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)
Yes! The book explores different facets of Western society where the extrovert ideal has been idealized and the consequences it has for introverts. As an extrovert, I found this fascinating and it has made me more sensitive to the way introverts work.
Overall, this is a worthwhile read. It offers thoughtful insight, great story-telling re: real world extrovert va. introvert experiences. Will certainly make me more sensitive and aware of the introverts in my life and how/why they function the way they do.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Both “Coming Apart” and “Quiet” are disquisitions on America that have an apparent appeal to a consuming audience. “Coming Apart” points to a belief that America has become an aristocracy of education and money. “Quiet” makes the sociological case that human beings are either extroverted or introverted and that extroverts rule American government and business because they talk the most, and argue the best. Both books infer american cultural homogenization.
If Murray is right about the homogenization of American management and Cain is right about being misled by too much extroversion and not enough introversion, maybe America is “Coming Apart”. On the other hand, maybe Murray and Cain are just selling books.
This book is a must-have for anyone who is or has an introvert in there life. As an introvert I learned a lot about myself and others. Mainly how some of my most frustrating points of my life had to do with my misunderstanding of my own view, and or someone else's view on "life". Get this book and help yourself to learning more about human life and diversity.
My husband and most of my friends and family are all introverts while I am one of the most extroverted people I have ever met, made more obvious by those I surround myself with. I wanted to read this book in order to get more perspective.
Unfortunately, along with the perspective came a lot of hurtful words: Studies that suggest extroverts are better at leading, need more data. Disney authors draw all of their positive characters to reflect introverts and negative characters to reflect extroverts. Extroverts are unempathetic. Extroverts are not good at listening. Extroverts have a hard time understanding others. Extroverts are not considerate. Extroverts are not as good at reading as introverts! By the end I felt horrible about myself and I was horrified that I may be in a constant state of offending my loved ones.
I appreciate the goal of empowering introverts and I will strive to do so in ways that this book helped me to understand. I just wish this book had the ability to lift up introverts with out stepping on extroverts.
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