Conference set up a Permanent National Integration Council and appointed three committees, the Ashoka Mehta Committee, the Sampurnanand Committee, and the C. P Ramaswamy Aiyar Committee, to lay down the means to implement decisions. Lal Bahadur also devoted to administrative reform to curb corruption and inefficiency in the administration by setting up the Central Bureau of Investigation and appointed the Santhanam Commission. He even established the All India Board to promote the social and economic well-being of the most backward classes of India. In his tenure of the home ministry, he had to face the Chinese crisis and was to handle the state of emergency, where he is said to have played rather a “positive role”. His consequent visit to Nepal and establishing a cordial relation with the country earned him great prestige in the national arena.

Lal Bahadur enjoyed the confidence and support of the majority of the ministers for his gentle personality and his hard work. Even Jawaharlal Nehru relied on Lal Bahadur for his assistance and made him a “Minister without Portfolio” in 1964 when he himself was seriously ill. Thus, when ultimately the “banyan tree” fell, the question “ After Nehru Who and What?” became apparent. Between the two contestants, Morarji Desai and Lal Bahadur, the latter was appointed by the so-called ‘syndicate’ and the chief ministers, as the next Prime Minister of India without any strife. As the Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur retained the predecessor’s policy which he said, “ is beneficial to India and will be for the country in the future.” In his short tenure of 19 months of Prime Ministership, he had to face a lot of criticism along with problems. The main problems being Pakistan and Chinese invasions. In his dealings with the Chinese, he made it clear that the Colombo proposals alone could form the basis of talks and said ” we have gone to the utmost limit in accepting them” and there was no going beyond them. He, however, appeared to be more flexible with Pakistan, calling them kin and kith of Indians and believed that the two countries should live together in peace and harmony. His policy towards China and Pakistan was “one of persuasion without abandoning our basic principle.”

His main task as Prime Minister was to form his cabinet, which he did remarkably and brought Indira Gandhi into the cabinet as the Minister for Information and Broadcasting. Although his retention of Foreign Affairs evoked criticism, still he was highly accepted as the Prime Minister because of his “practical and vigorous policy to accelerate the economic growth of the country.” Along with his Prime Ministerial Ship, he inherited a” plateful of unresolved thorny problems.” Since his tenure was the product of the ‘Syndicate’ and some Chief Ministers, he owed to them, who by now acted as “powerful satraps” which ultimately slowed down the decision making and implementation process of the government. His tenure saw the food crisis affecting the economy where the prices increased 22% in 18 months. As an immediate action, he increased food import and spread the Fair Price Programme to the entire country. The Government established a Food Grain Trading Corporation, as an interim measure until the Agriculture Prices Commission took up the charge and an Adhoc Committee was appointed. The legislation was introduced for quality control of improved seeds and Irrigation along with Plant Protection was extended to the entire country. The initiation of the Green Revolution and the White Revolution also contributed to the improvement of the situation. The Prime Minister contributed to the rectification of the country’s development planning which was contributing to the problem of inflation. Even though the government was able to tackle some of the issues, the foreign exchange crisis and the southern language shook the foundation of the Shastri government.

The Kutch Incidents triggered from Jan 1965 between India and Pakistan which came to an end on July 1st with a cease-fire line. Pakistan again on September 1st, invaded Kashmir and war continued for 22 days, ultimately with the joint USA and USSR sponsored Security Council, adopted a resolution of cease-fire line from 22nd Sept. The international compulsion brought both Shastri and Ayub together at Tashkent under soviet premiere Alexie Kosygin. The Tashkent talks resulted in the signing of the famous Tashkent agreement on January 10, 1966, which ensured peace at that moment but failed to provide any permanent solution to the Kashmir issue. The government’s spokesman explained that even though the agreement could not afford any solution to the Kashmir problem, still its significance lies in the fact that both the countries despite differences, pledged to live together in peace and harmony as good neighbours.

Unfortunately, the action that gained him huge popularity and the time which favoured his grip over the Prime Ministerial position came to an end because of his unprecedented death by cardiac arrest the next day, i.e, 11th Jan 1966. Thus came to an end, the brilliant career of an outstanding politician-cum-minister, whose great achievement was to lighten the Indian people’s sinking spirits during the depressing years. Had he lived longer, he could have solved many knotty problems confronted by the country for which he remains to be criticised. The fact remains that during the first years Shastri confronted a series of crises that became the reason for his not getting time to rest back, think and formulate new policies. Thus, when he swam across the ” sea of troubles”, the critics narrated him as “a prisoner of indecision”. But from the start of his political career, his contribution for both the freedom movement and the making of a self-reliant, independent country India, can never be ignored or neglected. And thus, “the little man” from India will continue to be remembered by Indians forever.

NOTES AND REFERENCES:-

MANKEKAR, D. R, ‘Builders of Modern India- Lal Bahadur Sashtri’, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, New Delhi, 1973

Chandra Bipan, Mukherjee Mridula, Mukherjee Aditya, ‘India Since Independence’, Penguin Random House Publishing, Haryana,2008