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
"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)
I liked this book more than I thought I would. I am an extrovert, although I do share a few traits with introverts. I chose to read this book to better understand my students, colleagues and friends that are introverts. It was eye opening to learn how much extroversion is prized and the stress that can put on introverts. I was pleasantly surprised at how both sides of the introvert/extrovert personality was considered and discussed. I felt that I was able to not only better understand others but also myself. I finished this book with a sense of how important it is to be open and interested in others and to see their strengths in order to create strong friendships and working relationships. And yes, I am trying to slow down, wait, listen, and shut up once in awhile to let the introverts in my life have time to think and share… if they want to.
Such a introspective look into the introvert! Loved it. Wish all my friends and family would read this in order to better understand the introvert I am.
Every introvert should read this book. It was insightful and helpful with examples and coping strategies for living in an extrovert world.
Teacher, avid reader/listener, yarn-fiend, romantic cynic.
A graduate professor of mine mentioned this book in passing in class February 2013. Curious, I downloaded it figuring it would be an interesting change to my normal commuter-student fair of light-hearted romances, stolid non-fiction and mind-numbing research articles.
This book captivated me. A mix of narrative storytelling, well-researched explanations and personal reflections, Cain lays out her premise: introversion is not weak, a fault or a social mistake -- it is hidden strength. Through a series of chapters organized around a particular area of research or myth surrounding introversion, she illuminates the way that American/Western societies have come to value extroverted personalities and the cost of that. Do not take this to mean that she is negating the value of extroverts. Instead, she frames and elloquently supports a very balanced view of introverts and extroverts, showing the strengths and weaknesses of each and how in a modern world that values extroversion to the extreme, introverts are the silent tigers with the power for change.
The only downside is one that many audiobooks would struggle with: Cain has created some questionnaires/"guess who" lists that do not translate well into audiobook format. Mazur does a wonderful job with the reading despite this. Her reading is calm, yet carries the subtle humor of Cain's writing. Well done and well-fit to this book.
On a side note: According to Cain's questionnaries, I am a highly sensitive introvert, who chooses to adopt an extrovert persona in her career. This fits both how I feel about myself and how people would describe me and has helped me to consider what choices I make at school, teaching and also with my downtime.
This book is a punch in the stomach of the so called extroverted world
The case analysis approach
To be an introvert is not synonimum of to be shy
Yes. This book helped me to see the person I really am. This book has helped me to see strengths in what I previously felt were weaknesses. It has also helped me to understand people around me.
Insight into introverts
Read in the first person
No specific one
Of the quiet; what it tells us
Informative insight to thought processes of introverts. Comparisons and contrasts to extroverts. Revealing interesting hypothesis.
It's an interesting view into the minds of introverts and extroverts--psychologically, socially, and culturally.
No. Her narration drove me nuts. Just because this book is about introverts does not mean that you have to narrate the book as if you are trying to make someone fall asleep. I'm an introvert. I don't speak breathily (if that's a word).
I really liked the book, but the narration was not my cup of tea.
The best as both the most momentous and the only audiobook I listened to a second time within a week of finishing it for the first.
Intelligent, well-written, and inspiring
I loved it, despite being an extrovert (or at least I thought I was). Surprisingly, introverts and extroverts will gain from and enjoy it.
I thought it was exceptional.
I not only learned a great deal from this book, I found it so interesting and the case studies and examples so enjoyable I couldnt put it down. I am what most would consider a classic extrovert personality. But now I know, that isnt really the case. Who'd a thought a nonfiction could be so interesting and entertaining in addition to thought provoking.
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