NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Experience the book that started the Quiet Movement
“A smart, lively book about the value of silence and solitude.”—Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY People • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Christian Science Monitor • Inc. • Library Journal • Kirkus Reviews
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.
In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.
Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Wall Street lawyer–turned–writer Susan Cain dives deep into the subject of her popular TED Talk: modern society’s bias against introverts. Using lively real-world examples and compelling research, Quiet provides an engrossing overview of different personality types—and explores the shortcomings of a culture that overvalues the gregarious and assertive over the thoughtful and measured. It’s a nonfiction book that will lead to revealing conversations.
While American culture and business tend to be dominated by extroverts, business consultant Cain explores and champions the one-third to one-half of the population who are introverts. She defines the term broadly, including "solitude-seeking" and "contemplative," but also "sensitive," "humble," and "risk-averse." Such individuals, she claims (though with insufficient evidence), are "disproportionately represented among the ranks of the spectacularly creative." Yet the American school and workplace make it difficult for those who draw strength from solitary musing by over-emphasizing teamwork and what she calls "the new Groupthink." Cain gives excellent portraits of a number of introverts and shatters misconceptions. For example, she notes, introverts can negotiate as well as, or better than, alpha males and females because they can take a firm stand "without inflaming counterpart's ego." Cain provides tips to parents and teachers of children who are introverted or seem socially awkward and isolated. She suggests, for instance, exposing them gradually to new experiences that are otherwise overstimulating. Cain consistently holds the reader's interest by presenting individual profiles, looking at places dominated by extroverts (Harvard Business School) and introverts (a West Coast retreat center), and reporting on the latest studies. Her diligence, research, and passion for this important topic has richly paid off.
I bought this book to better equip me to fully appreciate and most effectively deploy some amazingly talented introverts who work for me in my small business. I now legitimately look at them as though I’ve just discovered that they have superpowers. I also greatly appreciate the many parts of the book that make a compelling case that extroverts need to—at least under some circumstances—learn to borrow a page or two from the introverts’ playbook.
Explanation for me
This book really brought back so many memories from my childhood. Adult me now has a better perspective on child me. I realize now that I’ve been a pseudo extrovert for much of my life and am only my real self when alone or with a few close friends. Of course, I’ve always had this sense, but now the feelings are more fleshed out.
I found myself in so much of this book and will have to reread it and probably take some notes for retention.
This book spoke to me. I saw myself in everything the author described and every example she gave as the personality of an introvert. So happy to finally see that what has been described by family, friends and bosses and co-workers as strange and weird is actually my normal and that makes me just fine and special. YaY Introverts!!