Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking

Quiet- The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking‘Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking’ is a book I have been actively introducing to all my introverted friends because it is SUCH a powerful read.

One of the arguments that struck me early on in the book was when author Susan Cain argued introversion in our modern era has been relegated to a ‘second-class personality trait’ as compared to extroversion.

“You might still feel a pang of guilt when you decline a dinner invitation in favor of a good book. Or maybe you like to eat alone in restaurants and could do without the pitying looks from fellow diners. Or you’re told that you’re “in your head too much,” a phrase that’s often deployed against the quiet and cerebral.”

The book gives voice to a group of typically silent people in our society by dispelling the usual negative connotations associated with introversion such as ‘lazy, stupid, slow, boring.’ Instead, they are regarded as ‘high-reactive’ people, who are ‘alert, sensitive to nuance and have complex emotionality.’

Even though I am not much of an introvert, this book remains relevant, having met many quiet people in my daily life.

[Scroll below for video based on the contents of this book]

A fascinating comparison made between extroverts and introverts was in the financial market.

Extroverts who occupy the upper echelons of businesses, said Cain, engage in more aggressive risk-taking behavior because they are wired to be more driven by rewards than their counterpart. Some even resulted in high-profile bankruptcies and stock markets to crash. Recall the infamous Enron business scandal?

In contrast, introverts when faced with potential rewards tend to be more cautious and vigilant, which makes them unpopular because they are usually are the wet blanket at the party.

“The problem is that, on one side, you have a rainmaker who is making lots of money for the company and is treated like a superstar, and on the other side you have an introverted nerd. So who do you think wins?”

susan_author1Towards the end of the book,I felt guilty for all the negative feelings and misconceptions I had towards my introverted friends and at the same time touched by the author’s main takeaway message – it is ok to be an introvert in our loud, raucous world.

Extroverts and introverts are unlike each other because they respond differently to external stimulation. Extroverts should respect their counterparts for the differences rather than to coerce introverts to ‘come out of the shell.’

“The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk. Use your natural powers – of persistence, concentration, insight, and sensitivity – to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems, make art, think deeply.”

That would be exactly what I will be doing.

[Click on the image below to purchase this book on Amazon.com]

Below is an wonderfully-drawn animation based on the contents of this book. Enjoy!

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10 thoughts on “Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking

  1. There is list of yes/no questions at the beginning of the book- number of yeses indicates degree of introversion. I said no to only three of them.Yes- I’ve spent my whole life pretending a degree of extroversion If you act happy and comfortable, then bit by bit, you become what you’ve been pretending. That’s fine. Be aware of it. Balance it, and you get the best of all worlds. It is a super book.

  2. I read this book a while ago and thought it was really good.

    We should all be accepted for who we are and none of us should have to justify not being carbon copies of the more outspoken.

  3. I loved this book. I am highly introverted, and it was so refreshing and validating to read a book that says, “hey, you’re not super chatty, but that’s okay. You have all these other great qualities.” It definitely helped me realize that being introverted isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and that it actually makes me better than extroverts at certain things. I graduated from college recently and am still looking for a job in my field, and this book helped me figure out how to portray my strengths and demonstrate that being quiet isn’t a bad thing while interviewing for jobs.

    1. Hey Leah,

      Good to hear from you about your personal experiences because I have heard quite a number of my introverted friends relating to me similar experiences of being judged being too quiet and reserved. The book certainly has given a lot of insight into the brilliant introverted minds like yours, and I am equally heartened to know that it’s empowered you in your job search.

      Good luck on your job hunt! 🙂

  4. I definitely need to get this book! I consider myself an introvert and oftentimes feel that I have to pretend that I’m extroverted around many of the people in my life. And the stigma that comes with being an introvert sucks a lot. My friends constantly tell me I’m too “awkward” around people when in reality I can speak to others quite well. I’ll never fully understand why the world prefers extroverts to introverts because there are upsides and downsides to both.

    1. Hey Cindy,

      Given what you’ve described< I would strongly encourage you to get this book! The author did mention many times that introverts do spend a lot of time and energy to pretend to be extroverted and also relates her own experiences. I think you'll find a lot of resonance with the stories inside the book and also gain insights. Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

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