In Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain discovered that, “one third to one half of Americans are introverts” (Page 3). Susan Cain admits that she is an introvert. Most of the world tends to look down on people who are quiet and we call them shy. Quiet individuals are also many times compared to extroverts and they wonder why we can’t be more outgoing like them. The book is well researched and is backed up with tons of statistics and studies to support her points. Susan Cain has found that people who are quiet enjoy working alone instead of with a group. Introverts can be highly sensitive. Introverts dislikes small talk and would prefer to be in more depth in conversations and topics that inspire them and they connect with. Introverts are more incline to pause and think before they speak because they don’t like to cause conflict. Extroverts are the opposite they sometimes don’t think before they speak and they don’t always listen to what introverts have to share. The book will prove that the world needs both types of people to contribute to the wellbeing of the world.
Some of the introverted people displayed in the book were, Rosa Parks, Albert Einstein, J.K. Rowling, Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Eleanor Roosevelt, Al Gore, Warren Buffett, Gandhi, Moses, Charles Darwin, and many more. Some of the extroverts were: Martin Luther King, Jr., Oprah, Dale Carnegie, President George W. Bush, Tony Robbins, Bill Clinton, and many more. The book will describe some of these famous people stories in vast details.
One of my favorite quotes was an overview of the differences between introverts and extroverts:
“Human extroverts have more sex partners than introverts do- a boon to any species wanting to reproduce itself-but they commit more adultery and divorce more frequently, which is not a good thing for the children of all the couplings. Extroverts exercise more, but introverts suffer fewer accidents and traumatic injuries. Extroverts enjoy wider networks of social support, but commit more crimes (Page 148).
Susan Cain explored and travelled to public and private schools in Georgia, New York, and Michigan to see how teachers are conducting their classroom settings. A great number of teachers are believing that having group work prepares students for the business world and it teaches them to work together for a common goal. One classroom Susan visited had a sign on the wall that said, “You Can’t Ask a Teacher for Help Unless Everyone in Your Group has the Same Question” (Page 77). Another teacher made a quiet student become the safety patrol for a day where he would have an opportunity to become a leader too. But does everyone need to be a leader, don’t we need followers too.
A gigantic thing that I enjoyed was the section at the end of the book entitled, “Resources for Readers”. Susan Cain communal tips for parents with introverted children, educators, and public speaking for introverts. One of the tips that I thought was really helpful was encouraging your child when they seek out new activities, interactions, and friendships. Let them know you saw the courage they demonstrated and you’re proud of them. If they are frightened to try new things make sure to start small and don’t push your child too quickly. Another big tip was don’t call your child shy because most of the time our children take it as criticism and it will damage their self-esteem.
I would recommend this brilliant well researched book to anyone who feels ashamed of being introverted or they feel bad that they are called shy. Extroverts would greatly benefit from reading this book to better understand the importance of having introverts in the business field. I immensely loved the contrast shown between being introverted and extroverted and the reminder that one isn’t better than the other. I loved how Susan Cain actually travelled to different events and places to understand how different locations handle people who are introverted in an extroverted world. The book deeply inspired me to love my personality type. I’m an introvert and I realized that I think and work better alone than when I’m in a group sharing ideas. I have also noticed that if I’m passionate about a topic I will talk more and be willing to share my opinions and concerns. If you’re looking for a book that will change your perspective on the importance of needing both introverts and extroverts, then book will inspire and encourage you to accept each other completely.
“I received this copy of Quiet for free from Random House/ WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.
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Here is a Q&A featuring Susan Cain:
What would be your advice for living with a spouse who is an introvert? Particularly ways to solve disputes when only one side is willing to do any talking!
This is such an important question (and I address it at length in the chapter in QUIET on introvert-extrovert relationships). Introverts and extroverts are often attracted to each other as marriage partners (for good reason), but they have dramatically different approaches to conflict. Extroverts are what psychologists call “confrontive copers,” while introverts tend to seek to defuse conflict. The problem is that the more extroverts confront their introverted partners, the more aggressed the introverts feel – and the more they withdraw, leaving their extroverted partners feeling shut out in the cold. On the other hand, the more that introverts try to defuse conflict with quiet talk, the more vehement their extroverted partners grow in response – causing introverts to feel insulted or attacked.
The only way out of this impasse is for each partner to truly understand where the other is coming from, and to borrow the other’s coping style. For an extrovert, this means airing grievances as quietly, mildly, and respectfully as you can. And for introverts, this means engaging head on with problems, even when this feels threatening and unpleasant. Good luck, it’s worth it!
How do you classify someone who prefers their own company and activities they can do by themselves, but has forced themselves to act in a more extroverted way?
I enjoy being alone and love reading and creative writing. However, in order to promote and build my dental practice, I have made myself participate in community activities, and in order to be a more active part of my childrens' lives I am part of a group of parents that work and play together. I even enjoy these activities, all the while thinking that I'd rather be home alone with my husband and kids, curled up by a toasty fire with a good book or sharing a movie with them. Have I remade myself into an extrovert or just putting on an act?
It sounds like you’re an introvert who’s gotten really good at acting like a pseduo-extrovert – and nothing wrong with that, if it serves goals that matter to you (your dental practice, your kids’ social life.) Just make sure to get the quiet time you need – and that your family probably needs, too.
What do extraverts need to understand most about introverts?
When they don’t engage animatedly with you, this doesn’t mean that they don’t like or love you! They just need to recharge their batteries frequently, and might be less demonstrative than you are. Look for signs of quiet passion!
As an extrovert married to an introvert, how can I make his social experiences more satisfying and less stressful?
What a great and caring question. Well, for one thing, make sure there aren’t too many of them. No introvert enjoys going out night after night…but they might really enjoy the right social events in measured doses. The best experiences tend to be with close friends, or based on events that are of intrinsic interest – eg a movie, a concert, etc.
How do you see introverts having any type of an impact on our predominately extrovert society?
They already do! Many of our finest leaders and artists have been introverts. It’s usually a matter of making your own natural strengths work for you (for example, the Campbell Soup CEO Doug Conant was famous for writing 30,000 personal notes of thanks to high-performing employees) while gaining the skills you need to fake extroversion when you need to.
Also, social media is an introvert’s friend – it’s a way of connecting with tens, hundreds, thousands of people from the comfort of your own home or office.
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