Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
By Susan Cain
My Rating: 4 Stars
A fascinating look at introverts in a world where extroverts are the ideal. Expertly researched to include a wide sampling of introverts having to live in an extrovert-centric world, Cain sheds light on how important introverts are to the world and how they can bring so much to society. Often thought of as simply being shy or quiet, Cain focuses on the fact that the minds of introverts work quite differently from extroverts. She delves into the psychological differences from these groups of people and what they do to re-charge from the pressures of life as well as the successes of each and how they move through life successfully.
This was a fascinating book to read. I rejoiced while reading this book, having recently discovered that I in fact, am a pure and total introvert. As Cain mentions in her book, American children are bred to be extroverts in the American school system. I am certainly a product of that type of learning and teaching system. I grew up being the “popular” girl. I was involved in a plethora of activities to include: yearbook, the school newspaper, sports managing for football, wrestling and hockey. I was on the tennis team and involved in a number of committees. I dated one of the captains of the football team and I attended and even threw some of the biggest parties of the year. To say I was an active extrovert is putting it lightly.
As time has gone on however and I have grown with age, I’ve become more and more of an introvert. I became a librarian, which isn’t necessarily an introvert profession but we do tend to be quiet, thinking types of people. Not all of us, but many. Given the opportunity to spend time at home with a good book or out with a group of friends in a bar, my first desire is just to stay home, but I do recognize that going out and being with people is a necessity in life. But when I’m done, I need my alone time to recharge. Since I’m middle management, I spend a huge portion of my days dealing with people, whether it’s employees, co-workers, upper management or customers. And frankly, it’s absolutely exhausting. I am so drained at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is interact with people. This has led to huge levels of guilt on my part and feeling like I’m a terrible friend and family member. But despite that guilt I can’t get myself to be more social at the end of the day. This book however has made me feel more at ease with the type of person I am. I will forever by grateful to Cain for this.
In recent years, I’ve been called a recluse and a hermit more times than I can count. But that’s not really it. It’s not that I don’t want to be around people, it’s just that I’ve found that my time to myself is quite valuable and frankly, I do my best thinking when I’m by myself. Most of my problem solving answers come to me while sitting at home in the quiet of my home. I now understand why after reading this book.
This was an excellent read. I highly recommend it to anyone who is fascinated about people and psychology. I think all levels of management should read this book to better understand the introverts they work with each day. Susan Cain does an exceptional job in describing and explaining the lives of introverts and in many ways extroverts. She presents positive examples of successful introverts and she explains how introverts can bring more to all aspects of the world if just given a chance. I found this book to be highly motivating and positive for introverts like myself. And I’m certain other introverts will feel the same. Highly recommended.