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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World…

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

by Susan Cain

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,5912711,045 (4.05)266
Gorgeous book. I didn't realize I was an introvert. But it's very clear, after reading this, that I am.
My only complaint is that Cain is a little biased (in a sense) towards introverts...which I enjoyed emotionally but intellectually found a little less satisfying. It creates a tilt in the book that left me with a number of questions about extroverts. I found myself, though, really wondering if this lens (introvert/extrovert) could be a useful filter for analyzing the leadership strengths and weaknesses. ( )
1 vote JerryColonna | Apr 5, 2012 |
Showing 1-25 of 278 (next | show all)
Meh, I just found this book sort of boring. I identified with some of it, but I wish it was a 5 page article instead of a full length book. ( )
  beckyface | Nov 22, 2015 |
Meh, I just found this book sort of boring. I identified with some of it, but I wish it was a 5 page article instead of a full length book. ( )
  beckyface | Nov 22, 2015 |
Meh, I just found this book sort of boring. I identified with some of it, but I wish it was a 5 page article instead of a full length book. ( )
  beckyface | Nov 22, 2015 |
Quiet is Cain's celebration of introversion. She discusses how America is a world of extroverts and that introverts are encouraged to be extroverts against their personalities. This is a society that does not appreciate introverts. Through interviews and personal experience, she provides scientific and anecdotal evidence that introverts can provide just as much (or more) to society as extroverts.

I really wanted to like Quiet. Everybody seems to. And at the beginning I did. I found the subject fascinating, but I felt that Cain's anecdotal research was a little too anecdotal, and was annoyed by her tendency to generalize small populations as "Asians."

Overall, it was good writing, with an interesting subject, but it had some flaws. ( )
1 vote The_Hibernator | Nov 21, 2015 |
68. Quiet : The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking (Audio) by Susan Cain, read by Kathe Mazur
2012, 10:39 (352 pages in hardcover)
listened Sep 2-14, Nov 1-2
Rating: 2.5 stars

The low rating is meant to express how annoyed I was. Disappointed really.

Cain has a nice point for all of us introverts in the world. She makes an argument that we are overlooked, and under-appreciated because we are so quiet. The business world is basically ready to run over introverts and actively looks for and promotes the most extroverted extroverts (think Enron). The classroom, at least in the United States, encourages extroversion and discourages any signs of introversion. The world is against us. And yet, we play valuable roles throughout all levels of society and it is aspects of our introverted character that allows us to do that. This is an introvert's manifesto.

The problem is that Cain is so smug about this and she really oversimplifies.

She tells us story early on about a quiet lawyer who is finally placed in a lead role, and she excels. She was smart and she was better prepared and calmer and more thoughtful than the other people in the room. This introverted hero turns out to be autobiographic - Cain is Ms. Perfect.

As the book carries on, the reader slowly realizes that Cain thinks all introverts are basically like her, and that all extroverts are basically shallow yapping idiots. She never comes out says it, and she always makes qualifying statements about extroverts, but also she never corrects the impression either. It’s there under the text as the background argument. It’s not only unfair to non-introverts, but actually very unfair to introverts too. We are not all so quietly perfect as she likes to think we are. As the book carried on, this bothered more and more.

For me that overshadowed all the many very interesting parts to the book. Cain did a lot of research and presents a lot of interesting information. She talks a lot about introverted children (although I don’t have any. My are insanely extroverted. And, another bitter note, she spends a lot of time on the problem of extroverted parents with introverted children, but not a single sentence on the problem of introverted parents with extroverted children.)

One of the most interesting factoids I pulled out of this book was the comparison of introverted and extroverted managers. Overly extroverted managers excel at motivating employees, but they get in the way of their better people and actually hold them back. Introverted managers struggle with unmotivated employees, but generally help their better people excel more. I’m not sure I agree with her analysis. She doesn’t bring up the possibility that introverts may simply stay out of the way more and let people be. But still, it’s interesting…and I can relate.

