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)
Introverts will come away from this book with a better self-understanding and an improved self-acceptance. This book does a fantastic job of celebrating all the wonderful qualities introverts possess but do not get the recognition for which they so richly deserve. It is well-researched, well-written and self-affirming. It is NOT specifically a "self help" book. The self-help comes from an increased understanding of introverts that the author delivers through well-researched studies, great examples, cultural explanations, etc. Sure, there's helpful "how to get along" tidbits here and there, but that's not the intention of the book. Also, not every idea is new or revolutionary, but she uses old and new ideas and weaves them into a larger context that ultimately shines a fresh and new light on the subject. When I finished the listen, I thought to myself, "I rock!" Now, who doesn't like that? I bet you rock too!
*I suspect extroverts will not respond as positively to the content in this book as introverts do, but they would still benefit from the information if they remain open-minded.
Jan K in MA
Absolutely, and I already have -- in fact have had trouble not talking about it. I have learned so very much about myself.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever been labeled quiet, shy, sensitive, a snob (because you are quiet and distant), or introverted. Anyone who has ever been made to feel like they weren't participating enough in a group, whose parents sent them to any class to learn how to better communicate and socialize, anyone who prefers the company of their dogs and a book to a loud party.
I am so glad I came across this book. There have been so many times in my life I felt like something was just wrong with me. I am sociable enough I think, but there were instances when I didn't seem to be sociable enough for those around me. This book goes a long way in validating that there is not something wrong with me, but that there is something very special and unique and valuable about myself.
This is one that I may actually listen to again.
Tell us about yourself!
All my life people have called me shy, mean, stuck up and not a team player because I am always quiet and prefer to be alone. I have been tired of defending myself for years. Finally thanks to this book I fully understand myself! If you are one of those people that prefer the quiet moments in life and a good book over a loud party with a bunch of loud mouths...PLEASE READ THIS BOOK!! You will love it!
"Shut up and listen!"
Insightful, intelligently written, for all us introverts who feel under the thumbs of those extroverts.
Human touch, draws you in
Yes. It was full of so much information- I'm sure I would learn something new if I heard it again.
That introverts are overlooked and undervalued in society- but they have oh so much to offer!
Reading this book gave me a series of "Aha!" moments. How wonderful and comforting to realize that my introverted nature is a strength, and does not need to be counted a weakness.
I also found it fascinating to learn about the psychology and sociology around this topic.
Kathe Mazur did an excellent job of reading the text. Her voice is pleasant and captures the spirit of the writing.
Susan Cain took a great deal of care in identifying the history of extraversion in the U.S. She has also accumulated a great deal of research to identify the characteristics of introversion and the impact of the extraverted and introverted in society.
I had not heard Kathe Mazur previously.
It was interesting to think that the collapse of the financial markets in 2008 might have been impacted by the predominance of extraverts in leadership at financial institutions. The idea being that extraverts rather than introverts were more likely to be promoted to executive positions and that this hiring practice happened over the last 20+ years. Extraverts have a higher tolerance for risk and greater need for financial reward; therefore, they were more willing to take more risk in order to receive a greater reward. Eventually, these high risk decisions collapsed and the financial markets tumbled.
I appreciate Cain's call to rethink the ubiquitous practice of group work/brainstorming and to realize that the need for quiet and solitude in the workplace is essential for many workers.
I'm a trucker of nearly 25 years. Listening to the radio is a matter of habit for me, but hearing the same songs over and over and OVER again became old. Audio books help those miles roll by faster!
I have a long commute to work, so I listen to audio books as a way to indulge my periodic craving for books while maintaining the ability to drive. Because of this, I have not actually read the print version so am not in a position to compare.
Discovering someone willing to stand up and say it's OKAY to be an introvert!
No particular "scene". That's not the right word. Rather, the insightful way the author explains how well extroverts and introverts can compliment each other without extroverts pressuring introverts to change their core personalities.
No extreme reaction, but a sense of relief there are other people like me who are comfortable being the introverts we are and feel we can live among our more extroverted neighbors without actually having to become one!
An excellent book detailing the fundamental differences between two distinct personality types.
I didn't read the print version.
Non-fiction, so no real "characters."
She has a nice, clear voice and she projected an empathy with the material that made for a great listen.
Yes! I think it took me about two days to finish.
While I thought I had long since made peace with my introverted personality, I wound up liking and understanding myself a little better after finishing this book. It was sort of healing for me...an affirmation that it really is okay to loathe cocktail parties! As an introvert, we are always told something is "wrong" with our personalities...it was great to hear that there is so much that is "right" about us, too. A truly entertaining listen...especially important for extroverts seeking to understand their introverted children.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content