Friday, June 29, 2012

Quiet-Susan Cain

Quiet: the power of Introverts in a world that won't stop talking- Susan Cain

 the facts
satisfaction: up
pages: 266
gender: F
nationality: USA
year: 2012
Non fiction

Discusses the undervaluing of introverts and the benefits of acknowledging them within the 'extroversion-ideal' world we live in.

Ok, so I am an introvert. I'm one of those people who is dead quiet in groups, gets easily bored with small talk, and genuinely prefers to stay home instead of socializing. I've also, throughout my life, often dated extroverts-folks who love the limelight groups allow, will happily talk your ear off, and who want to go out every night. Most of the world seems built and set up for extroverts and Cain points this out.

Her strength is the ways she suggests introverts can navigate extroverted spaces and stay true to their own tendencies. She argues that no, you are not too timid, quiet, and unassuming but instead you have a different quiet strength. She points out some physiological reasons for introversion. It's inspiring especially since so many of her points are well researched and poignantly argued. There were many times in which I identified with her points (i.e. why I can't stand small talk in person) and was like, oh thank god, someone else noticed that. She explains why I might prefer a cafe (no demands on you but you may choose to be social if you like AND you can leave anytime you like) to working at home or why I want to recharge.

I loved it but not uncritically. At times, Cain is a bit too polemic. Parts of the world is either perfect for extroverts or perfect for introverts and binaries by their nature unsettle me. I spent part of the first bit of the book wondering if introversion was so tied to everything else, how could pseudo-extroverts exist? I personally have no problem with public speaking and have performed as a dancer in multiple countries-supposedly an extrovert's skills. She attempts to explain it through Free Trait Theory but that does not address the binary issues that unsettled me.

I do recommend it to introverts of all kinds though-moments of  "YES THAT'S ME!" galore.

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