There is a place for an introverts manifesto, but it doesn't require such an unbalanced take. There is a wide and interesting and useful psychology around introversion. I would have liked a more carefully balanced view. ( )
1 vote dchaikin | Nov 7, 2015 |

[bc:Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking|10313931|Quiet The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking|Susan Cain|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1318512483s/10313931.jpg|13387396]

It's perhaps not a surprise that Susan Cain, the author of [b:Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking|10313931|Quiet The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking|Susan Cain|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1318512483s/10313931.jpg|13387396] identifies herself as an introvert. Being quiet, introverted or shy is still seen by many as a problem or handicap to overcome so I can see her motivation for writing it.

One these book's premises is that the Western world moved from a culture of character to a culture of personality, which according to the author has given an advantage to people that enjoy outgoing, uninhibited personalities. We tend to admire and reward people that exhibit the gregarious, outgoing traits of extroverts while at the same time undermined and misunderstand those that are most typically seen on more introverted individuals.

Introversion is really about having a preference for lower stimulation environments. So it's just a preference for quiet, for less noise, for less action. Whereas extroverts really crave more stimulation in order to feel at their best./>
The author explains that Introversion is a spectrum, and most of us do not fully fit neatly into an introvert/extrovert definition. It also provides a sort of "survival guide" for introverts to help us learn how to better deal with the pressures of living in a world that, for the most part, rewards those that are extroverts.

Many people believe that introversion is about being antisocial, and that's really a misperception. Because actually it's just that introverts are differently social. So they would prefer to have a glass of wine with a close friend as opposed to going to a loud party full of strangers./>

This book helped me understand some traits in own my personality.
It was great to identify with others and those qualities that makes many of us "introverts" and to learn how to use them to our advantage both on our professional and personal lives.

The book is entertaining and well written. If you are interested in learning about introverts, perhaps because you feel like one or someone close to you does, this books might be of interest to you.

At the end of reading [b:Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking|10313931|Quiet The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking|Susan Cain|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1318512483s/10313931.jpg|13387396] my conclusion was that the world needs both extroverts and introverts and all have a role to play.

Here's a link to the author's TED TALK which is sort a summarized version of the book:

http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts?language=en ( )
1 vote irisper012106 | Nov 1, 2015 |
This book is empowering. ( )
2 vote lunaluxor | Oct 29, 2015 |
I enjoyed this book. I'm sort of biased, as I'm a classic introvert, but I think extroverts can get a lot of information from this book as well. I thought it dragged just a little bit towards the end but that was most likely just me and my mood during that time period. While I've never been ashamed of my introvertness, this book did make me think about how I can use it to more advantage. I've done some of the things that are recommended but I never recognized exactly what I was doing until now. This book has also given me some understanding on extroverts as well. I don't think I ever really understood just how the two are different. I highly recommend this book to any and everyone. ( )
2 vote Kassilem | Oct 27, 2015 |
Pretty good book, and the narrator for the audiobook was really good. I can't say I was super interested in the depth of the subject but I can appreciate that the book was well-researched and discussed introversion and extroversion from several aspects. Personally it seems like they've missed some outside experiences in the evaluation tests but it was interesting to see how this stuff is evaluated. The best parts of this book were the chapters discussing the history of how people were characterized and eventually looked at; how, for example, in the old days it was "character" that people valued and how "selling yourself" was looked down upon... and nowadays selling your is everything. (I think I would have done a lot better in the old days) ( )
1 vote marshapetry | Oct 20, 2015 |
Very interesting explanation of introversion and extroversion. Maybe, if I read this when I was young, my life would have been happier and more productive. Being labeled as shy and introverted without access to this knowledge, really affected my self esteem and made many situations more difficult than they needed to be. It is refreshing to realize that there is nothing wrong with being an introvert, despite the fact that extroverts are revered in our culture. This book explores the subject scientifically and gives some ideas on maximizing your potential and coping with situations that require an extroverted response. The librarian was exuberant about the book, which I found amusing (introvert and librarian seemingly go hand in hand). There was an informal quiz early in the book of 20 questions, with true answers indicating introversion. I got 15 of 20 definite trues. I am now proud to be an introvert!! ( )
1 vote jwood652 | Oct 7, 2015 |
Quiet’s fascinating and liberating premise, that we have done a disservice to introverts and our society (moving from "a culture of character" to a "culture of personality"), makes me recommend this book to any introvert, parent of an introvert, or anyone interested in how we can better value individuals and their unique gifts. ( )
3 vote aschlag | Sep 29, 2015 |
Over the last few years I have been coming to grips with my introversion. Not in a "now I can survive the day" kind of way, but more of an awareness around why I get cranky as hell after being at a mall all day, or why sometimes when I get home I'd rather curl up with a book than talk with my wife. It's been one of those great settling events that happens after your grey hairs start coming in.

