Published by Crown Publishing Group/Random House, Inc. on January 24, 2012
Genres: non-fiction, science
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.
In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.
I thought this was a really interesting and insightful read, whether you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between.
The book is split into 4 parts. In the first part, the table is set and we learn the difference between extroverts and introverts and how society favors extroverts, as well as some of the historical and cultural implications of this. The second part focused on how our extroversion or introversion can be determined by our biology, and how it affects our decision-making and other aspects of our life. This section felt sort of business-centered, and I got bogged down and bored with it a little.
The third section and fourth sections were my favorites. The third section dealt with culture, and how different cultures value introversion. And the fourth was all about communication, particularly between two partners who are at different points in the spectrum as well as how to approach and understand introverted children in a beneficial way.
I think everyone will recognize themselves at some point of this book, no matter how introverted or extroverted you are. I think it can be especially useful for parents or teachers who have introverted children/students and aren’t sure how to work with them.
I listened to the audio version, and give it a thumbs up!
- “… Quiet may be just as eye-opening to an extroverted spouse with an introverted partner, an extroverted parent to an introverted child, or an extroverted boss to an introverted employee.” – ALYG
- “If you are, as I, following research in neurology and psychology only peripherally, Susan Cain’s book is likely to teach you something about yourself, and your friends and relatives.” – Backreaction
- “The book has made me reevaluate myself, and I’m now more comfortable with my occasional need for solitude. I’m also looking at my children more carefully to see how they’re developing and how I can help them.” – darktea