Crystal Starr Light'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
Dec 27, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction, simply-the-best, psychology
Recommended to Crystal Starr Light by: Jason

Eye-opener. Astounding. Life-changing. Inspirational. Insightful. All these adjectives and more describe my experience with this amazing book.

I'm very much an introvert. I try to avoid social functions as much as possible, but I do love meeting every so often with my dear friends one-on-one. If I do end up at a party, you can bet I'm the one keeping the corner warm. I am an avid reader, a knitter, a sometimes writer, a nerd, and an engineer. My idea of a perfect evening is one spent in the comfort of my apartment, cat in lap, book in hand, coffee at my side. My idea of a perfect vacation is one where I can go to my favorite coffee shop and read. In college, my favorite classes were Differential Equations (in which I, the only female, got a perfect score on the final), Physics, and Fluids. Ever since elementary school, I dreaded a school performances, such as Christmas programs or poetry recitals. At work meetings, I am more likely to listen to everything and be note-taker than I am to present or volunteer ideas.

Lately, my boss has said that I need to step things up, become more "out there" and confident. Inwardly, I despaired. Wasn't I working hard enough? What was holding me back? Why couldn't I just blurt things out in meetings? Why did I constantly sound nervous, even if I really wasn't? Was there any hope for me to change?

And then, like a sign from heaven, I saw this book in the "New Books" display at Barnes and Nobles (BTW, I happen to swing by the bookstore at least once a week during lunch - sometimes to purchase, but mostly to pass the time). I remembered a friend had read this and really enjoyed it, and I figured it would help me figure out myself.

"Figure myself out" would be an understatement; it's as if this book were written specifically for me! Cain breaks down what it means to be an introvert. Turns out despite what my sister is constantly telling me, I'm not weird (alright, not too weird). I have talents and skills. I have a place. And it's not my fault I can't always speak up and make my voice heard. A lot of it is because of how our workforce, our employers, our coworkers, our society functions. Our biology, our parents, our surroundings make us the introverted beings we are. It's just that school and work and the outside world try to tell us that being quiet, that listening and ruminating over things is wrong, that we should be quick to speak and blurt whatever is on our mind.

I've known I was an introvert for a while, but it was so refreshing and liberating to learn that there were others with my "problem". That I wasn't alone. And, most importantly, I can overcome, nay thrive, in this Extroverted world. And that is the second gift Cain gives us in this book: how to be an Introvert in an Extrovert world and not want to choke yourself at night.

I feel like, after reading Quiet, I have a plan for facing my "work problems". I feel like I can take the challenge my boss has placed in front of me and succeed. Although a part of me still wishes I could crawl back to my desk and burrow there, I think this book has given me the tools and encouragement I need to speak up.

If you are an introvert, you definitely need to read this book. Even if you aren't an introvert, this is a great book to understanding how they think and act. I'm definitely passing this along to everyone I know.
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Reading Progress

December 27, 2012 – Started Reading
December 27, 2012 – Shelved
December 27, 2012 – Shelved as: non-fiction
December 27, 2012 –
page 55
16.32% "Does Cain have cameras at my workplace? Can she read my mind??"
December 28, 2012 –
page 71
21.07% ""Many evangelicals [have] come to associate goodness with sociability." Huh, I remember those days well!"
December 28, 2012 –
page 97
December 28, 2012 –
page 116
December 28, 2012 –
page 133
39.47% "I need to take some of these public speaking tips!!"
December 30, 2012 –
page 174
December 30, 2012 –
page 186
December 30, 2012 –
page 191
January 1, 2013 –
page 208
January 2, 2013 –
page 241
January 3, 2013 –
page 257
January 3, 2013 – Shelved as: simply-the-best
January 3, 2013 – Finished Reading
April 4, 2013 – Shelved as: psychology

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Jason This a fantastic book with an excellent blend of narrative and cited information. I came away feeling pretty empowered. I would listen to it again...probably will someday. Enjoy!

Crystal Starr Light Thank YOU!! I saw this in your reading queue and knew I had to read it myself!! So far, it's mind-blowing lay awesome!

message 3: by Marie (new) - added it

Marie Oh, I've had this on my to-read list since before it was released—so glad it holds up!

Crystal Starr Light It is really good! I whole-heartedly recommend!

Tracey Wow. I've been looking at this on Audible for a while – I think I need to stop looking and start buying. It sounds like an extended version of that moment watching Star Trek all those years ago when I heard myself described:

Barclay: Being afraid all of the time, of forgetting somebody's name, not, not knowing... what to do with your hands. I mean, I, I am the guy who writes down things to remember to say when there's a party. And then, when he finally gets there, he winds up alone, in the corner, trying to look comfortable examining a potted plant.
Geordi: You're just shy, Barclay.
Barclay: Just shy... Sounds like nothing serious - doesn't it? You can't know.

Crystal Starr Light It's a great read, definitely eye-opening!! If you can get your hands on it, do!

message 7: by Ien (new)

Ien van Houten I listened to an interview with the author, and my reaction was this: only in North America does one need to devote a whole book to state the obvious. Not all people are outgoing, really? Surprise! But if this gives some people permission to be themselves, more power to it.

Crystal Starr Light I know; I think the hard thing is that so many who are "quiet" are made to feel out of place and somehow wrong at work and school. At my work, I'm constantly being told to be more aggressive and confident. In college, I got so much anxiety when doing group projects or oral presentations. I knew I was an introvert, but I don't think I quite understood everything that entailed.

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