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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking | [Susan Cain]

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

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create 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--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - If you’ve ever felt guilty for wanting to stay home, instead of attending a party, or wish you could be more vocal and outgoing at work, this book is for you. Empowering and informative, Quiet is a revolutionary look at the power of introverts – and the strengths they contribute to society – through the lens of such unassuming leaders as Bill Gates and Rosa Parks. Narrator Kathe Mazur gets the pacing just right, leaving introverts and extroverts alike the time to listen and understand Cain’s power-packed gems. —Diana M.

Publisher's Summary

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create 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--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the 20th century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.

Perhaps most inspiring, she introduces us to successful introverts--from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers invaluable advice 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 extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.

©2012 Susan Cain (P)2012 Random House

What the Critics Say

"An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike." (Kirkus)

"Cain gives excellent portraits of a number of introverts and shatters misconceptions. Cain consistently holds the reader’s interest by presenting individual profiles, looking at places dominated by extroverts (Harvard Business School) and introverts (a West Coast retreat center), and reporting on the latest studies. Her diligence, research, and passion for this important topic has richly paid off.-" (Publishers Weekly)

"An intelligent and often surprising look at what makes us who we are." (Booklist)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Amazon Customer Rowlett, TX United States 10-02-12
    Amazon Customer Rowlett, TX United States 10-02-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Well Done"
    What did you love best about Quiet?

    This is a wonderful book for anyone interesting in their own introversion or anyone seeking to understand this curious aspect of some people’s personalities. I’m an INTJ myself, and while I’ve never felt excluded because of my introversion, and have always know there wasn’t anything “wrong” with me, it was very reassuring to be able to understand the nuances therein. I saw myself in a lot of the stories she related, and a lot of the behaviors displayed. While my wife (an extrovert) said when I told her about the book “You just need to shut up, man up, and be more social,” I laughed because, while she was joking, there is a lot of truth in that many extroverts have little understanding of our mindset. I can think of little worse than having to engage in small talk at a cocktail party, or chat with a mild acquaintance I met on the street. Equally loathsome are the bubbly extroverts who look at me at a social event and take it upon themselves to “draw me out of my shell” and force me to engage in the group. I’ll probably end up having some very earnest talks with some people to help them understand me better.

    My only criticism of the book is that I felt Susan focused rather myopically on the ‘sensitive’ introvert, which I am not. While she is, I would like to have had more insight into the more objectively minded introverts who actually have a lot of trouble empathizing with others, and reading social situation correctly. Otherwise it was an excellent and refreshing read.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stanley Germantown, WI, United States 10-01-12
    Stanley Germantown, WI, United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Must read for introverts and those that love them"

    I read nonfiction to gain better understanding of topics on which I have little understanding. I did not know much about what makes introverts they introverts that they are. I have always believed that somehow I was a flawed extovert. I gained insight into two introverts I love and an understanding that I might not be an extrovert myself after all. I now understand the introvert perspective and have gained a better appreciation for their secret/silent strenghts.

    The work was scholarly and thoughtful. It is definitely not a pop psychology piece. The sited studies added credibility. The author did a great job of fusing ancedotes and research studies. I will be ordering several hard copy versions to give as gifts as signs of appreciation to a several introverts who are dear to me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L.F. CARY, NC, United States 09-30-12
    L.F. CARY, NC, United States 09-30-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Required Listening for Every Introvert & Extrovert"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to all of my friends and a good many other "acquaintances"! It illuminated and validated many life experiences both for myself and the actions/reactions of others. It is validation for the introvert and understanding for the extrovert. Taken together all relationships (family, spouses, partners, colleagues, and even competitors) can benefit from the knowledge. Harmony and productivity should be the reward.


    What other book might you compare Quiet to and why?

    Strangely, I would compare Quiet to a good work of fiction; you know, one of the ones you get home and sit in the car listening for another 30 minutes because it's hard to stop. Though non-fiction, Quiet has no fluff or superfluous material. Though covering many scientific studies, study material is clearly described and never bores.


    What about Kathe Mazur’s performance did you like?

    Kathe Mazur's reading of Quite is very easy to listen to. Her voice and vocal inflections are perfectly matched to the content. She is easily understood and her voice is pleasant to listen to, but in a way that helps maintain your attention to the material. Excellent non-fiction reader!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Into the looking glass?


    Any additional comments?

    Best nonfiction I've listened to, hands down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada 09-19-12
    Paul Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada 09-19-12 Member Since 2007
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    "After much introspection. this is a very good book"

    For the introvert in me, this serves as a bit of self validation and somewhat of a manifesto. It is always nice to find some encouragement to find the power of the quiet 'in a world that can't stop talking'.