I first ran into [a:Susan Cain|4101935|Susan Cain|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1315319296p2/4101935.jpg]'s big quiet brain after watching her TED talk based on the book. I read the foreword in a local bookstore and then patiently waited until the 239 people in front of me on the library waiting list had read it and returned it. Then I abandoned that plan and bought the book.

I was not disappointed.

This is a thoroughly written and well footnoted book that takes a multi-faceted approach to the quiet half of the human race. Reading this book was, for me, like reading my own instruction manual. There were quite a few "Aha!" moments and my only wish was that I'd read it 20 years ago. Which never would have happened, because 10 year old me would be thoroughly uninterested in reading a book that is 25% sources an annotations to back up the scores of studies, interviews and points made in the book.

I gave this four stars because "I really liked it" but it wasn't amazing. For me, amazing is I-cannot-put-this-down-and-spend-every-waking-hour-reading and this was a more casual approach, which is to take nothing away from the content. The content is amazing, but there are very few books that can get through as much science as this book does while keeping things interesting.

So, in a sentence, if you're an introvert - you owe it to yourself to read this book. In one more sentence, if you're an extrovert, you owe it to introverts to read this book. ( )
1 vote liso | Sep 18, 2015 |
Good insights, research-based. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. ( )
1 vote PCGator | Sep 18, 2015 |
An inspiring read that is certainly thought-provoking. I found that rather a lot of the book was taken up with convincing the reader (a) that introverts are different and that (b) there is a problem if society doesn't recognise this. I didn't need convincing on this so was more interested in the second half of the book that tackles how we need to handle this both on an individual level and on a societal level. The book is definitely slanted for an American audience but is a good read and has some good ideas and is written both with passion and careful, detailed research. ( )
1 vote NeilDalley | Sep 14, 2015 |
This is a good combination of anecdote and research, though some of the author's conclusions seems a bit simplistic. And I think that spending an entire chapter on Asian American introversion, a stereotype which that community must really resent by now, made little sense.

I did really like the saga of husband Greg (extrovert) and wife Emily (introvert), who battled over his desire to have a weekly Friday night dinner party when all Emily wanted to do was to have some peaceful time to unwind from the oveweek. Can couples who are opposites can be successful? But surely two extroverts would fight for attention. Maybe two introverts would work the best. For those who have conflicted relationships and interactions due to assumptions made about both types, there are some valuable lessons to be gleaned here.

One of the overarching themes is that extroverts are frequently chosen and elected over introverts, due to their louder voices and outward confidence. Always choosing extroverts as leaders is not a wise strategy. Choosing leaders based upon slower, more deliberate reaction time and deeper reasoning skills shown by introverts would probably be an improvement. ( )
1 vote froxgirl | Sep 13, 2015 |
I didn't love this book as much as I'd hoped, but I still really liked much of it. As an introvert, there were many parts of this book I found insightful and comforting. Cain discusses the extrovert ideal, the idea that prevails in our culture that people should be talkative, high-energy, and constantly displaying themselves to the world. I wish I had read this section earlier in my life, but even more, I wish that a number of my grade school and high school teachers had read it. The book provided insights as to why I often find meetings, group activities, and crowds to be completely overwhelming, and more importantly helped me understand that this is not a character flaw.

