Book Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Published: January 2012
Genre: Psychology, Non – Fiction, Self – Help
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society–from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.
Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.
Perhaps most inspiring, she 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. Finally, she offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a “pretend extrovert.”
This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.
I am an Introvert and a shy person. Before, when I don’t know my personality type. I was jealous to other people why they’re so friendly, why are they like that, why I am not like them? I’m always questioning myself. What’s wrong with me? And when I went in my college and there’s a Psychology class and I learned there’s an Introvert and Extrovert. I knew it but not really deeply. Still, I don’t know myself. And I browsed on Internet to learned more about those personality types and I saw Susan Cain talked in TED about her book the “Quiet”, I’m interested and I search and search more information about Introvert and Extrovert. And I found out that I’m one of those Introvert People in this Earth. I purchased the book and read it. It’s true that in this society, Extrovert is the best. In this book also I found out the stories that even though they’re Introverts, you can still be successful. And I learned that being an Introvert person shouldn’t be ashamed of, instead be proud of who you are. And now that I know that I’m an Introvert , I can balance my life. Though, you’re an Introvert you can be an Extrovert too and vice versa. As what Carl Jung said “There’s no such thing as a pure Extrovert or a pure Introvert. Such a man would be in the lunatic asylum”.
It’s an awakening to me and changed how I see myself, Thank you Ms. Susan Cain for this book. This is the reason why I want to be a Psychologist, I hope someday. Now I’m not afraid of who I am. We can be successful in our own different ways even though what kind of your personality type is. What more important is that you are aware what you’re capable of. And know what you aren’t, so that you will not blame yourself when it didn’t work out. Whether you’re an Introvert or Extrovert, everyone should read this. So what if you’re an Introvert, be proud!
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
“So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multi-tasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way.”
“Everyone shines, given the right lighting.”
“Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful; introversion is not.”
“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. They 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.”
“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.”
“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.”