Publication Year: 2011Publisher: Crown
Edition: eBook and audioReader: Kathe Mazur (very good)
Source: Library and NetGalley
Date Completed: 3/30/2012Rating: 5/5
Did you know that nearly one out of every two to three adults in the US are introverts? If not, it's probably because some introverts hide it well, and have learned to act like extroverts depending on their career choices and situational obligations. This fact, along with so much other fascinating evidence on the subject of introversion is discussed in detail in, Susan Cain's book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking.
The author, a self-proclaimed "introvert", gives the reader much food for thought on the subject of introversion, while discussing the value western society has placed on extroversion. Even today, bold, out-going individuals, and even young children still in school, are more highly valued. It is the extroverts and are seen as future super-stars, better leaders and better motivators. In contrast, in Asian cultures, it is quiet, humility and sensitivity which is prized. Cain's book points out that much can be learned by listening to quiet, sensitive individuals . Cain gives introverts career advice on how to adapt in a business environment that is often centered around meetings, presentations, team building and other group projects, which introverts tend to find mentally draining. She explains how both introverts and extroverts can contribute to the same organizational goals, even though their preferred styles of achieving will be very different.
Particularly fascinating were the research studies conducted by developmental psychologist Jerome Kagan. In 1989, Kagan, and associates began a study of 500, four-month old infants at his Harvard Child Development Lab. Studies showed that some of the young infants, studied were considered "highly reactive", especially to certain types of noise. Following these same children, at different ages, and while performing other studies using word games, taste tests and other measures throughout young adulthood, Kagan found that most of the infants who were "highly reactive" as infants, turned out to be introverts as adults. He was clear to point out, however, that introversion and shyness and not necessarily linked.
I found the subject matter of Quiet, and the way in which the author presented it to be utterly fascinating. The book was definitely more focused on the subject of introversion, and how many people still view introverts as second class citizens instead of acknowledging their successes. She mentions the contributions that have been made many introverts: Bill Gates, Al Gore, Rosa Parks, Steve Wozniak, Eleanor Roosevelt, Stephen Spielberg, and author, JK Rowling to name a few. There was so much in this book to be learned by both introverts and extroverts, especially in terms of working together toward a common goal. Introverts just need to work a bit harder to find the right job for their personality.
I saw so much of myself in what the author reported. Preferring solitary activities even as a child, never having more than one best friend at a time, not enjoying crowds or loud music or noise, and recharging by seeking quiet after attending an over stimulating event.
Are you are interested in learning a bit more about yourself, a spouse, a child, a co-worker, or a good friend, and what makes each of us tick? You are sure to have a better understanding of the people you interact with every day after reading this book. Highly Recommended