Adventures in Books… Quiet


‘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 really enjoyed this book. I think we all have introverted and extroverted aspects in our personalities, but I am definitely more towards the introverted side of the spectrum. In stereotypical terms I prefer quiet and solitude, with less social stimulation. I’m not shy, although I do get anxious meeting new people and going to new places, but once I’m there and know people I can be confident. I crave alone time, especially  after prolonged contact with people in social situations. I use this to recharge and unwind and to also be creative. I can push myself through challenges and although outside encouragement is great, I know I will do something if I set my mind to it.

I found the book thought provoking and interesting. I liked the arguments Susan used to show the differences between real people. I also liked the way she used successful people as examples of introverts. I’m not saying all introverts will be the next CEO of Apple, but it’s nice to know that it is not always the loudest that comes up with the best ideas.

This wasn’t the easiest book to read and I had to concentrate fully on the page at hand, but that was nice and made it a different reading experience than reading a novel. I appreciated the amount of research that has gone into this book. It intrigued me and made me want to find out more. It also made me want to embrace my inverted nature more. As part of my Project Lifestyle one of my aims is to be more content with myself and who I am and that included this nature. I will use what I learnt from this book and research on from this to explain to people I trust why I am the way I am and help them understand when I say to a social gathering it is not because of them, it is because I need some down time. I don’t get energy from other people, I get it from inside myself and therefore need time to recharge. Also in work to find the best ways to pretend to be an extrovert when required and other times allow my introverted nature to shine and progress.

I am so glad I found this book and I encourage you to watch Susan’s TED Talk to see her passion for the subject and overcoming her own introverted nature to talk to people and share the message. So I though I would share this on my 29th birthday to let you see a bit more about what I like and in a way who I am. (somehow this didn’t publish on the 10th, so it’s a bit late)

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