Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World of Talking
Our lives are driven by a fact that most of us can’t name and don’t grasp. It determines who we become friends with and who our lovers are, what careers we favor, and if we blush when we are embarrassed. This fact determines whether we are an introvert or an extrovert. The division between introverts and extroverts is the most fundamental dimension of personality. Introverts may be an odd audience for a book about power and leadership — concepts that necessarily involve the tiring and unappealing prospect of having power over, and leadership of, other people. At least a third of the people we socialize with are introverts. Introverts are the ones who prefer hearing to talking, studying to partying; who become pioneers and conceive ideas 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.
Passionately argued, soberly analyzed, and filled with memorable stories of actual people, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World of Talking by Susan Cain shows how dramatically we minimize introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Cain introduces us to highly revered people like Bill Gates, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Albert Einstein, to name a few, who have taken advantage of the introspective and cerebral elements of their introversion. Opposed to the extroversion ideal, without such silent thinkers we may have never seen the likes of the personal computer, the New Deal, or e=mc². Taking the reader on a journey, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World of Talking by Susan Cain, introduces us to successful introverts–from a sparkling, high-octane public speaker who refreshes in solitude after his speeches, to a record-breaking salesperson who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, Cain offers invaluable guidance 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 book is a whirlwind tour of the social sciences—ancient philosophies as well as Sigmund Freud, the interactions of corporate America, natural biology, and the black deepness of fMRI machines. And Cain draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.
We discover “orchid children,” those delicate hothouse flowers of youth that thrive in supportive families but may wither if not adequately nourished. We learn how introverts must skirmish at times to have their voices heard, and how extroverts would do well to enroll on quiet complexions. We regard cultural variations in outgoingness and the “soft power” therein.
This book is also about how to influence people, and includes aid on how to hold down relationships, but it is written by an introvert for introverts. A lot of the information here tells us how great introverts are. How they are so sensitive you can measure their responses to things by how much they perspire, or their eyes widen, when dealing with boisterous music or blinking lights.
This particular book has the capacity to forever change how we look at introverts and, justly important, how introverts look at themselves.