Andree'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
Mar 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012
Read from March 12 to 15, 2012

I feel like I’m simultaneously assessing this book on any number of levels at once.

I almost feel like I should start this review with a declaration (or maybe two).

Hi, my name is Andrée and I’m an introvert.

But then, also:

Hi, my name is Andrée and I’m shy.

It’s inevitable that those two personality traits (and whether you tend towards one, both or neither) will affect your reading of this book.

I’m not going to lie, for an introvert this book is definitely rather self-affirming. Introversion is a trait that often leads to what feels like judgement and criticism (sometimes inadvertently). And reading that it is okay to want to spend hours alone is quite frankly comforting. On that level, this book is never going to be anything but awesome to me. I definitely identified with a few of the situations and descriptions. And I’m definitely glad I read it. I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s useful, not only for introverts trying to well, trying to examine their place in today’s society where it often appears that extroversion is favoured. It’s useful (I would imagine) for extroverts so that they understand the introverted mind. It’s also incredibly useful for introverts in understanding how they are going to be perceived by extroverts. There are passages on how the two types interact that I found extremely interesting, and extremely helpful.

In fact, I found lots of this book extremely helpful/insightful, especially since I can see shades of the dynamics in my office environment.

On the other hand, stepping back from the self-validation exercise, the book isn’t without its flaws. I understand why it’s written the way it is. One of its goal is to put forward the idea that introversion is not a sign of defectiveness or inherently problematic, but can be awesome – a goal I support. BUT the book does come off as a bit preachy from time to time because of that. The author is careful to repeatedly say that one type is not necessarily better than the other; they’re just different. Still there is also an inevitable bias. Also, the book is occasionally a bit simplistic and seems to dwell in generalizations (which again, I can see why for several reasons. Practically, going into all the details would probably make the book insanely long because there’s no way you could ever cover everything). I also found some of the middle, more scientific sections a bit dull. This may be because I’m familiar with some of the original studies (for example different survival strategies being advantageous under different conditions is old news to me). The middle section also seemed slow, and repetitive.

That said, I’m definitely very glad I read it. I’d recommend it to anyone, if only to be aware of how both types of people see the world differently. And honestly, if it removes even a little of the stigma associated with introversion and/or shyness, in my mind that’s totally worth it.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Becky (new)

Becky Ooh, let me know if this is worth reading. I've been curious.

Andree I can tell you already that the first section is better than the middle section, but I did really like the start. I will lend you my copy if you like.

message 3: by Becky (new)

Becky Sure!

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