Sunday, February 24, 2013

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Author: Susan Cain
Publisher: Broadway
Pages: 352

Disclaimer: I received this book for free through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking was a great read. Written by an introvert, Susan Cain, who was a quiet and soft-spoken lawyer on Wall Street. Susan had the ability to be a powerful negotiator, not in spite of her introversion, but because of it.

Part One: The Extrovert Ideal
Part one discusses the cultural shift from a society that valued character and integrity to one that valued personality and gregariousness.

Part Two: Your Biology, Your Self?
This section of the book explores physiological and psychological studies done concerning introversion and extroversion to discover how our temperament is an intricate part of who we are.

Part Three: Do All Cultures Have an Extrovert Ideal
This section looks at other cultures and what their “ideal” temperament is considered by society. It especially focuses on the Asian culture and the value that they place on thoughtful study and meditation rather than socialization.

Part Four: How to Love, How to Work
This is where the book brings it all home and becomes very practical by giving advice for when you should act outside your temperament and how; how to talk to members of the opposite type and the value in conversations with opposites; and how to relate to your introverted child.

As an introvert myself, I really enjoyed this book. It took me quite a while to get through, though not necessarily because it was boring. I think more because I’ve been spending my time lately on things other than reading. It was a fairly easy read, but still one that I would have to read in sections and then spend a few days ruminating over the information I had learned.

I cannot tell you how many times I have referenced this book recently in conversations with both introverts and extroverts. It has been a very valuable source of insight into my own temperament and the reasons for it. Though I had come to a point that I had learned that I was definitely introverted and that my temperament was normal and ok and a healthy part of who I am and I had learned how I function best and happiest because of my temperament, this book gave me a small push toward stepping out of my comfort zones at times as well. This book also encouraged me that there are many others out there like me and that I AM normal.

I highly recommend this book if you are an introvert, married to an introvert, the parent of an introvert, friends with an introvert, the child of an introvert… or just ever come in contact with an introvert. And considering that introverts make up approximately 1/3 of the people we know it’s safe to say that you have a few in your life.

You can purchase Quiet online at Amazon or from your favorite book store.
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