Every once in a while, a book comes along that just knocks your socks off. Quiet by Susan Cain is one of those books. I originally ordered the book thinking that I would us it to help out some of the shier students in my classroom. The last thing I thought of was the book helping me. But I guess life is just full of surprises like that. And who thought that a psychology book would actually help someone besides a psychologist?
Susan Cain digs deep into her own psyche and experiences, along with a deep well of studies – each chapter is packed with interesting data from various psychological studies – and stories of some of the great introverts of our time. A few of these individuals you may have heard of: Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Steve Wozniak, Warren Buffet, Lewis Carroll, and many others. Oh…also some guy named Einstein (You may have heard of him.). Some of them changed their financial futures, and some changed the financial futures of others, while some where content to do something silly, like change the world. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is an incredible look
into the thoughts, feelings, and actions of the introvert. If you’re not sure which of those you are, then definitely get the book. If you are sure of what you are…definitely get the book. Introversion takes many forms. I’m not sure if it’s exactly one of those snowflake scenarios, but maybe (or maybe it’s just still snowing in April in Idaho, so snowflakes are on the mind). At any rate, if you are an introvert, work with an introvert, are the parent of an introvert, the spouse of an introvert, or you just want to know what an introvert is, then check this book out.
Cain’s point is not to say that introverts are better or more necessary than introverts. Rather, she makes the point that we need to find a way to better access and develop our introverts. From business, to schools, to the little piece of introvert that lies within us all – okay, I made that last part up myself – we need to be intentional about the “shy” kid who sits in the back of the classroom. Oftentimes this shyness can be seen as “weakness” or a lack of social understanding. And this may well be true, but being slow, thoughtful, or methodical is not to be “‘weak.” Rather, it is a different way to interact with the stimuli in around you.
There is far too much to say about the depth and grace with which Cain is able to dive into this incredible topic. As she says, anywhere from one in three to one in two are introverts. So let’s stop talking over the top of them and hear what they have to say. When I say “them” I mean “us.” I’m an introvert, loud and proud…or quiet and pensive. I personally learned a great deal about myself from this book that I will apply on a daily basis. How often can you say that about a book, eh? If you have any form of social anxiety, or know someone who does, this is definitely your book. Buy it. Read it. Pass it along.
If you want to check out a better synopsis than what my meager review can represent, check out Susan Cain talking about her journey at TEDtalks. If you’re not drawn in, then I’ll never bother you again.
Introverts of the world unite! But quietly…I’m sure we’ll be meeting in a library.
I received this book free from in order to review it. There is no requirement to give a positive review. Avoid purchasing it if you do not like being challenged by the books you read; basically, if you like walking away from mirrors forgetting what you looked like.