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The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World
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The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  10,499 ratings  ·  628 reviews
Do you "zone out" if too much is going on? Are you energised by spending time alone? In meetings, do you need to be asked for your opinions and ideas? Do you tend to notice details that other people miss? Is your ideal celebration a small get-together, rather than a big party? Do you often feel like a tortoise surrounded by hares? The good news is, you're an introvert. The ...more
Paperback, 330 pages
Published February 1st 2002 by Workman Publishing Company (first published 2002)
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This book started out OK, but the more I read, the more I felt insulted.

Laney goes out of her way to make sure you know that being an introvert is not the same thing as being shy or having social anxiety. Then in nearly every list of suggestions for dealing with other people, she includes "breathe." I'm not hyperventilating or holding my breath every time someone talks to me; I'm just an introvert.

She also goes on and on about introverts being slow thinkers and slow processors and slow workers.
The two things I heard most in my youth: "Where did you get that red hair?" (which always struck me as wildly dumb, and/or inappropriate. what if I was adopted? or did people really think a first grader would dye her hair - dye it pumpkin orange, no less??)

And the other: "Why are you so quiet?" (because I'm tired of answering stupid questions from complete strangers??)

Anyway, I'm still quiet, and have married into a spastically extroverted family. I'm eager to read this book, and welcome any goo
I am an introvert. When I first heard about this book, I was curious and eager to read it. A few introvert friends read it, and praised it to the skies. I read it, and ...

didn't like it.

It took me a while to determine why (thus proving myself an introvert) but by the last chapters, I had it figured out.

The title of this book is "The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World. Making the Most of Your Hidden Strengths". Really? As far as I am concerned, its title should be "Overcomin
Since reading Mr. Jung's book about personality types, I have often wondered what use or point these types of classifications can really have. Mr. Jung, himself, cautions that though thinking about personality types can be enlightening, we should never make the mistake of thinking that we are talking about something real. It is the dichotomy present in stereotypes in general: they can sometimes be helpful, but they can also lead to dreadful errors in judgement about particular individuals.

Ms. La
First, she spends a lot of time making sure you’re an introvert. As if anyone else would be reading this book. Then, once you’re super sure that you’re an introvert, she talks about what it means to be an introvert, as if you don’t already know. That’s a lot of time wasted right there. Then she tells you how extroverts work and how they’re totally different from you and gives a tiny teaspoon of advice on how to interact with them. It’s all mostly stupid common sense stuff. Then she blathers on a ...more
Mar 17, 2009 Shannon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Introverts, Those Who Know One, Those Who Love One
Recommended to Shannon by: Mikkee
Shelves: nonfiction
If you don't know me, you may not realize how momentous it is for me to not only read a non-fiction book, but give it five stars. My friend, Mikkee, recommended this book and I am so glad I read it. I've always been an introvert, but I think as I've aged, I've become more aware of how this makes me feel and how my needs are different because of it. For a non-fiction book, it was very readable, which is what pushed it from four stars to five for me. While the author has a doctorate in psychology, ...more
Mme. Bookling ~
I seriously want to buy this book for every single introvert I know. After that, I want to buy this book for every single extrovert I know.

Truth is, this book has treated a topic that is seriously underrated and has been the source of my anxiety for many, many years.

There are so many interesting facts/statistics that Dr. Laney throws into this book. For instance:
Introverts are outnumbered 3:1 in this world.
Introverts live longer than Extroverts.
Introversion has been directly linked to intelligen
Jul 19, 2008 Katie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: self-improvement
THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I'VE EVER READ! Period. The cover's loud proclamation that the book was filled with "Aha Moments" is no joke! For me, the introvert, I now have a better understanding of what it means to be an introvert and how being an introvert effects every aspect of my life. It's all about energy -- introverts need to conserve energy while extroverts need to expend energy. Even our brains are wired differently. I couldn't believe some of the examples in the book. In one, the aut ...more
Ginny Messina
I have a generally negative view of pop psychology books, but couldn’t resist this one. And although it is lightweight and pretty ascientific, there were just enough “hey, that’s me!” moments to make me feel like I learned something.

