Saturday, January 5, 2013

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Title:  Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Author:  Susan Cain
Publication Information: Crown Publishers, Crown Publishing Group, Random House, Inc. 2012. 333 pages.

Book Source:  I picked up this book while browsing at the library. The book came as a hardcover edition from the library.

Favorite Quote:  "If there is only one insight you take away from this book, though, I hope it's a new found sense of entitlement to be yourself. I can vouch personally for the life-transforming effects of this outlook."

"At least one-third of the people we know are introverts." So begins the description of Quiet by Susan Cain. She goes on to define introverts as "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."

The book itself begins with the Rosa Parks, who in her own quiet way made such a huge impact on the civil rights movements. Her impact was perhaps all the greater for "quietness." The book presents a wealth of research and stories on two primary tenets - the enormous influence quiet or introverted people have had on our society and the shift of our culture towards creating an extrovert ideal. The book discusses the consequences of adhering to the extrovert ideal and the ideas and innovations we may lose by not honoring differences in temperament.

The book discusses the extrovert and introvert personalities in a school setting, at home, in a social setting, and in a professional setting. It also talks about the differences across cultures. Finally, it comes to discuss raising "quiet" kids in a culture that celebrates the extroverts.

I really enjoyed reading this book and will like re-read it at some point. It includes a lot of information and so many stories to illustrate the author's points. A key point to note is that this is not a self-help books. It does not tell people to change who they are or attempt to compensate for a perceived deficiency. It identifies that different personality types exist but that our society is not fully celebrating or nurturing those of us who tend to be "quiet."

A well-written book about an important topic.

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