Lafcadio's Reviews > The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World

The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney
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Mar 12, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: released, psyche
Read in March, 2012

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. That's not really what it's about. Introverts will make sure they have valid arguments to back up their statements all organized in their heads before they voice their statements out loud. It's not that they haven't thought of anything to say yet, it's that they haven't decided if it's worth saying it out loud even if you ask them point blank about their thoughts.

If you blurt out the first sentence that comes to mind while I'm still organizing my entire essay in my head, and then you call me a slow thinker, I will punch you in the face repeatedly, in my mind. I don't think slower; I think MORE. And then I speak less.

And yes, I do not like to be interrupted while I'm working on a project, but it's not going to take me half a day to get back on track. And no, deadlines don't freak me out. Don't tell me to breathe again.

The sections about how to be normal at a party and how to date were insulting as well. If being an introvert is not the same thing as having a social phobia, then I can handle myself at a party or on a date just fine, thankyouverymuch. I'll never be the life of the party, or even the life of the conversation, but I'm an introvert, so I don't want to be, no matter how many lessons in small talk you give me.

"Hi, I'm Marti. How do you know the host? Hi, I love the music they're playing. Do you know the name of the piece? Hi, I'm Marti; Jim is my boss. Isn't this a beautiful home? Isn't the food delicious? I love this backyard."

Gag me. It's not that I don't know how to ask the world's most boring questions to start a conversation. It's that the conversation that would ensue from that point forward would have me napping in no time.
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02/01/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

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Matthew Russell thank you! I'm also an introvert and had this exact same reaction to the book. I was terribly disappointed.


message 2: by Greg (new)

Greg Flaherty Haha yes


Nikki N I rated it higher than one star, but frequently felt the same way reading it.


Steve Llamb Perfectly stated.


Kelly Joseph Exactly!


message 6: by Letty (new)

Letty Thank you for your review, I've decided to skip this one.


message 7: by Letty (new)

Letty Thank you for your review, I've decided to skip this one.


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) Brilliant review. I have not read this book but now I don't think I will. Introverts don't dislike small talk because they are socially awkward, they just hate wasting their time!


message 9: by Tania (last edited Jul 25, 2015 04:33AM) (new)

Tania Pandia HAHA. Thank God I didn't grab this book when I saw it on my local bookstore.


"If you blurt out the first sentence that comes to mind while I'm still organizing my entire essay in my head, and then you call me a slow thinker, I will punch you in the face repeatedly, in my mind. I don't think slower; I think MORE. And then I speak less."

Just so you know, I've punched a lot of people, too. In my mind.


message 10: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Miller Awesome! I haven't read the book, and now I won't. Yes, yes, yes to the way you describe introversion. Think more, speak less. "The wise man speaks because he has something to say. The fool speaks because he has to say something." !


message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Miller Awesome! I haven't read the book, and now I won't. Yes, yes, yes to the way you describe introversion. Think more, speak less. "The wise man speaks because he has something to say. The fool speaks because he has to say something." !


message 12: by Kristy (new)

Kristy Thanks for the review. I was contemplating purchasing this but now I may not. Do you have any book recommendations? How you described yourself is like you know me and we've never met. Thanks in advance.


Lafcadio "Quiet" is significantly better, but still not completely satisfying.


message 14: by Peter (new) - added it

Peter lol'd hard. you should write a book.


message 16: by Carolina (new)

Carolina A few years ago I read Quiet and loved the book. I just finished reading this book and I also love it, I think it's more simplistic but that will make it more accessible for introverts that are not so much into reading and more into tv (like a few friends of mine).

In one part of the book she talks about the lucky ones that were raised in environments where their introversion was validated, and grew up to be very self-confident in their introversion, maybe that's your case. I'm right in the middle of the spectrum so must stuff don't apply to me at all, but I totally left the book thinking about how I manage my energy in my daily life and reconsidering how to conserve energy instead of been on the go all the time, it explained a lot of stuff for me, and left me rethinking how to live more as the introvert I am, rather than the social extrovert I've been conditioned to be in order to "succeed", I was raised by a very extrovert mother that made sure I could fit in.

My father a very introverted man speaks slow and thinks slow, and believe me he is not having tons of thoughts at the same time, not everybody is in the 60% of genius she talks about in the book, he works very hard at everything and puts double the time than everybody else to achieve what many will consider average results. It has taken me many years to value his ways.

I totally see why you gave it 1 star because it's not applicable to you but I just want to point out to those reading your review that it has tons of good stuff in it. Thanks for your review, it was very well-thought out and articulated, I always like to read 1 star reviews and yours was great.


message 17: by Kay (new) - added it

Kay I haven't read the book, but I love what you had to say here! I'm trying to understand myself better and rather than thinking that I'm just mentally screwed up, insane, bipolar, or a Scorpio; I think I'm just an introvert that doesn't understand myself. If this book doesn't help me, perhaps another one might.


message 18: by Onyinye (new) - added it

Onyinye U. Any recommendations on other books, b'cos you stated exactly what I go through everyday. Thanks


Maria Thank you. I just got to the section on small talk and thought: is this now her way of saying introverts are on the spectrum and need lessons in how to hold conversations? Uh... No. Just no. It's not that we don't know how; we just don't WANT to.


message 20: by Reanne (new)

Reanne Thanks for the warning.


message 21: by Deepak (new) - added it

Deepak Rawat I was about to buy this book, and now I'm thinking twice if it would be worth spending time to read this .
I saw another book which from the summary looks more interesting, if anyone has read it, could you pls suggest :-
Michele Gilbert
The Introvert's Advantage: The Introverts Guide to Succeeding in an Extrovert World


message 22: by Dan (new)

Dan Porter Haven't read the book and won't now, but I agree completely with the points you make in your review. I can talk with almost anyone about almost anything, but there are so few people that I want to talk with about anything. Even the title - The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World - is offputting. Since I have the advantage of being an introvert, why would I be at all concerned about thriving in an extrovert world? I'm perfectly happy in my own world, thank you very much. Thanks for posting such a helpful review.


message 23: by Carmen (new)

Carmen Great review.


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