Shhh!!! It’s time for Quiet by Susan Cain

After Leah @ Books Speak Volumes read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, I REALLY wanted a copy.

I’m not an introvert but I assumed that the book would make me appreciate and understand introverts more.  I’m also not a true extrovert, love my peace and quiet, and thought the book might help me learn more about the ways I am in the middle of the extrovert/introvert continuum.

Quiet is a powerful book that is, in my opinion, more geared towards introverts.  It seems like the introverted readers will speed through the book, while for someone like me, it took a lot longer.  I picked it up, read a little, put it down, read some more, etc.

Quiet is full of amazing facts, but I’ll just highlight a few of them for you:

  • One third to one half of Americans are introverts!
  • Introverts are good at leading extroverts because they have fabulous listening skills and are okay with not dominating social situations; they are more likely to listen to and implement suggestions.
  • In a study that goes along with the bullet above, team members perceived their introverted leaders are more open and receptive to their ideas worked harder and got more done.
  • Rosa Parks had an encounter with the same bus driver 12 years before.  The driver tried to get her off the bus by pushing her, and she made sure he realized she would get off the bus on her own.  On her way out, she dropped her purse and sat on a “white” seat, her own way of passively resisting.  Love this story!!!
  • Open office plans reduce productivity and memory, there’s a high turnover rate, and more people are sick, hostile, and insecure because they have no “safe place” to go to, they’re all out in the open.
  • The larger the brainstorming group, the worse they work at generating great ideas.
  • Both introverts and extroverts are equally intelligent.

Who should read Quiet?

Introverts will love, appreciate, and enjoy Quiet for giving explanations, tips, and tricks to having a better life and being understood.

Extroverts and those in between can read Quiet in order to gain more knowledge of introverts, just be prepared that the book might not be as exciting to you.

Let’s take a poll:  Introvert?  Extrovert?  Somewhere in between?

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30 thoughts on “Shhh!!! It’s time for Quiet by Susan Cain

  1. Somewhere in between. I am not shy at all. I don’t have to eat lunch with my friends only at work for example, I will sit with any staff and talk away. But I can also be withdrawn when I feel like it.

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    • I bet a lot of “extroverted” people are more in between the two. I’m the same way, not shy in the least. I talk to everyone and don’t have a problem speaking up. But I do enjoy my alone time and/or quiet time at home, too.

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  2. I read this not too long ago and found it very interesting. I am an equal mix of introvert and extrovert, so I liked the book from both sides. Her bias definitely shows in the book, but I liked it nonetheless.

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    • I agree that sometimes I felt a little “on the outs” for being more extroverted, but I chose to ignore those feelings and take it more as a powerful book for introverts to learn more and do things to be more accepted.

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  3. “Open office plans reduce productivity and memory, there’s a high turnover rate, and more people are sick, hostile, and insecure because they have no “safe place” to go to, they’re all out in the open. ”

    I can TOTALLY see that. I used to work in the main office at my job, and now 3 years later I kind of want to go back in there. But they tore down the cubicles so everyone can see everyone else and it makes me NOT want to back to work in there. I need my privacy! And I don’t want to be looking at everybody else’s face for 8 hours a day. Yeah, I’m totally an introvert :-p

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    • Even as someone who is more extroverted, I could never work in a space like that because of the noise. I can’t concentrate with sound. As a teacher, when the kids were out of the room, I would listen to music if I was doing something mindless. But the minute I needed to concentrate, it needed to be silent.

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  4. I’m a bit of an inbetween but definitely more introverted. I was very shy as a child and I think that is still true about me. I think I would find this book interesting!

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  5. Very much an introvert here (in a positive way, I would like to think!), and very much interested by this book, which I’d heard about a few months back. I really should read it. 🙂 I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it. I read someone else’s review of this some time ago (I can’t remember whose; sorry!) and it seemed that “Quiet” has a very US focus. Is that true or does it have a broader international focus? I ask only because it might be interesting to think about general extrovert / introvert differences between cultures, too; stereotypically, at least, I’m sure that we English are more introverted than the Australians, for example. 🙂

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    • I think that being introverted can be very positive! And that’s what this book was exploring, the positives and the ways that introverts can use certain techniques or situations to be able to be themselves but still speak up when it’s necessary.

      Hmmm . . . being someone from the US, it’s hard to say, but to me, it seemed more about introverstion/extroversion and personality than about culture. Susan Cain discussed more of the personality traits and less about culture (except for how introverts fit into the mix). Would it fit every culture? Probably not, but I do think that the majority of the book could be applicable with at least the English-speaking cultures that I can think of, since it’s more about introversion/extroversion with less of the US culture.

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  6. I’m definitely an introvert, so I liked a lot of this book. One of the things that I remember from it is that introversion isn’t necessarily about being shy, it’s about where you get energy from. I don’t appear that introverted since I’m happy to talk and socialize with people, but because I’m an introvert I find it really exhausting and need alone time to recharge.

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    • I do agree, Allison, that the people who will get the most out of the book are introverts. But I do think, like you did, too, that there is value for extroverted people or people who fall in between.

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  7. As an introvert/in-between who has only read reviews by other introverts so far, this was awesome to read 🙂 I agree with what you’ve said to Allison, there is value in this book for everyone (though, that said, I think Cain could’ve been a bit nicer rather than preachy at times).

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    • Yeah, there was one particular comment (not from Cain, but from another individual in the book) that said something about extroverts being bullies, which REALLY upset me, but I chose to ignore the comment.

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      • Yea really! Although it depends on perspective. I have a friend who is extremely introverted and I am probably somewhere in the middle, but less on the introvert side. She said she was so afraid to be friends with me when I first started talking with her. She was intimidated by me! I would’ve never guessed that in a thousand years. It was her perspective.

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  8. I read this faster than normal for nonfiction, but did take some effort to get through it. I didn’t think the writing style was very engaging, which is important for me when reading nonfiction. The facts may be interesting, but they lose some appeal if presented in too dry a manner!

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