Book Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain is scheduled for release on Jan. 24, 2012. This book chronicles the history of society’s changing focus on character and personality. It takes a close look at the differences between introverts and extroverts, and America’s current cultural push to be an extrovert. Scientific studies, in-depth personal research and detailed case studies of individuals come together in this intriguing book. Cain argues that those of us that can be considered introverts are as important and valuable as our more gregarious counterparts and are often undervalued. Readers will be enthralled by the life stories, the psychological details, and personal insights that Quiet offers. I had greater insight about myself, relationships and all manner of interpersonal communications after finishing this book.

Cain has done an impressive amount of research in the creation of Quiet. As an introvert myself, I was intrigued by the way the American culture has gone from respecting the strength of good character to honoring the ability of individuals to sell themselves to others. The focus on being well-liked rather than intelligent and trustworthy has shaped education, college admissions, and the business world. While at least one third of the people you know might be introverts, you would never know it. Between coping skills, social cues, and simply faking it many introverts have learned to act as loud and extroverted as the world expects them to be. However, this might not be good for anyone. Quiet details the variety of personality traits and preferences that make each of us different, and why each kind of person is important to the greater good. I really enjoyed that I was able to get a better understanding of who I am, and who the people around me might really be in light of introversion, extroversion and sensitivity.

Quiet is a intriguing journey full of real stories about real people. The variations between cultures and the ways we can balance our work place, home, and school environments to better suit the variety of people that populate the world are explained. Everyone person, despite their unique and complex personality, has their own strengths and weaknesses. While our culture might put more value on the most outspoken people, the quiet power of the introverts of the world can move mountains and might just offer the caution that risk takers should head. Being an introvert is not a curse, despite how it might have felt while growing up. I am looking forward to better balancing my own life in light of what I have learned, and I am looking forward to helping my children embrace their true selves, regardless of if they are shy, gregarious, studious or highly sensitive.

Quiet is full of cutting edge research from the fields of neuroscience and psychology. Stories about real people, real life and real situations keep the book flowing and interesting when the details might otherwise become too weighty. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is an introvert, or knows an introvert. In other words, everyone should read this book if they are interested in group dynamics, personality, how to lead better, how to work better and how to play better. I think that everyone can find something valuable in Quiet that they can relate to their life and use in the real world.

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