09 June 2013

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking20. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"This book is about introversion as seen from a cultural point of view," Cain writes. It's a pretty fascinating read on the topic, at times disheartening as she describes the "extrovert ideal" and how it affects management, idea generation, and leadership in the US while at other times reassuring to introverts, highlighting their strengths and approaches to problems.

The book actually feels quite balanced when it comes to introversion and extroversion. Neither trait is better, each is suited to different tasks and approaches and Cain gives many examples.

Culturally in the US, introversion is seen as a flaw, something to overcome. It's not that easy for an introvert to do unless they are passionate about the subject. Even then they will need time to recharge. The book suggests a few strategies for that.

I think my favorite chapter was the one about raising introvert children. That contained a lot of useful suggestions and strategies for building their confidence in non-aggressive ways. I wish my parents had had this book when I was little.

This is a great book for extroverts to read to help them understand our fundamentally different experiences of our environments. Some of it is just genetics. At least 30% of us are introverts, some studies say 50%. Just because outgoing-ness is prized in the US does not make it so everywhere.

The book is well researched with thorough notes given at the end by page number.

Highly recommended for introverts and extroverts alike.

3 years ago on TTaT: Llamas, sheep, and sky


  1. As a chatty introvert, I feel compelled to add that introversion and shyness aren't necessarily the same thing (AK, for example, is what I would call a shy extrovert). I'm happy to talk your ear off, I'll just be equally happy to retreat to my introvert cave to recharge afterward. :-)

    1. The book talks about that actually. Some studies plot it on X Y axes: introversion/extroversion and calm/anxious. People can fall anywhere. Bill Gates: calm introvert, Barbra Streisand: extrovert with insane stage fright.

      And introverts can be talkative, we just tend to do better in smaller groups discussing deeper topics. (Or via writing! :) Also many of us can do pseudo extroversion when needed.

      I may write more on this as figuring out the nature/nurture of it, what one can or should try to change is a puzzle I've been trying to solve for a very long time.