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)
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.
Yes, many times.
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.
I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
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.
A lover of thrillers and enthralling stories told by dramatic and well read narrators.
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?!?
I wish the narrator could have put some more inflection into her voice. I felt it too breathy for a non-fiction title.
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.
Introspective, Revealing, Great
The dead on accuracy of the book and it's descriptions of the types of introverts and their feelings toward the world and extroverts.
For the most part the narrator did a good job, some of the efforts to play on words and phrases were overblown and annoying, but all in all the narrator was good.
Wow! Finally a compassionate soul with the courage to shout (figuratively) that being introverted is not a defect that requires treatment. Simply hearing someone else describe the trials introverts go through in this world, and knowing I do the same, was quite touching. The soft voice of the narrator was a perfect fit. Some original scholarly research would have gotten 5 stars out of me. Great work nonetheless.
Be prepared to relive negative childhood memories. I discovered that my parents are also introverts whose ability to fake being outgoing led them to pressure me to do the same.
As a person who loves to listen & think more than talk or act out I really liked this book. It was like looking in a mirror with someone supportive standing beside me pointing out all the great things we're seeing, rather than what needs to be fixed.
Well done Susan Cain & thank you!
The narrator was FANTASTIC! Just perfect for this material.
I would listen to it again, because it taught me a lot about myself and some of the people who I love the most in the world.
I liked the first person accounts of what it is like to be introverted. I also liked the forceful assertion that being introverted is not a disorder or some sort of "condition". It's just part of human nature and part of the ecosystem of personalities we all interact with every day.
When the author described her own experience of using her skills as an introvert to be a successful lawyer on Wall Street. It was very counter intuitive to me, but it made perfect sense.
I'm an introvert. When I finished the book, I wanted one on extroversion so I can better understand those I work with and how I can work better with them. Sure this book gives me a lot of that, but I want to understand the extrovert more.
After feeling devalued at work, this book was so affirming. It helped me to see what I bring to the workplace, and will help me rebuild my confidence.
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