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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking (edition 2012)

by Susan Cain

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4,834295957 (4.05)278
Member:Florinda
Title:Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Authors:Susan Cain
Info:Crown (2012), Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library, To read, E-books
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Tags:TBR, nonfiction, iBooks

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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

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Part validation and part legitimate research, this book was everything I needed.

I am a textbook introvert. Growing up, I always felt like something was wrong with me because I'd rather stick with my close friends than chat up the new people. In college, I couldn't handle partying all night like my friends could; an hour or two and I'd be done. In my classes, my professors and TAs would ask me why I didn't like to open up during discussions -- did I feel that my opinion wasn't as valid as everybody else's? I was passed over for jobs I was qualified for because I just wasn't bubbly enough. Recently, though, I've learned to fake it to get ahead. I cheerfully talk to strangers all day at my job in a doctor's office. I take hundreds of phone calls a week while maintaining an unwavering smile. I coordinate lunches and run staff meetings and act charming and friendly and I am exhausted every night when I go home.

This book gave me some insight into why exactly I'm like that. It helped me realize that it's ok to fake being extroverted for a little while as long as I get some time to myself to unwind. It told me that it's ok and not weird at all to need to take my lunch alone in a quiet room sometimes. And it has some really good advice for what to do when your employer requires you to act the complete opposite of how you feel.

My only qualm is that, well, it was almost too pro-introvert. The author does tell us that she too is an introvert. She's managed to overcome it when necessary, but she spends a good part of the book talking about the awesome advantages of being an introvert and how it's so much better than being extroverted. It's nice reassurance, sure, but I can see how it could be off-putting for an extrovert trying to gain insight into the introvert's mind.

All in all, it's a good book and an interesting read. I'll be recommending it to my introvert friends. ( )
  Sara.Newhouse | Feb 11, 2016 |
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
333 pages

★★★★

I am an introvert. It’s the way I’ve always been. I don’t know how often people try to “comfort” me with “Oh, you don’t seem like one at all, don’t worry!” Well 1) I am comfortable with who I am, people don’t need to make me feel better about something I never felt bad about and 2) Yes, I fooled you – it’s called acting in public and I can rock it. But what those people don’t realize that after I day of being super friendly and extroverted (such as at my job at the museum which I love) I am ready to go home, curl up with a book and not interact with anyone for the rest of the week – I hit my quota, thank you very much. The point is - this book proves I am far from alone and this book talked to me. I read this page for page wondering if this author personally knew me somehow.

I think this was a well written, wonderful read. While it benefited me as an introvert, I believe it could just as easily be read by an extrovert. The author did a lot of research. She writes of many recent studies that are being done on personality types (is it a nurture or nature situation?), she uses real life situations and scenarios, and also gives great advice and tips throughout. Not a quick read for me just because I’m in quite the reading slump but definitely worth the time it took me to finish this book. Very enlightening in my opinion.
( )
  UberButter | Feb 9, 2016 |
Why would a book about introversion become a bestseller? Would the author have anything to say about this topic that I didn't already know from experience?

The four sections of the book are “The Extrovert Ideal”, “Your Biology, Your Self?”, “Do All Cultures Have an Extrovert Ideal?”, and “How to Love, How to Work”. The middle sections seemed to drag for me. There was more biology and physiology than I wanted or needed to know. On the other hand, I was very interested in her comments about introverts in the church, at work, and at school. The generic congregant, employee, and student for whom these environments are designed are extroverts. Many introverts may feel like something is wrong with them if they don't perform as expected in these environments, and many extroverts would probably agree with them. Cain succeeds at explaining why introverts often don't work well in open plan offices and why introverted students often don't perform well in group work. Cain suggests ways that introverts can adapt their circumstances or schedules to make these situations work for them, as well as ways that employers or educators can accommodate the needs of their introverted employees or students.

The author doesn't break any new ground in this book. She just summarizes others' research. The value in the book is in the awareness it fosters and the conversations it stimulates. Introverted readers will realize that they're not alone in their experience of the world. Extroverts will realize that there isn't something “wrong” with introverts; they just process their experiences differently. Cain points out the gorilla in the room and gets readers to pay attention to it. ( )
3 vote cbl_tn | Feb 7, 2016 |
An enlightening and thought-provoking read. As an introvert myself, I found myself relating to many of the author's anecdotes, gaining new insight into myself along the way. This book not only encouraged me to accept myself as I am, but also it helped to remind me I am not alone in my quieter world. I absolutely adored this novel, for it challenged me to reevaluate my perceptions of myself and others of both introverted and extroverted natures. ( )
1 vote ashniclayton | Feb 6, 2016 |
This is an important book. I am glad Cain wrote it. I am sorry for her, though, that she had such poor editors--and to read her acknowledgement pages shows she had more than just several. I say this up front because of a "fact" that she introduced as an example early on, which simply is untrue. This colored my acceptance of the rest of the book. And, then, at the end (by which time I had mostly gotten over the original glaring error), she used an extremely awkward metaphor! I will list both of these at the end of this review.

Introversion and extraversion are misunderstood in general. No matter how many times I have taken a Myers-Briggs test, I come out as an ISFJ, much to my original surprise, and to those who know me. But as I learned more about introversion, the pieces to my particular personality puzzled clicked into place.

Cain explains many facets of why we tick the way we do, and how to encourage ourselves and others to fully explore our strengths and to minimize our weaknesses. To borrow the old army slogan, to "be all that we can be."

I recommend this book highly to parents, family members, co-workers, bosses...well, to everyone!

But, here is the glaring mistake which really needs to be addressed!

Pg 109 (kindle app):
"Low reactive, extroverted [sic] children, if raised by attentive families in safe environments, can grow up to be energetic achievers with big personalities--the Richard Bransons and Oprahs of this world. But give those same children negligent caregivers or a bad neighborhood, say some psychologists, and they can turn into bullies, juvenile delinquents, or criminals."

According to Wikipedia, Winfrey was born into poverty to a single, teenaged mother, was raped at nine, and at age 14 gave birth to a child who died in infancy.

This is not to say that Cain was making the case that ALL extraverted children who grow up disadvantaged will become jd's....but what a poor example to use to make her point.

The metaphor? Pg 264, kindle version:
"[introverts' can help you]...spot canaries in your coal mine." Really? Before or after they've keeled over dead?

Also, why deliberately misspell a word? It is extravert and introvert. ( )
1 vote kaulsu | Feb 3, 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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To ask whether it's nature or nurture ... is like asking whether a blizzard is caused by temperature or humidity.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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Editions: 0670916765, 0141029196

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