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

Quiet by Susan Cain
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it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction

My introvert friends often tell me they envy my apparent ability to strike up a conversation and talk to just about anyone. My extrovert friends often tell me I’m a good listener and problem solver. While I consider myself to be an introvert, I can do a pretty good imitation of an extrovert: I can talk to just about anyone, I’m not fazed by job interviews, or even giving a talk. I avoid the phone for social reasons but don’t mind making business phone calls. I love having good friends around for dinner, but I’ve not had a party that involved more than half a dozen people since I was 18.

I don’t wonder any more. Thank you, Susan Cain and “Quiet” for the explanations and understanding of this apparent conflict.

“Quiet” has a lot of case histories, a lot of discussion on how introverts function, and explanations on how many introverts can function as extroverts (time alone to recharge). While the sections on business were interesting (and give reason to my preferred method of working), for me the most fascinating sections were on the psychology of introversion vs extroversion, nature vs nuture, high vs low reactivity, and how some personalities read the cues around them and react accordingly. Fascinating, fascinating. It was good to read that for all Cain’s use of labels, there was an emphasis on individuality, and she stresses that you can cherry-pick the introvert traits that belong to you. It’s not an all or nothing scenario.

What is worrisome is the generalized push toward extroversion and ‘teamwork’ in the workplace. Open plan offices, and team building exercises. I would rather have a root canal than attend a team building exercise. Come to think of it, I once scheduled a root canal purposely to avoid such a thing. I’m so happy that my schooldays predated this group learning idea that is apparently prevalent now, as I think I would have been perpetually sick to avoid going to school and having to function in a pod. I don't envy today's introverted kids.

I note most of the reviews are written by introverts. I wonder how many extroverts will read this book? I hope many will, especially any that are managers, teachers or the like.

I have an interview on Monday. I will put into practice a lot I have learned from this book, and I will also be more aware of why I function as I do in such situations. And then I will go for a coffee afterwards by myself to recharge.

I did a lot of highlighting in this book, and I know I’ll be reading it again.

Susan Cain says at the end: “Read. Cook. Run. Write a story”. Sounds perfect to me.

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Reading Progress

January 8, 2014 – Shelved
January 8, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
February 16, 2014 – Started Reading
February 17, 2014 –
February 24, 2014 –
February 28, 2014 – Shelved as: non-fiction
February 28, 2014 – Finished Reading

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Judy I too hope this book will reach the attention of extroverts, and wouldn't it be wonderful if those involved I policy changing in areas such as education read, understood and digested this book and then took sensible action.

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