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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.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,874428654 (4.02)375
This book demonstrates how introverted people are misunderstood and undervalued in modern culture, charting the rise of extrovert ideology while sharing anecdotal examples of how to use introvert talents to adapt to various situations. At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society, from van Gogh's sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer. Filled with indelible stories of real people, this book shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie's birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, the author charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the differences between extroverts and introverts. She introduces us to successful introverts, from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a "pretend extrovert." This book has the ability to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.… (more)
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» See also 375 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 423 (next | show all)
An amazing book that in a world that can't shut up affirms introverts as a creative, necessary force in the world. ( )
  Jimbookbuff1963 | Jun 5, 2021 |
I loved this book, and wish everyone I know (certainly everyone I work with) would read it. The main thrust is that it's not only okay to be an introvert, but that introverts have their own strengths and skills that are just as necessary as those of extroverts. But the book covers a lot of ground, from the cultural values that emphasize extroversion, to the problems that can hurt businesses that rely too much on extroverts, to advice on how introverts and extroverts can get along better at work and at home. It's not just for introverts, though introverts may get the most out of it. But it's a multifaceted book that looks at all kinds of human interactions in ways that I've never thought about before. ( )
  JoMiles | May 30, 2021 |
This is the book I wish I had read in grade school. Growing up, I always thought of the largest difference between introverts and extroverts to be quiet vs outgoing. The difference though is much more complex. The premise of this book is the idea that extroverts get energy from crowds, while it costs introverts energy to interact. The idea that some introverts even enjoy speaking because they value getting their message across more than their distake for public speaking hit close to home for me. ( )
  adamfortuna | May 28, 2021 |
The book about introverts. Those of us who are, might feel like we’re often surrounded by extroverts. Certainly they get a lot of the attention and American culture tends to adulate them. Yet Susan Cain says that a third up to half of the population are introverts, but many can mask it well, acting more extroverted when it’s expected or advantageous to do so. Interesting. The first thing she tackles in this book is relating some cultural history- how extroversion came to be seen as the ideal- it wasn’t always so. I’d never considered it before- but this was also rather dry to get through and it almost put me off reading the book. Glad I moved on, because there’s so much more- what makes people introverted or extroverted- it’s not simply nature/nurture but a complex combination of many factors and influences. How group work has become popular both in workplaces and schools, but why introverts tend to be more productive when working alone. Tips on how introverts can learn to be better at public speaking, navigating house parties, getting through a bustling school day, etc. Or for parents: how to encourage and guide a shy, quiet child without pushing too hard (which can be damaging). Much of the examples in the book are from the world of business- how investors, lawyers, etc ignored the good advice of quiet-spoken people and why extroverts get the spotlight and followers, sometimes to their detriment. The difference between introverted and extroverted leadership types. The strengths that quiet people can bring to all kinds of workplaces, and so on. There was actually so much of this it got tiresome for me- I related much better to the final section which was about the personality types in relationships- how introvert/extrovert friendships and marriages can work well (or not) for example. But that felt so briefly dealt with, compared to all the prior chapters. I did appreciate that so much material was drawn from real interviews- with students in different types of universities, for example. With people from different cultures and backgrounds, how they experienced and viewed types of social interactions. (Extroverts tend to find social interaction energizing, introverts may prefer their downtime alone). Lots of studies quoted and explained, many examples of famous people. I nodded my head in affirmation at many things, and was nicely surprised by other details. One of those books that can give you a better understanding of why you are the way you are (for either personality types, also those in between).

from the Dogear Diary ( )
  jeane | May 20, 2021 |
A book for the introverts.. Has a number of attributes that those of us who enjoy the me time over being in a crowded room with a number of people.. Read it quite a while ago, so I can't remember specifics, sorry... but I know I enjoyed it and related to it! ( )
  sjh4255 | May 4, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 423 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susan Cainprimary authorall editionscalculated
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
Dedication
To my childhood family
First words
[Introduction]
Montgomery, Alabama. December 1, 1955.
[Author's Note] I have been working on this book officially since 2005, and unofficially for my entire adult life.
The date: 1902. The place: Harmony Church, Missouri, a tiny, dot-on-the-map town located on a floodplain a hundred miles from Kansas City.
[Conclusion] Whether you're an introvert yourself or an extrovert who loves or works with one, I hope you'll benefit personally from the insights in this book.
[A Note on the Dedication] My grandfather was a soft-spoken man with sympathetic blue eyes, and a passion for books and ideas.
Quotations
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.
If there is one insight you take away from this book, though, I hope it's a newfound sense of entitlement to be yourself.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

This book demonstrates how introverted people are misunderstood and undervalued in modern culture, charting the rise of extrovert ideology while sharing anecdotal examples of how to use introvert talents to adapt to various situations. At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society, from van Gogh's sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer. Filled with indelible stories of real people, this book shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie's birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, the author charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the differences between extroverts and introverts. She introduces us to successful introverts, from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a "pretend extrovert." This book has the ability to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.

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Haiku summary
Introverts are strong
their brains are just wired different
this can be a strength
(sullijo)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0670916765, 0141029196

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