Title: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking
Author: Susan Cain
Narrator: Kathe Mazur
Published: 2012; Pages: 333
Audio Duration: 10 hrs, 39 min
Rating: I *need* a paper copy for all the highlighting
In Short: The world is full of introverted individuals; Cain explores many of the attributes assigned to and realized by introverts and how the introverted personality type can be one of quiet power.
Why I Listened: As an introvert, I knew I needed to experience this book. Listening was the fastest way I could get to it.
Thoughts in General: For as long as I’ve known about introverts and extroverts, I’ve known that I was an introvert. Sadly, though, I always thought that being an introvert equaled being shy. It wasn’t until a year or two ago that I learned that being an introvert and an extrovert is more about how one recharges energy rather than having anything to do with shyness (Cain talks a great deal about being shy and how this is not limited to introverts). It was a game changer for me when I realized that introverts recharge during quiet activities or time alone and that big boisterous meetings or large groups could be exhausting to an introvert. Yes yes yes! This is me! Now I know why I’m cranky when I don’t have any time alone or at least quiet time.
Susan Cain’s carefully researched and thoughtful book, Quiet, seeks to expel many of the myths surrounding introverts and extroverts (such as extroverts make the best leaders or introverts are all shy). I found myself nodding quite often while listening to her examination of the work force and how introverts and extroverts work within groups, alone, and with different managerial types. I even texted my former boss and recommended that she read this book.
Cain talks about relationships between introverts and extroverts (I’m not sure where Scott lies on the spectrum…possibly an ambivert, but he is certainly not an introvert like I am) and how different combinations of the personality types can best work together. She explored the classroom and teacher/student relationship (I want my sister to listen to this section as she is teaching 4th graders). And the section that made me sit up and pay close attention was the section relating to introverted children. I suspect Elle of being an introvert and I appreciate the wisdom that Cain provided on how to relate to introverted children.
While I loved listening to the audiobook, I do wish that I had a paper copy to highlight and mark up. I know that I’ll eventually seek out a paper copy and read through much of the text again. There is a lot to be learned from Quiet and it is a book that everyone can take away at least a little something. The bottom line for me was that we all need to recognize our own limits and strengths and then play towards those. Being introverted is not a limitation and it certainly isn’t a negative. Cain’s insight on introverted children made me aware at how social agenda is so greatly pushed and how I can be a more sensitive mother to listen to who my child is and not who society thinks she should be. Of course this is true of anything, but sometimes we need a gentle reminder?
Some Quotey Goodness:
“In most settings, people use small talk as a way of relaxing into new a relationship and only once they’re comfortable do they connect more seriously. Sensitive people seem to do the reverse. They enjoy small talk only after they’ve gone deep. When sensitive people are in environments that nurture their authenticity, they laugh and chitchat just as much as anyone else.”
“Relationships make everyone happier, introverts included, but think quality over quantity. The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some it’s a Broadway spotlight, for others it’s a lamplit desk.”
Ok, so it’s tough to jot down quotes when listening and even these are typed up from my listening and might not be exactly correct. Heather from Capricious Reader provides many many great quotes from her review of Quiet.
A Note on the Audio: The best way that I can describe Kathe Mazur’s audio narration? Quiet. No really, her narration was slowly paced and softly spoken. I did up the speed to 1.25x but otherwise her narration perfectly fit the tone of the book.
Bottom Line: Read it or listen to it. While there might not be anything earthshattering in Quiet, it will help you understand your own introvertedness or the introvertedness of others around you. Plus it’s just an endlessly fascinating topic. And! It’s currently only $2.99 for the Kindle or Nook!
Are you in introvert? Do you find yourself misunderstood because of it? Or are you an extrovert with introverts in your close family?