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)
If you think you have some introvert traits, it a great way to find out you are normal. If you are intimate with an introvert, it's a fantastic way to understand them better. And I would hightly recommend to employers to lean more about their workforce.
I would love extroverts, especially business people, to read this book. Give them an insight to how introverts think. For introverts I think being introverted you pretty much know what she is talking about. I have always been called shy or mysterious but I'm really neither. I like to roll around in my own head. I work better when it's quiet and I can think and I generally like what I find in my own ideas. If I don't like what I find I like to rework it all out. I don't understand extroverts. I loved the whole scene she wrote about Tony Robbins. I've seen him on television a couple times and have to turn the channel. She was spot on how introverts see that assembly of rah rah. Some of the sections, like about the fish, went on too long and my interest waned but for the most part it was insightful and nice to know being an introvert isn't as odd as people like to make it out to be.
This is a must read for anyone in teaching and business. Susan Cain's profound analysis of people who like and need quiet to think and recharge is simply revolutionary. While so much of our society is intent upon valuing perhaps too highly the character traits of "extroverts," we are missing out on the power of introversion. Thanks to Cain, I no longer need to feel guilty about who I am, or wonder why I am successful despite not confirming to the "extrovert" mold. It is not an accident!
The story of the young lawyer, and Cain's grandfather.
In a world that celebrates self-promotion and equates talking rapidly with intelligence, this book presents a different way of being and succeeding. I enjoyed listening to the book, learning its concepts and how they apply in different situations, and will listen to it again.
I listened to this book in the car with my daughters, ages 9 & 11. Both were drawn in by Kathe Mazur's unhurried, gentle voice and listened carefully. They quickly understood the concepts and thoughtfully applied the ideas to themselves. As a parent, I enjoyed the resulting conversation.
I've lived my life thinking I had to be more outgoing and talkative, and that it should feel natural. I was taught that to be successful I had to prove myself to be better then others because getting to the top and making lots of money was the only way I would be successful and happy. Until I read this book I felt that there was something wrong with me because being talkative and outgoing was far from natural for me, and I knew that climbing a corporate latter to look down at others wasn't where I wanted to be. I am an Introvert, I enjoy wondering, contemplating, quiet time, reflecting, and absorbing information about everything this life has to offer. I've never been able to hold down a job for anymore then 3 years because the stress of satisfying the needs of others in a world where it feels like no one is ever satisfied overwhelms me. Susan Cain has written a book that I believe will change the way people will look at Introverts. After reading this book I now feel understood and that being outgoing and talkative doesn't come naturally to me but quietly thinking and listening does. It doesn't mean I can't be successful, it just means I need to do something that is more suited for me. I feel a career change coming on!
I enjoy reading fantasy, science fiction, and horror the most. To improve, I read about language, psychology, spirituality, and art. I read about computer science and business for professional reasons.
I haven't had the opportunity to study much personality psychology. Reading this book has made me sort of regret this limited knowledge, although I think this book has at least added some.
This book is a study of the traits of introversion and extroversion. The book starts with a history of the development of these concepts as defining extroversion as confidence and social strength, with introversion as shy and weak. According to the author, these were false.
Susan questioned why unrelated traits were assigned to people who were simply quiet. She replaced words like shy, weak, and aloof with more complementary terms such as thoughtful, attentive, or private.
The book went on to describe how these concepts and measurements have been used for businesses, organizations, colleges, politics, and more.
Individual examples of people were given to show how many of the stereotypes were false. Examples of great leaders showed that even highly public people still enjoy time to themselves, which is characteristic of introversion. This showed that environments, situations, and circumstances often change how people can strategically apply traits.
Open offices were cited as unproductive environments. Brainstorming sessions were described as reducing the amount of ideas as more participants attended. Certainly, only one person can speak at once, but people can freely write or type ideas very rapidly. Further, social factors such as bossiness, intimidation, and egos were said to be more relevant during large meetings, and perhaps degrade the ideas produced.
Interpersonal interactions and relationships were also covered. A lot of the statements described how people who are more extroverted are one way, while people who are more introverted are another way. Susan described how these people can interact in the three possible combinations with two people, in addition to in crowded situations.
All in all, this was a good book for learning about humans and their personalities in the category of introversion and extroversion. Both of these were fairly new topics, and the book provided a much better grasp.
I've always been an introvert, always needed "downtime" to myself to futz around on the computer or read a book, but now, thanks to "Quiet" I know why. I love being able to look my extremely extroverted husband in the eye and say look, here's the neurological reason why I'm done at a wedding after two hours and you want to stay until they pack up the tables and chairs. I found the historical background of the "culture of personality" fascinating and a bit frightening and the scientific studies of introversion interesting. But perhaps the single most valuable part of the book for me came at the end, when Cain talks about introversion in children and how to help an introverted child. My son has a lot of energy but is also very "slow to warm" and extremely cautious, guess which parent he takes after? Cain's tips on how to help your introverted child once they reach school age will undoubtedly come in handy.
I have to admit that Kathe Mazur's narration did not do it for me. Her voice matches the pace and topic of the book I suppose. I mean having a manic extrovert chirping through the book would have made no sense at all, but her voice was a bit too lulling and I found myself losing focus more than once. Also I found her enunciation to be less than clear which is tough for me because I can listen to my audiobooks at work but must keep the volume low out of respect to my co-workers. Her voice was not a great match for my listening style or situation.
Still, a great listen for any introvert or extrovert. I just wish I could get my husband to sit down for long enough to listen to a few parts of the book.
Excellent! Insightful! Great relationship advice in learning about the thought process of introverts. Relevant!
It was thought provoking and well researched.
Kathe has a great voice for this type of book. It was quite a bit of information but easy to follow with how she read the book.
The strengths of being an introvert.The benefits of being an introvertLiving with introverts
Excellent - thoughtful. Listened on audible - would love to see in print because there was so much great information.
A few months ago, I expressed to my brother that something must be wrong with me because in 25+ of professional corporate environment, I have been to lunch with other people a dozen times. All of the other times, I get in my car, grab some food and eat and listen to audio books in the privacy of my personal transportation device.I then listened to Quiet and it all makes sense. I take an hour in the morning before my house wakes up, an hour at lunch listening to audio books, and an hour nap after work because of my severe introversion.
Keep in mind, that when I was brave enough to announce that I was an introvert in a corporate team meeting a few weeks ago, everyone was surprised. I am very outspoken and one of the best people to lead meetings or stand up and give presentations, but I must recharge multiple times a day or woe unto me.Thank you for finally making me understand that my need for recharge time is a normal mental state for people who are introverts.
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