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Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength
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Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  2,316 ratings  ·  219 reviews

Are you an introvert? Psychologist and introvert Laurie Helgoe reveals that more than half of all Americans are. Introverts gain energy and power through reflection and solitude. Our culture, however, is geared toward the extrovert. The pressure to enjoy parties, chatter, and interactions can lead people to think that an inward orientation is a

Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Sourcebooks
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This book describes my inner life so well and so compassionately that it feels as if I finally find myself defended and acquitted before a jury (and culture) of extroverts. It makes me feel valued for my strength of a contemplative, observational life rather than being misjudged as snobbish, socially withdrawn, or too bookish. I have often felt as if I have to make excuses for not having active, outgoing, socially noisy plans for the weekend/holiday/vacation. I get weary of Facebook's judgmental ...more
If I could have given this book ten stars, I would have. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this is the best nonfiction book I have ever read. If you are an introvert, or know an introvert, this book is a must read. It's like the author has been living inside my head for my entire life. I can't begin to explain how throughly and utterly she gets it. What's so surprising is we comprise a little more than half of the population! I always thought I was in some small minority. This book teac ...more
I wish I'd been given this book 20 years ago. I've been fighting this thing called "introversion" as if it was a disease - wrong approach, I see it now. Not that I ever tried to fit in...but I just kept feeling that I "should".

This is not a self-help book. There are no formulas. This is about acceptance, thriving and celebrating who you are. I am completely and truly amazed at what I read because I kept thinking "hey, that's me" and I said it in nearly every page.

The author blames American cult
I owe a ton of thank-yous to the author, Laurie Helgoe. This book surprised me by being more than what I wanted out of a "self-help book" about my introversion - it helped me to understand myself and it helped me to love myself better. I never fully understood why I felt bored or withdrawn during some conversations, why a rush of activity and movement seems to flood me so badly I actually panic, or why I crave alone time a lot, apparently more than most people (aka more than I should... And wors ...more
Dec 16, 2011 Karen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who is not bored by their own company, lives inside their head, or thinks the world is mad
If there were more rating stars, I would give them all to this book. For anyone who has wanted to retreat from the hectic pace, blaring noise, assault of advertising, and the "American" culture ceaseless activity - this is the book for you. It was like finding an old friend and myself at the same time.
Helgoe explains that "we have become a culture of 'everybody else' Through our constantly expanding media channels, we can know what people are (supposedly) buying, how people are (supposedly) beha
Beth A.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked some of the concepts Helgoe focused on, like accepting your introversion and noticing the good things about it. Another idea I thought was valid was that you should be honest when you decline an unwanted invitation. If you make up excuses and say you really want to go, you will get more invitations. I also liked her encouragement to not let yourself be pressured into social events when you will not enjoy them, unless it's necessary, like for work.

This book had could have been written about me, a lifelong introvert. The author "gets" me. Descriptions, examples, thoughts, and feelings are right on target. Most importantly, I learned that it is okay to be an introvert. My strength is drawn from solitude, the company of one or two people at a time, my pets, my books, my interests. I shouldn't berate myself for not wanting to go to big parties and do "fun" activities that extroverts enjoy. I will be buying my own copy of this book, reading it ...more
Shira and Ari Evergreen
Jun 02, 2010 Shira and Ari Evergreen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: stressed-out people, geeks, introverts
Shelves: ari-faves
Introvert Power is a self-help book about celebrating your introverted identity and recognizing its strengths, instead of trying to be more extroverted and running out of energy, or becoming a hermit - the typical introvert responses to social overstimulation. The title is very appropriate - it's a very empowering message for introverts.

Personally, I'm trying to work on *reducing* my ego and I don't crave power, so some of her rah-rah'ing came off as presumptuous, for me: She makes a lot of assu
Nihal Zaki
may be my rating needs some further explaination; because if this book is mainly about getting introverts to be better connected to their inner feelings and needs, then it may be rated as a five or at least four starts book..but I guess that most intoverts already spend more than enough time reflecting, .....and if that book is about making them feel that they are not alone, and not even a minority and that almost 50% of population (according to the author) are intoverts so its more or less norm ...more
Paloma Etienne
Well, I found the magic of this book at the beginning, but to be honest I'd say that two thirds of the book are really redundant, I'm sorry to be so blunt and harsh about it. Enough said about introverts not liking to go to parties, mate, it did my head in. However, I didn’t skip those last two thirds because between dismayed faint spells when reading the repetitive narrative I got hooked again on a smart idea.

