Quiet. (An Introvert is reading)
If you are someone who prefers one to one conversations, needs to be alone to reboot, appreciates advanced notice on family events, has to prepare mentally and emotionally when going out in big crowds, has a hard time vocalizing your inner thoughts AND hates talking in public – then you, my friend, are an introvert.
For too long you have felt bad about wanting to leave a party early (hell, you probably didn’t even want to go in the first place). For too long you have suffered in silence while complete strangers talk your ear off. For too long you’ve felt guilty about avoiding the phone so as not to engage in small talk. Well suffer no more! Susan Cain has your back (and so do all the other introverts in the world).
Regardless of whether or not you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert or somewhere in between, I highly recommend reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
I picked up this book as soon as it came out and tore through it in no time. It was a soothing balm for me. Each page was recognition of myself. Each page allowed for peace and acceptance to wash over me. Susan Cain dispels the myths that introverts are shy, cold or selfish and does it all with a soft, quiet style that any introvert will appreciate. She has put the time and research in to show the world that the introverted person has a different genetic make-up than their extroverted counterparts. We literally have different brains. Through interviews and case studies of introverted and extroverted partnerships (whether they be marriages, friendships or parent and child) we see how different the two brains view and process the world.
I’ve known I was introverted for a long time but could never seem to convince others that I was (and gave up trying – too exhausting). “You?! But you love hanging out with people!” Yes, I do. I am not shy remember? But you don’t see the time it takes me to prepare myself mentally to go out and hang around people. You don’t see the few days following where I seek out solitude so I can gain that energy back. I love people but you see, as an introvert, being around people drains my energy.
This is where the world of books and reading has become part of my habit in rebooting. You know those weekends of family gatherings, friends’ birthday’s and work outings? Books help me to prepare, to get centered and then to rejuvenate. They always have. I don’t believe I know a single introvert who doesn’t love to read. We are not solitary creatures, we need another human in our lives just as much as the next person, we are simply people who appreciate and thrive in quiet. And what is more quiet than reading?
This is why I cannot express enough the value of this book. Even the title is soothing is it not? Please read this book. As an introvert you won’t feel alone, you will feel empowered, vindicated, and a calm wave of acceptance will wash over you. As an extrovert you will begin to see that introvert in your life with new eyes. You will appreciate the power of quiet and understand the need for that introvert in your life to be alone here and there (and you might even turn to solitude yourself once in awhile). This book though is more than just about understanding introverts; it is about accepting that no one person is the same as you, that we should never force our assumptions onto others. One other thing I want to mention – Susan Cain never discounts the extrovert – she simply supports the value of both personalities while commenting on society’s tendency to lean towards the extroverted. As an introverted woman who has a few extroverted friends and who is married to an extroverted man, these can be amazing partnerships.
Lastly, I love this book most because it challenges us to see each other as we really are and not who we want each other to be.
Here’s a special treat for all you introverts – Susan Cain’s Introvert Manifesto. (also on her website)
Posted on August 14, 2012, in Book Reviews, Introvert Introspection and tagged book review, books, extroverts, introverts, non-fiction, quiet, susan cain, the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.