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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World…
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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

by Susan Cain

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Very interesting read. I've always lived by the quote, "It is better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt" so people have always thought I was too quiet. ( )
  Lyricsoflife | May 6, 2016 |
I went 3, no 4, no 3, no 4, no 3 on this. And I realised this was an example of one of the traits of introversion, to decide correctly so as not to feel guilt. "Guilt" is mentioned 22 times in this book.
What sucked me in to trying this book was in the intro: "Now that you're an adult, you might still feel a pang of guilt when you decline a dinner invitation in favor of a good book."
EXACTLY!!
In fact, it doesn't even have to be a GOOD book, just a book! Or a magazine! Anything rather than having to (gasp) socialise. And if one doesn't really drink much alcohol, or "a glass of extroversion", than it does become a painfully long ordeal.
The first 2/3 was quite interesting. About one-third of the population are introverted, but the extroversion bias of North American society, especially the US, means that introversion becomes regarded as a defect or something to overcome, rather than just a temperament which in many ways is more desirable than its opposite. Society needs both temperaments and the spectrum between them. (But try telling that to the pharmaceutical companies making Paxil and Zoloft etc., who would love to label as all as having 'social anxiety disorder'. They are trying to create disease out of normal human nature. They could make twice as much money if they instead try to create a disease of extroverts and call it something like "pathologic social exhuberance disorder". :-) )
The last part lost my interest, as it degenerated into a self help type style, thereby somewhat contradicting the first parts of the book. Still, it was an interesting enough book. I never read these kinds of books, so that I managed to finish it says something. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
This book explains so much about me! ( )
1 vote SashaM | Apr 20, 2016 |
This book offers a lot of intriguing insights into the differences between introverts and extroverts, and why the world needs both. This is by far the best book I have ever found on the subject. ( )
  Coffeehag | Apr 14, 2016 |

Loved this book and it's gentle reminder that introverted souls do have much to offer. More later...

Much, much later, so sorry! Here it is, written in January 2013:

This is one of the books that I read last year that I can’t quit thinking about.

Quiet wasn’t supposed to be a hit, but it did in fact win a “literary” award when it was chosen by readers as the “Goodreads Readers Choice Award for Non Fiction, 2012.” Of the books I have reviewed this year, it is the one that I get asked about most often. Introverts are very happy to have a book that explores their contributions to society, their values, and that simply gives them permission to have their “quiet time.”

Cain begins her book by making the point that, somewhere along the way, America became an “extrovert wins” society. So, even those who are naturally introverted learn to hide it and be extroverted; thus, there are many “closet introverts” in our society. Cain is trying to start a counterrevolution, and is educating readers about how to embrace their introvert selves.

Cain makes the argument that everyone (including parents and teachers, businesses and colleagues) should do more to value introverts and their contributions. They may not talk as much, or stand out in a crowd, and they may be slow to jump in, but they make invaluable contributions. “Introverts ... may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”

As you can see, it may be difficult to actually spot an introvert, but one thing they have in common is the need for quiet in their lives. According to Cain, the definitions for introvert are many and various, but she concludes that an introvert is not simply a person who is painfully shy, but rather someone who must spend time alone thinking, being quiet. The book is full of points and pointers, such as the fact that even an introvert can learn to overcome the fear of public speaking, if they want to have this skill (Cain is a case in point).

Cain also explores some scientific data about why introverts may be hardwired for peace and quiet, and even for darkness. I find that very, very interesting. When I'm in relaxation mode, I want it dark and quiet. An extrovert very near and dear to me wants it bright and loud. ;)

If you are an introvert, or if you know one, or are married to one, or work with one, or teach one, or have a child that is one, you might want to read this book. If you are an extrovert and realize you need to spend more time thinking before you speak, you might want to read this book.

( )
3 vote sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susan Cainprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Duffy, LauraCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fedor, AaronCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mazur, KatheNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prosperi, CarloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reitsma, Jan WillemTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wallin, BitteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
A species in which everyone was General Patton would not succeed, any more than would a race in which everyone was Vincent van Gogh. I prefer to think that the planet needs athletes, philosophers, sex symbols, painters, scientists; it needs the warmhearted, the hardhearted, the coldhearted, and the weakhearted. It needs those who can devote their lives to studying how many droplets of water are secreted by the salivary glands of dogs under which circumstances, and it needs those who can capture the passing impression of cherry blossoms in a fourteen-syllable poem or devote twenty-five pages to the dissection of a small boy's feelings as he lies in bed in the dark waiting for his mother to kiss him good night. . . . Indeed the presence of outstanding strengths presupposes that energy needed in other areas has been channeled away from them.

- Allen Shawn
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To my childhood family
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Montgomery, Alabama. - Introduction
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To ask whether it's nature or nurture ... is like asking whether a blizzard is caused by temperature or humidity.
"It's so easy to confuse schmoozing ability with talent. Someone seems like a good presenter, easy to get along with and those traits are rewarded. Well, why is that? They're valuable traits but we put too much of a premium on presenting and not enough on substance and critical thinking." (one venture capitalist)
We need leaders who build not their own egos but the institutions they run.
So if, deep down, you've been thinking that it's only natural for the bold and sociable to dominate the reserved and sensitive, and that the Extrovert Ideal is innate to humanity, Robert McCrae's personality map suggests a different truth: that each way of being--quiet and talkative, careful and audacious, inhibited and unrestrained--is characteristic of its own mighty civilization.
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Introverts are strong
their brains are just wired different
this can be a strength
(sullijo)

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At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who invent and create but prefer not to pitch their own ideas; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts we owe many of the great contributions to society--from Van Gogh's sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer. Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with the indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Susan Cain charts the rise of "the extrovert ideal" over the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects--how it helps to determine everything from how parishioners worship to who excels at Harvard Business School. And she draws on cutting-edge research on the biology and psychology of temperament to reveal how introverts can modulate their personalities according to circumstance, how to empower an introverted child, and how companies can harness the natural talents of introverts. This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.… (more)

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2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0670916765, 0141029196

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