Now, the book does dally on a certain whiff of self-help babble, grrr, but the core o
Annie Palmer
I enjoy and find it beneficial to myself and others to learn about human behavior. I obviously learned a lot about introverts, but also appreciated the tidbits I picked up about extroverts. As an introvert myself, I appreciate the practical ideas Helgoe presented. They are easily applicable and gives respect to oneself and others. I think it is important to know that about 50 percent of us are introverts, but don't realize it because we are conditioned to be extroverts. Another key point was tha ...more
If you haven't read many books about personality types, etc., I'd suggest this book as a go-to guide. If you're already familiar with your introverted personality, this book is more of a cheerleader for you to maintain what you like about your introverted life and change what doesn't work. She offers lots of tips for specific situations: parties, work, home life, etc., but what I think she'd really wish for this book to be is an introvert's manifesto to be read by the extroverts of the world.
Initial reaction: Considering I read this in one sitting shortly after being accepted for the galley, I devoured this book. It was a compulsive read and so interesting that I couldn't put it down once I picked it up. So many spot on assertions about introversion - what it is and what it isn't. I definitely appreciated the insight Helgoe had with respect to understanding and building upon the strengths of the introverted mind. It left me with a lot of food for thought because I am very much an in ...more
Tom Hart
Mar 28, 2012 Tom Hart rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Introverts mental health professionals; anyone interested in human behavior; social psychologists
I am a clinical social worker by profession and also an introvert. I call myself the "anti-social social worker" because I although I do need a certain amount of people time, I prefer and love to read, think and learn by myself. Like some others who've reviewed the book, I related well to this book and felt the author totally gets introverts in a way that I've never seen in other books on the subject. I also related to it because I am a mental health professional and also experienced the feeling ...more
I just grabbed this off the new book shelf at the library and will have to admit that I didn't read the whole thing. But I will say that the author understands us introverts. Sample:

Extrovert: How is your day going?
Introvert:(taking the question in, thinking)
Extrovert: I have had the craziest day....
Introvert: Yeah? (distracted from thinking)
Extrovert: Yeah, it all started this morning when...(continues for five minutes or so)....So you're doing well then?
Introvert: Yeah. Oh, I gotta get g
It's a rare book that has me highlighting as much as this one did.
Not only is it a validation for those of us who relish and need solitude in which to recharge, but it actually celebrates it.
In a extroverted society (as a whole), it's refreshing to read of other countries and cultures where quiet introversion is more the norm. And how we, here, shouldn't have to apologize for the fact that we are the way we are.

If I had to choose one quote from this book which sums it up nicely, it's this one:

Enjoyable read. I was surprised at the data that says the world is about 50 percent introverted. (Even in America?) I've always felt like a minority. For example, not very many people I know go to lunch alone at work. I imagine it's the social pressure to be with company. But I do find solo time in my day is indeed very empowering. This book won't change my behavior much, but it does help me feel more validated.
I found myself scanning pages rather than reading. The author shows understanding of introversion with long explanations and examples. If you need validation that you are ok as you are then great read this book.
Wow...really enlightening and insightful.

It reminds me why I'm an introvert--and why I'm an extrovert at the same time. :D

I love the nostalgic, homecoming feeling of returning to your permanent safe haven--your own solitude.

