I consider myself an adapted introvert, having learned to adjust to an extroverted world. Years ago I read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. It is one of those books you think about long after you’ve finished reading and has become one of my go-to books. I find myself talking about it in casual conversations, using what I learned in articles I write and applying its principles in raising my children to value who they are.
Cain delves into the world of introverts in an insightful way. She brings valuable understanding in how to either live life as an introvert or interact with the introverts you know. Her study helps to improve our relationships as we interact with one another.
Besides offering some genuinely interesting material, the narrative is readable. Sometimes nonfiction can be hard to trudge through, but not this book. Each chapter takes you through numerous case studies connected with real-life people making the results or conclusions of the case studies relatable and often applicable to someone you may know or love.
In general, American society identifies introversion as a weakness because of the extroverted world in which we live. Our culture celebrates “personality” which can affect an introverts self-esteem. The reality is, an introvert’s powerful qualities are often overlooked or downplayed.
Cain’s message is one of encouragement and validation to introverts everywhere. Embrace who you are and your purpose in life. The world needs those thorough, devoted types. And when introverts and extroverts team up and utilize each other’s strengths, they are unbeatable.
Quiet changed the way I look at myself and the world around me. It helped me understand so many of my tendencies and recognize the value in what I have to contribute in a world of extroverts. If you think you or someone you love might be an introvert, I would be sure to add this to your list of books to read.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from Quiet:
Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. Introverts listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”
Figure out what you are meant to contribute to the world and make sure you contribute it. If this requires public speaking or networking or other activities that make you uncomfortable, do them anyway. But accept that they’re difficult, get the training you need to make them easier, and reward yourself when you’re done.”
The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some it’s a Broadway spotlight. For others, a lamplit desk. Use your natural powers — of persistence, concentration, insight, and sensitivity — to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems, make art, think deeply.”
Some Additional Thoughts
Jennifer Wise, one of our contributors, wrote about learning and embracing our differences. You can read her article here.
I took the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test years ago. The results were initially surprising until I understood how these insights could help me understand and benefit from my strengths. If you’re interested, you can take the test here and discover your best-fit type and interesting insights and meaning in your preferences.
6 thoughts on “||Book Review|| Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”
Excellent book. I particularly enjoyed the way she discussed the various types of introverts. When people meet me in a social setting, they often think I’m an extrovert, because when I’m out and about I like talking to people. However, when I’m done I’m done – I have to go home and enjoy my solitude for a while.
I can totally relate to that. Glad you enjoyed the book!
Like Jennifer I want to get this book, not just for myself but my daughter as well. I’m an introvert that has just avoided human contact and always kept everyone at a distance. I don’t think many people realize just how hard it is for us to get up and do anything that is going to draw attention to yourself. My daughter is much the same way and as we know our children won’t always believe their mothers when they are trying to talk them up in any situation. It would be nice reinforce to her that there is nothing wrong with her and that she is not alone in her struggles. Going out to visit family is something I have to force myself to do, let alone a friend when I know that there will be people I don’t know there. I have come out of my shell a little bit due to making my daughter get out there and go places where she will have to talk to people. We are both still ready to go home after about a hour of being away from home. I just feel mentally exhausted when I make an effort to get out there.
You will both benefit from this book. One thing I loved was how she helped me see I have value to share and gave me the courage to do it. Thanks for the comment!
I. NEED. THIS. BOOK. I just put it in my shopping cart. I loved these quotes you shared, too. I think so many aspects of introvertedness are looked down on because they come across as “lazy.” It’s really not that at all. It’s really more a matter of introverts using their energy wisely. I LOVE talking with people I know well, especially when the conversation runs deep. Small talk is so much effort for me that I really get tired doing it. So if I expend a lot of effort in a difficult-for-me social situation (small talk, conflict, etc.), then I’m not lazy when I go home and read for a bit or play Words with Friends on my phone. I literally NEED that time to replenish the effort I’ve expended. I am spent. I have nothing left to give. But when it comes to listening or working on long, detailed projects that I feel are meaningful, I can seriously go the distance. We all have our own strengths, and it’s so important to run with them because THAT’S what we bring to the world. And the world needs all of us.
You will love this book! It feels so validating to know you are not alone – and it helps others understand us in a whole new way. I’m looking forward to hear how you like it, Jennifer!