Sandy H's Reviews > Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Quiet by Susan Cain
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's review
Feb 07, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: business, non-fiction, self-help
Read in April, 2012

As a die-hard introvert, I've done a lot of reading and study on personality types over my career (being in one that really demands a lot of extraverted traits, so I've had to work on compensation techniques). I enjoyed this book less for the information in it, although that was very good, and more for her writing style--I really enjoyed reading it. She's a good writer, engaging, and funny. I chuckled often through the book, although most regularly in that, "Oh yeah, you got that right, sister" manner. That being said, I was intrigued by her look at introversion from a corporate perspective. I hadn't thought about how much our society really emphasizes extraversion and makes you feel as if you're somehow "less than" as an introvert. I know I have felt that in my work life and it's nice to hear I'm not alone. The first few chapters in which she outlines some historical perspectives on introversion verses extraversion were really interesting to me. The studies that she presents (in a very engaging manner) and the conversations she relates all lifted up aspects of living as an introvert that I'd not thought of before.

If there's a weakness in the book, it's in the "so what do you do about it" section. She lays out all the difficulties quite well, but she's not as strong in advising introverts how they might be able to compensate. She tends to lean more in the direction of "extraverts should really know this about introverts," but the reality is, the corporate world is the corporate world so introverts will have to do the lion's share of the compensation for at least the next little while, until things balance out again. On the other hand, since I've already done so much work in this area myself, maybe it's simply that she didn't give me any new insights I didn't already have in that regard. Perhaps someone new in coming to this understanding of themselves would have gotten more out of what she did advise in terms of find one's quiet spaces in the midst of all the noise.

This book is, by no means, only for introverts. If you're an extravert, I think you'd gain some valuable insights into the other half of society and, if you're in the position of working wtih or managing introverts, you may find ideas for how to make team work more successful. If you're an introvert, I'd suggest you go out and find books that are about extraversion as well, for the same reason!

Now I've said enough. I think I'll go find my quiet space again and regroup.
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