Another part I especially enjoyed was the "birth dates" not "deadlines!" And how we should follow Nature--our natural bodily rhythms, not the socially imposed time schedules. :) I really love this idea and I'm going to pour all my efforts into making that become a reality in
Kathryn Dechairo
I love the honesty and truth of this book and was amazed to discover that introverts are not a minority! It was also eye opening to realize just how much negativity we associate with many aspects of introversion. Lots of aha moments in this for me and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is an introvert or wants to truly understand them.
The gift I received from this book was the encouragement to fully nurture the introvert within me. The author noted that we live in a society where extroversion is highly promoted and appears to be the preferred choice of personality not only in a social sense but also within the business, entertainment and service industries. Introversion is seen more as being too shy or too quiet and is discouraged. The author promotes integration – achieving a balance or a level of comfort within one’s own mi ...more
Reading this book was like reading my biography. I didn't know I was an introvert but I can see now that I am. Knowing what that means, how it looks and what it feels like brings a greater understanding of myself and others and how we function (or don't) together. I think I'll be able to live from now on more comfortably in my own skin, and with those who are not like me, thanks to this book.
The major strength of this book lies in the constant reassurances from the author that it's okay to want to be alone, to like the pleasure of your own company, and to generally avoid socializing for no reason other than that you don't wanna do it. If I had read this book a decade ago when I was in my early twenties, I probably would have been reduced to tears by reading this and realizing that it is totally normal and acceptable to prefer solitude. Now, many of Helgoe's reassurances seem obvious ...more
I read this book back in January (for $1.79!) while waiting for Quiet to come out and really enjoyed it. It could be summed up with "You're an introvert, don't feel bad about it, take the time you need to recharge yourself, and feel free to hate parties." Ha! Seriously though, I had grown so used to people telling me that I should love parties that I had just accepted that it was a bad thing about myself, that I would rather spend my Friday night curled up with a book in blessed silence. Helgoe ...more
I really enjoyed this book. I could really identify with most of the introvert traits that the author pointed out and I loved her ideas about yin days and invisibility props. I also liked the idea of the passionate observer and I was very interested to learn that there are probably far more introverts than what people realise, it's just that most people feel as though they have to try and act extroverted to get by and fit in.

One thing I particularly liked about this book was the way the author p
This is the third book about introversion that I have read (the others being The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking) and my favourite of the three.

Where "Quiet" focuses more on explaining and justifying our character traits and preferences to extroverts, and "Introvert Advantage" focuses on helping us introverts to fit better into our extrovert society, this is a big, juicy permission slip for you to cele
I'm still taking notes on this one, but it seems like a good time to cap things with a review.

These are the main points I took away from this book.

1) Introverts are in the majority in the US - 57% - despite America being a very extroverted culture.

2) Introverts come in two flavors: Accessible Introverts who almost look like extroverts on the outside and Shadow Dwellers who are your more stereotypical introvert.

3) "Introverts are drawn to worlds more exotic or complex than what is immediately av
"Introverts generally prefer a rich inner life to an expansive social life; we would rather talk intimately with a close friend than share stories with a group; and we prefer to develop ideas internally rather than interactively."

In Introvert Power, author Laurie Helgoe adeptly examines who an introvert is...and isn't. She also dispels the myth that introverts are in the minority. Her research finds that the population is almost equally divided in their introvert/extrovert tendencies. Reading th
I loved this book. I always knew I was an introvert but I didn't really know the full meaning of the word and how to take advantage of it. I also didn't realize that HALF of people are introverts. I've been looking around a little more since I've read this and I 'get' people a little more now. I REALLY appreciated the insights of this book and fully intend to read it again to remind myself that it's OK that sometimes, going to a party full of people just sounds exhausting, not fun, and that I NE ...more
Annika Höstmad
What's interesting with this book for me as an introvert reader, is that it lists many of my qualities and connects them with my introversion. It also questions what the author calls the extrovert assumption, the belief that the extrovert way is better and preferred by the masses. Whether or not she is correct in claiming that 57% of the US is introverted is not relevant to me, just identifying the extrovert assumption is enough. This and a few other passages makes it look like she's looking to ...more
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Laurie Anne Helgoe is an American psychologist and author specializing in personality development and the psychology of desire. Helgoe has a private practice in clinical psychology and serves as an assistant clinical professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, Charleston Division, supervising and lecturing psychiatric residents.

Raised as the ninth of ten children, she was surroun
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“Let's clear one thing up: Introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people. We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.” 115 likes
“I am rarely bored alone; I am often bored in groups and crowds.” 107 likes
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