    The only criticism I have is that the author did not set out to define the difference between introverts and extroverts. This gave her the convenience to use her data to support her point. But that's ok, this is not a scientific journal either.

    The narration for this book is just perfect. I don't know if Kathe Mazur is a introvert or not. But in the passages when she was narrating the author in the first person... I have the perfect image of the author in the situation she was talking about. The soft-spoken, quiet assertiveness the narrator's voice is just perfect... exactly what the author was talking about!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara 09-12-12
    Barbara 09-12-12
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    "Informative with great recap at end"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Quiet to be better than the print version?

    I started reading the print edition while listening to it to see if I was missing anything in the audio version. I found that I wasn't so I switched to audio only. When I needed to process some information presented I would stop the audio, sometimes play it back a minute or two and then continue listening. The narration was very good.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Chapter headings set the stage for what was going to follow. There was a lot to think about in this book. It helped me realize what challenges are faced by both introverts and extraverts in the workplace.


    Which character – as performed by Kathe Mazur – was your favorite?

    N/A


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    N/A


    Any additional comments?

    The author's recap of ideas presented in the book really helped me review the information that had been presented. Since I listed to this over a two month period, that was very helpful to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Minneapolis, MN, USA 08-28-12
    Kathleen Minneapolis, MN, USA 08-28-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Finally! A defense for us introverts!"

    This book is inspiring for anyone who considers themselves introverts, as well as for introverts and extroverts to understand each other better. The narrator is perfect for this book, emphasizing the right words to show differences in perception. The author offers invaluable advice 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 extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts
    and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Garla 08-21-12
    Garla 08-21-12 Member Since 2008
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    "A Thank You"
    Would you listen to Quiet again? Why?

    Yes, many times.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you Susan Cain for taking the time to research and write this book. I now understand the introvert I married and the two introverts I bore. I will be forever grateful for the insight and appreciation the book brought to this lover of introverts.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lulu 08-08-12
    Lulu 08-08-12

    I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.

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    "Engrossing and Educational - Really Made Me Think"

    As a life long introvert I admit I never really thought about what that meant. How it affected my approach to life. What others expected of me and I expected of myself. This book made me think about my approach to the world and compare it to the approach of others. It was obvious that the author herself was an introvert. As she discussed the cringe-worthy events and institutions she attended as part of her research, a Tony Robbins seminar, Harvard Business School, Saddleback Church, I experienced the same discomfort, the same sense of knowing I was someplace I did not belong that she did. Positive, pumped excitable people tend to make my stomach queasy. But I was never sure why. I find myself ignoring someone who talks too much, at least for my taste. Since I don't want to hear every single thing they say, I don't listen to anything they say.

    One of the most difficult concepts for people to grasp is "what does it mean to think differently?" We forget that two people may here the exact same words, live through the exact same experience, suffer the exact same tragedy or victory but interpret them in completely different ways. This book is about the people in the world who recognize on some level that they aren't wired the same as the outgoing, energetic, always pumped person they so often admire and their realization that this is OK.

    Towards the end her definite preferences become a little more evident. But by and large she does a good job of presenting well rounded arguments that the world needs both extroverts and introverts in order to survive.

    If you are an introvert this book will be comforting. If you are an extrovert, I won't say it is educational or that you will thoroughly enjoy it. But it is a rare opportunity for those that are always in the spotlight to step back and think about those that not only are not always in the spotlight, but have no desire to be there.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Chicago, IL 08-03-12
    Michael Chicago, IL 08-03-12

    A lover of thrillers and enthralling stories told by dramatic and well read narrators.

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    "Didn't much enjoy this one..."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator. I understand that the book is about introverts, but did they have to give me someone that would put me to sleep to read it?!?


    Would you ever listen to anything by Susan Cain again?

    Maybe...


    How could the performance have been better?

    I wish the narrator could have put some more inflection into her voice. I felt it too breathy for a non-fiction title.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Nope.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sparhawk6 SLC, UT 08-02-12
    sparhawk6 SLC, UT 08-02-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Introverts and introvert personality qualities are"

    Just before I started this book, I finished reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People", the extrovert's credo. I liked the juxtaposition. Cain even talks at length about Dale Carnegie and the book.

    The anecdotes were my favorite part. I felt that there was a lot of annoying "back patting" going on, especially since Cain admits she is a classic introvert. Was this book written to make herself feel better about her personality? That would reflect a classic trait of introverts - self-consciousness and paranoia. I also could have done without the last few sections of the book; the book turned into a self-help parenting book. I was more looking for an examination of introverts in an extrovert world, which is what I got at the beginning.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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