Engaging. Uplifting. And Informative. 5-Stars for Susan Cain's Quiet. I listened to the audiobook version of Quiet and found myself nodding in agreement, and laughing-out-loud because (although this is not meant to be a humorous book) I could relate (it seemed she was describing me so well!). An introvert myself, I began to understand that traits I'd labeled as "flaws" were in fact not flaws at all- they were shining examples of my introversion. I listened to the audiobook while running outdoors, folding laundry, putting away the dishes, and while stretching after lifting sessions. Quiet explores introversion through psychological research, the author's personal experiences, and brain chemistry.
We live in a culture that emphasizes group work (i.e. clustered desk set-ups in schools classrooms, open office plan work spaces). And while extroverts gather energy from these type of environments, introverts need quiet time/spaces to gather the same energy. We recharge differently. However, the world so often caters to the extroverts in many ways. Cain offers ways for introverts to recharge after, for example, giving a speech or working on an extensive group project. A few of those ways include, you guessed it, quiet activities such as: reading or walking outdoors.
Being introverted doesn't necessarily mean you are shy or unsocial. It means we recharge differently than extroverts. It means our energy is derived from spending time alone, not that we don't want to be around people (only that we need to recharge with quiet time -- thinking time - after). It means, we often choose work that (or work best in environments that) suits our introversion (i.e. for me-- writing!). Quiet provides thoughtful insight to both introverts and extroverts and allows us to think about where we, ourselves fall on the width of the scale.
If you enjoy non-fiction books and if you - or a loved one in your life- are an introvert, this book is a must read. I highly recommend it. And if you haven't had a chance to see Susan Cain's TedTalk on The Power of Introverts- check it out now, below.
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