One complaint I have about this book is that it didn't seem that well rounded. There were a number of scientific studies cited to support the power of introverts, but somehow they weren't all that convincing. I'm sure there are just as many studies that support opposing ideas. However, it is good to know that there are studies that promote the strenghts of introverts.

I liked one of the lines at the end of the book, "love is essential, gregariousness is not." A good thing to keep in mind when I find myself longing for more social energy. ( )
1 vote klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
This defense of introversion has caught a lot of attention because so many people can relate to the experiences that Susan Cain describes in her book. She explains possible causes of introversion, including research by neuroscientists. She describes the strengths and contributions of introversion. The last part of the book provides very helpful guidance for parents of introverted children. The book is very readable and interesting. ( )
2 vote proflinton | Aug 4, 2015 |
This was a thought provoking book which challenges the cultural norm of extroversion being regarded as the best trait for good leadership. The author illustrates her arguments with examples of real people who show signs of introversion but have achieved great things. ( )
1 vote alisonday69 | Aug 2, 2015 |
Well-researched and approaches the topic of introverts from many angles. I liked most of it a lot. As a classic introvert ("please, oh please may I just work intensely for hours/days on end from my living room in my pajamas?"), there were many points in this book that explained me to . . . well, to me.

The parts I liked less were those that gave lots of instruction about how to fix yourself if you are an introvert who has to operate in an extrovert environment and about raising introverted children. But the author is a "life coach" after all so I suppose it was necessary for her to give instruction.

One unanswered question: are there any shy extroverts out there in the world? ( )
  Phyllis.Mann | Jul 13, 2015 |
I liked the book. Reassuring. The concepts are repeated throughout the book. It gave me a better understanding of myself. Maybe I'll read it again some day when I again start feeling like I'm lacking in something for being quiet. :) ( )
  MugenHere | Jul 12, 2015 |
This book is very interesting. It can help you to understand and appreciate the value and challenges of introverted (and extroverted) personality tendencies in yourself and others.
This book is well written and full of interviews, scientific studies, anecdotes, and advice.
I recommend this book. ( )
  Haidji | Jul 8, 2015 |
I thought this could have been shorter, and a little less extrovert-bashing in the beginning. Cain is passionate about introversion and it's place in a largely extroverted nation, therefore needed to thoroughly research and describe it, so the length is justified. I've always had a hard time describing my strengths on resumes etc because I always feel that my deep dark secret, a total lack of extroversion, will negate everything good I've ever done. It took reading this book to change my self-talk about that, and to realize that what I perceive as negatives are truly strengths. ( )
1 vote weeta | Jul 5, 2015 |
Interesting, but I feel like the other repeated herself quite a bit.

As an introvert through and through, I feel this book offers me a great deal of justification for everything I was told was "wrong" about me when I was younger (only my mother really appreciated how introspective I was as a child). As for the present, I kinda just want to smack people on the head with this (my boyfriend mostly) and yell "READ THIS!!! UNDERSTAND ME!!!" ( )
1 vote benuathanasia | Jun 19, 2015 |
Enjoyable read, includes a lot of research and insight. ( )
1 vote chellerystick | Jun 16, 2015 |
If you're an introvert, you'll love this book. If you're an extrovert who wants to understand an introverted person in your life, read this. I grew up very self-conscious about the fact that I was introverted. I felt like there was something inherently wrong with me because I didn't love socializing in large groups. A lot of classroom group dynamics translate to the workplace, which this book discusses. Thankfully, I've come to appreciate the way I am--for many of the reasons this book mentions--and found my niche in the world. I love how Susan Cain goes into detail about the traits many of us introverts have--high sensitivity, etc. This book is extremely validating and informative. ( )
2 vote KimHooperWrites | Jun 13, 2015 |
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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0670916765, 0141029196

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