Title: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Author: Susan Cain
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
In her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain examines our culture, which values extroverts over introverts, and discusses the costs of turning our backs on the introverts.
The line between extroversion and introversion is one that’s been discussed extensively in many different respects. There are various definitions of each and different ways to determine into which category you fit. There are extroverted introverts and introverted extroverts; the lines blur, and the label you’d give those around you might not be the one that they themselves would claim. It’s an interesting subject, especially considering American society undervalues introverts, instead putting an emphasis on group work and social situations. This is where Cain’s book, Quiet, comes in.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a Word That Can’t Stop Talking is a fascinating look at introversion. She doesn’t in any way claim that introverts are better than their extrovert peers, merely that they should be valued and accommodated in equal measure to extroverts. She goes through various examples and situations, emerging each time with the same conclusion: to put it simply, there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert, and society should stop trying to push introverts to be extroverts.
Cain also studies how we’ve come to think of outgoing, gregarious people as more beautiful and successful in Quiet. How did this happen, and what are the results? Additionally, Cain tries to help introverts by showing them how to take advantage of their singular abilities and strengths. In a world that tells us over and over again that being “shy” is a bad thing, and it’s wrong to prefer a glass of wine and a book over going out to socialize, Cain’s study provides validation to the many introverts struggling to make their way in a world that’s constantly trying to change them.
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, Quiet is a book you can consider. It’s nearly impossible for extroverts to understand the craving for solitude, or the preference to stay in on New Year’s Eve rather than attending a loud party, but this book is a great first step to seeing that there’s nothing wrong with that. Or, if you’re an introvert, this book will provide you with a lot to think about, as well as some validation that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being who you are!