Laney is a librarian turned psychologist who is herself an introvert. Despite the title, she focuses very little on the actual advantages of being an introvert. (For the record, we are loyal, thoughtful, persistent, good listeners, good teachers, able to focus deepl
Things I learned from this book:
- 75% of people are extroverts
- introverts often feel drained or overstimulated
- introverts get energy from the internal world, extroverts from the external world
- introverts like depth, extroverts like breadth
- introverts & extroverts may unsettle each other because they think & talk differently
- introverts NEED to take breaks regularly, preferably before feeling the need for them
- introverts may speak slowly, not show much facial expression, not offer id
I almost stopped reading this after 50 of its 300+ pages because I already know that I am a left-brain introvert and the material felt familiar. I typically am comfortable in the largely extrovert world (according to author Laney 25% of people are introverts and the rest extroverts). However, it is a fairly quick read for its length and I am glad I stuck with it. The physiological explanations were new to me, and several times throughout the book, I discovered traits I didn't know were connected ...more
I'm somewhere between E and I on the spectrum, and I have friends at both extreme ends, so I thought this would be an interesting and valuable book. I hoped it would, more like. But alas, it was not. The author lost me along about the time she started prattling on about "Hap Hits" which are things that increase a person's happiness or energy levels. The very term made me snort derisively, as did much of the rest of the book.

I can see that there's perhaps some valuable information here, buried un
I could pretty much sum this book up in one sentence: "You're an introvert, and that's okay."

Besides the repeated reminders that there is nothing psychologically wrong with you if you're an introvert, this book was pretty good. I enjoyed reading the defining characteristics of classic introverts and extroverts; it actually made me realize that my introversion explains a lot more about me than I would have originally thought. Who would have guessed that my dislike for chatting on the phone is a c
Laura (Kyahgirl)
3.5/5; 4 stars; B+

I would highly recommend this book to a young person who has never had a chance to learn how this aspect of their temperament shapes a lot of their experiences in their personal and professional lives. I really enjoyed the first part of the book where Dr. Laney talks about what introverts are like. It was pretty funny. Or maybe I only thought it was funny because I could see so much of myself in there?? Its strange to hear that introverts are often likened to tortoises and conn
Jul 06, 2008 Sheridan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: an introvert
Shelves: self-help
On the back cover it says, “Filled with Aha! Moments.”

It is true, as an Introvert, I had many of these reading this book. I scrapbook with a group of wonderful girls. One time Christine brought this book. We took the quiz and all but one of us are introverts. It was fun to realize that about each other and maybe it is why we all get along so well, we can understand each other. One of my Aha moments, was I hate to make phone calls. Apparently this is a situation many introverts face. It made me
Aug 31, 2012 Victoria rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Introverts and extroverts who love them
Every once in a while I come across a book that significantly alters my perspective, and very rarely, even changes my life. The Introvert Advantage is one of these rare gems. It explained me to me! All of the weird things I do, how I get tired in crowds, how I dread going out, and will avoid social events if I can. I'm always the first person to leave the party! How small talk is a sincere struggle for me, but bring up a topic I'm interested in and I'll talk your ear off. It's amazing the gift t ...more
May 10, 2010 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Karen B.
Shelves: non-fiction
I highly recommend this book. I had no idea there was so much science and biology behind introversion and extroversion. Introverts and extroverts actually have different pathways in the brain, and so many things that the author mentions make my habits and challenges fall into one cohesive whole.

Health issues, a deep need for moments of quiet and solitude, a tendency to spend long periods of time thinking and processing...all these things resonated so strongly with my life. I was astonished to f
Sep 26, 2011 Minna rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone who think they are or think they know an introvert
Recommended to Minna by: Internet-person
Shelves: non-fiction, owned
I'm well aware that I'm introverted. I have family members who are both innies and outies, and the differences between the two types have always been obvious. I have always preferred reading or hanging out with one or two friends to parties and meeting strangers. The thing I've never did connect were the dots between personality type, energy levels and some of my quirks that seemingly had nothing to do with introversion.

Some might think that it is impossible to not know what temperament you hav
I read this for a second time recently, and it was a great reminder of some things about myself that I had forgotten.

