Quiet The Power Of Introverts by Susan Cain

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Did  you know that at least one-third of all the people in the world are introverts?  They prefer listening to speaking, reading to going out to parties, staying in as opposed to hitting the grad parties, weddings.  They tend to dislike self promotion and favor working on their own over team brainstorming sessions.  They are labeled quiet, shy, unsure of themselves, non sociable…. and in many cases that is not true at all.

Did you know the introverts of our society actually approach challenges not as rushed as an extrovert, not speaking as loudly or as quickly as an extrovert, and that is ok?  It is ok to be more of a listener and a processor than the up front idea person.  After all introverts contribute much to our society… it was an introvert who invented the personal computer.   Rosa Parks was an introvert.

Did you know that I am an introvert?

I absolutely adored this book.  Why?  Because it absolutely spoke to me and it was about me.  That person who would rather work quietly at their desk prodding along without a team of people to assist?  That is me.  That person who walks into a party and sees no one she knows so finds a quiet corner to hang out in?  Me.  The person who listens more than speaks during staff meetings?  Me again. 

Yet I have friends who are shocked when they hear me refer to myself as an introvert.  I am not overcome by stage fright, I can speak to large groups of people, I can lead a book discussion group, a committee, and be an advocate for a cause.  What my friends need to remember is that the day they met me, I did not run up squeal and hug them.  😀  It takes time for me to warm into a group where I feel comfortable to speak up with my ideas and opinions.  I don’t have the “bull in a china shop” mentality where I can charge on in and look around later…. I need to know my surroundings and get a feel for the environment and the people around me before I can move forward.

What I took away from Quiet is that the way I need to energize is by being alone, and not always wanting to take on a group of people to complete a task I can do on my own, is normal introvert behavior.  And better yet, it is ok to ask this way.  That was kind of life changing for me to hear that.  I do like to work alone.  I do get excited when I come home and I have the house to myself.  I am sure my lifestyle of kids gone and hubby working all the time does not help me control this desire.  I am alone a lot.  And I really like it. 

We know society leans in favor towards the extrovert.  We see them on TV and they are the actors and actresses we are drawn to by the power they have to capture our attention.  They are the people around us who flourish in business discussions, can rule the conversation in a group, and can be found at most social engagements.  Yes what Susan Cain lets us know is not to overlook the person who is more quiet, more reflective than verbal… after all they are the makings of J K Rowling, Steve Jobs, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Steven King.

As book lovers, I think many of us may be considered introverts.

Kathe Mazur does a fine job of narrating this one.  Highly recommended to anyone who has ever been told they need to speak up more, has been called quiet or shy and knows that there is more to them than meets the eye. 

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26 thoughts on “Quiet The Power Of Introverts by Susan Cain

  1. I’ve been intrigued by this book….though no one would mistake me for an introvert! Actually, I was surprised to that you consider yourself to be an introvert – you come across as very extroverted online – whatever that means! lol

    Now that I think about it – I think I am half extrovert and half introvert. Especially since becoming ill, I definitely need my quiet solitude to recharge, even though I enjoy social occasions.

    Definitely want to read this one…

    Sue

    Book By Book

    Big Book Summer Challenge

    1. I have learned Sue that may of us introverted bloggers can come across quite introverted in line as we are not face to face. 😀 I learned this my first year at BEA when a blogger I admire came up to me and said “hi” and introduced herself and I did the same and then we both stood there. At the time I remember thinking “wow, she really is not very friendly”… but later realized that she was as much as an introvert as I. 😀

  2. Your online persona pegs you as an extrovert, but I can understand that you can also be an introvert. When you described why you are an introvert, I was able to relate on all levels. And I did not think I was an introvert! I so want to read this book and learn more!

  3. I have read this and I really found it interesting. I am an introvert and found a lot of the book to be true. I particularly found the parts related to education to be worrisome as a teacher.

  4. I like the idea of introverts being the ones who quietly ponder things…and then create and invent…and get this…they listen! The power of a listener. I do believe that we need more of those (us)…lol

  5. Annette

    I read this book a few months ago. So many things just clicked for me, I understand myself better, and finally accept myself. In the past I’ve been told I’m weird, stuck-up, unfriendly, odd, good two shoes, etc. I’m an introvert. When I was younger I was shy. The only point where I’m not of what is considered the norm for an introvert is I multi-task. Years ago I had a job where I was a unit clerk at a busy nurses station on a cardiac monitored floor. I had people “all” around me buzzing about my desk. It was a job where I had to make myself come out of my shell and be an extrovert at times. After the work day was over I had to go home, go to my bedroom, close the door, turn out the light, and have about 30 minutes to recharge. I did this for 13 years. So happy I can be at home now, where I have complete quiet during the daytime. Blogging and writing book reviews is a perfect match for me. I’ll add another aspect in my life: my husband is an extrovert, he has always respected me and my inborn personality, but I have learned by watching him how to be sociable. I am better in a small group, but learning from him has given me guidance in how to deal with a social situation.
    Thanks. I’m a new follower.
    I’m over at http://impressionsinink.blogspot.com

  6. Great review, Sheila! I, too, learned so much about myself from this book, and even better I know that next time a family member tries to get me to ‘speak more’ I won’t feel bad at all. Months later and it’s still in my mind, such a good, needed, book.

  7. I read this book back in October and really liked it. I liked it so much that I gave the book to my mom who has since read and take lots of notes on the book. She’s an educator and a lot of her time is spent in meetings hearing teachers talk about their students and I think the book would be very useful to educators, as I think it would allow them to rethink how they teach in the classroom by recognizing that they have students who fulfill the prototype of an introvert and to give their more introverted students a chance of contributing to classroom discussions.

    I hope to buy the book and reread the book a little more closely than I did the first time.

  8. I really want to get my hands on a copy of this one, I’m an introvert and my partner is an extrovert. He doesn’t get that I need ‘alone’ time to recharge. I find constant company exhausting lol

  9. I’m a self proclaimed introvert. And I don’t mind that. I know when I need to go out and lead and I understand that just because I prefer being alone doesn’t necessarily make me completely socially inept. However, being social is difficult for me. I find that I have a very small group of friends and for a long time that really bothered me.

    I haven’t read this one yet but I’m thinking that I should. One thing the English department at my school has been addressing lately is the introvert. So many classes are heavily based on discussion and basically that makes it so that some of our quieter introverts go unnoticed as less than exception when really they are just quietly mulling over information in their minds. It is important to find ways to get their ideas heard and appreciated too!

  10. Pingback: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking | rsmithing

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