Immanent adj.

1. Existing or remaining within: inherent. 2. Restricted completely to the mind.

Since I started reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, I’ve become attuned to how Western society views those that spend their time in their head. In many social arenas, being immanent is not admired or respected. In fact, these introverted individuals are criticized as shy (and shy is not the same as introverted), while those who are gregarious are lauded for having an excellent personality. But being pensive and thoughtful is a remarkable trait; and even a strong sign of character (which is different from personality). I’ve often remarked that I don’t say much, but when I do I mean every word I say. This is because I value myself as an immanent creature; I respect my ability to exist in my head for extended periods of time, to allow my mind to process the world around me, for it is in these moments that I draw strength and the courage to speak with conviction and thoughtful precision.

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This entry was published on March 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm. It’s filed under 30 New Words and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “Immanent adj.

  1. I like your thoughts here but wrestle with the notion of demonstrating desired character through intermitant restriction of personality. I believe we are speaking of character as compilation of certain ethics, values or morals and personality as particular character traits an individual has a tendency to gravitate toward and exhibit when there is no reason to restrict them. By believing it is of good character to exhibit certain traits in certain social contexts we supress our natural personality inclinations ( some we believe to be positive in addition to those perceived to be negative). In other situations we may allow ourselves to revert to and show more traits we are inclined toward. I think that this practice is necessary for advancement in any area that requires interaction ( career, relationships etc). However we often compartmentalize to an extent that causes stress and anxiety. While personal perceptions of what charater traits should be demonstrated in certain situations are developed and ultimately practiced we create various social bubbles; one group of people knowing us in a certain way, believing us to posess certain traits while another group knows us to have different traits. A common example is collegues vs. friends. We often develop two or more distinct personalities based on who we are interacting with. While people who do this with little difficulty enjoy more interaction varying groups
    of people ( experiencing fewer instances of conflict) i believe the risk of
    loosing oneself increases. I also think the concept of isolating traits we believe to be universally good in regard to character and practicing only those all the time regardless of who you’re interacting with is interesting. Like the stoics would try for example.

  2. Brooke on said:

    This word has thrown me for a loop before because there are several different spellings and definitions with only subtle differences in pronunciations. (Imminent, eminent, immanent) Oh the oddities of the English language! 🙂

    Have you seen Susan Cain’s TedTalks? As a self-proclaimed loud mouth and extrovert, I was quite moved and impressed by her observations and conclusions related to introversion. Good stuff!

    • jasluttrell on said:

      I agree! In spoken language, those words are very difficult to discern (imminent, eminent, and immanent). In this case, it comes down to a single difference in vowel pronunciation.
      I have seen Susan Cain’s talk on introversion, and I’m currently reading her book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” It is very, very good and valuable for me (a definite introvert) to read. There are a lot of validating points she makes, with careful research to back her arguments up. I’d recommend it!

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