I don’t usually read a lot of non-fiction but seeing as I’m an introvert this seemed to be relevant and interesting to read. Plus it won the Goodreads Best Nonfiction of 2012 🙂
This book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is Susan Cain‘s research into the world of extroversion and introversion from the studies that start looking at its affect on youth to adolescent and as we get older, the personality traits, etc. We see as each research relates to someone or a situation that has happened to help us better understand what she’s trying to say.
Who knew I would pick up one of these without it being assigned to me, right? I was thinking about that throughout the book.
Don’t get me wrong though, this was a pretty good read. Especially if you are like me. Being introvert has really been something I’ve been fighting and criticized by my parents about. Its made me (in certain times of my life) feel that I’m less worthy and that its bad to be who I am. So I’ve changed on the outside to meet what they call the Extrovert Ideal.
Its a book that focuses on letting introverts, pseudo-extroverts, extroverts understand more about themselves or the people they work with, live with, or love in their life. You can’t assume that introverts are a certain way and in their research, they’ve found that actually a greater proportion of people in the world are introverts just each finds their way to cope with it.
Heres a quote that sums up the essence of this book really well:
Whoever you are, bear in mind that appearance is not reality. Some people act like extroverts, but the effort costs them in energy, authenticity, and even physical health. Others seem aloof or self-contained, but their inner landscapes are rich and full of drama. So the next time you see a person with a composed face and a soft voice, remember that inside her mind, she might be solving an equation, composing a sonnet, designing a hat. She might, that is, be deploying the powers of quiet. – Susan Cain
Reading this made me somewhat understand myself a bit better as an introvert. It makes me feel normal that I get overwhelmed and need breaks from being in huge crowds and socializing too frequently. It lets me understand the traits that make me talk less and analyze more. Maybe we can use being an introvert as an excuse to not socialize, but they also give possible solutions for certain scenarios. It allows us to see them in another light and the misconceptions with that.
It doesn’t discredit extroverts to say that they are lesser in the society but rather it helps appreciate an introvert for the skills and abilities and traits that they can bring to a relationship, work or personal. They look at so many different angles of introversion and in many cases, encourages introverts to stick to who they are and to find that comfort zone the works.
I definitely recommend this book to everyone because this book has something for extroverts, introverts, parents, coworkers, etc. I am a bit more picky on research-filled books because I have read my fair share of them in the 20+ years of education. This one really held me and maybe a part of it is because it relates to me and I kept asking myself which side of the spectrum in certain researches I fell in. However, if it doesn’t relate to you directly, it will because you probably know someone in your life who is like that.
Let me end with another quote that I like:
Introverts are offered keys to private gardens full of riches. To possess such a key is to tumble like Alice down her rabbit hole. She didn’t choose to go to Wonderland – but she made of it an adventure that was fresh and fantastic and very much her own.