A word about the target audience for this book. If you are generally a nice person but occasionally get called "anti-social" because of your preference to spend your free time alone or with a tiny group of people rather than socializing at large group events, you might find something of interest here. If you are in a relationship with or have at some point been offended by someone
Finally, someone that understands what it is like to be an introvert. For those of us that think before we do, prefer to stay in rather than go out...this book is for you.
I’ve known for a long time now that I’m an introvert—a person who’s easily drained by social situations and who needs lots of quiet, reflective time in order to recharge. Nobody really seems to be exactly sure as to the number of introverts in the world today, but this book puts it at about 25% of the population. Extroverts (who have an outside focus and who get their energy by being around lots of other people) are far more common. Because we’re so greatly outnumbered, and because we don’t ofte ...more
Marti Laney speaks my language! Introversion is not a condition, it is nature and not nurture. This was one long, 300-page validation of the fact that I am not alone. All those years thinking the extroverts of the world had something I didn't, and being sent the unmistakable message within our extrovert culture that I am the odd one out for "not coming out of my shell." Not so! Especially interesting to me is the underlying science of neural pathways (shorter in extroverts) in the brain that exp ...more
Apryl Anderson
So, that's what's wrong with me! Wait a minute, the shame & blame didn't come from this book. Olsen-Laney did such an excellent job of presenting the differences in temperaments without indicating that one is better than the other--although I have my intrinsic opinions.

All these years, I've been struggling to keep my head above water in this pool of sharks--ops, extroverts--and wondering why I keep sinking. It's so good to know that there is a physiological reason as to why I relate to the w
It's weird when you find a book that explains so much about you in such weird but spot-on detail.

There is a huge, intricately woven, probably 15-year backstory to why this book is turning out to be so important to me, but I will say that as I'm reading (I'm about 2/3 through as I write this), I'm coming across all sorts of kernels that perfectly reflect some of the bumps I've encountered in life. For example:

• "Most introverts need their own space because they tend to be territorial."
• "Introver
Jan 25, 2010 rabbitprincess rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: introverts and extroverts alike
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: Natalia
It's hard to believe that there are some non-fiction books that one can simply tear through like a trashy thriller or a novel of mystery and suspense. This is one of them. It's a highly readable look at the world of introverts written by an introvert, and it ably discusses the challenges that introverts face in a society that places a higher value on extroverted qualities (speaking one's mind, doing all sorts of things, being a social butterfly, etc.). The book is divided in three distinct parts ...more
Jared Millet
I wish I'd had a copy of this book when it first came out. Scratch that - I wish I'd had a copy in high school. It would have made things so much easier.

The focus of the book is on coping mechanisms for introverts trying to survive in a world run by extroverts, but she begins by delving into the psychology and neuroscience of introversion - how our brains differ, why we spend so much time with our thoughts, and why extroverts have so much more energy. The overall message is that to live well as
Dawn Lennon
A very helpful book clarifying the differences between introverts and extroverts, with an obvious emphasis on helping introverts understand, accept, and value their temperaments. It looks at the situational dynamics faced by introverts at home, work, socially, and individually, providing tools and exercises designed to address the unique needs of introverts. Recognizing that there are degrees of introversion, this books does a good job of raising awareness and allaying myth.
Robin Boggs
When I first started reading this book I was prepared to give it maybe 3 stars as it seemed as though it was just another book describing introversion of which I've read plenty. As I read along though I realized this was written as a self help book and as an extrovert myself I could use it as a go to book for my daughter who happens to be an introvert. I didn't realize that introverts themselves often feel guilt or shame in being who they are . This book will help them to embrace their personali ...more
It was very illuminating and I could relate a lot to the points the author was making. It made me feel like I wasn't so alone in this extroverted world. I enjoyed relating to some of the things she said that introverts dread like returning merchandise or fear of talking on the phone. It was an interesting read and I learned a lot about how the introverted mind works. I found the part about how introverts use the neurotransmitter acetylcholine more than extroverts super interesting, especially ho ...more
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Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D., is a researcher, educator, author, and psychotherapist. One of America’s foremost authorities on introversion, she speaks and leads workshops on the topic in the United States and Canada.
More about Marti Olsen Laney...
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“Many introverts don't feel as if they know enough about a subject until they know almost everything.” 20 likes
“Having people in different optimal environments increases the chances of survival of the human race as a whole. It is nature's way to preserve her species.” 8 likes
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