My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
About the Author:
Susan Horowitz Cain (born 1968) is an American writer, lecturer, and author of the 2012 non-fiction book ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’, which argues that modern Western culture misunderstands and undervalues the traits and capabilities of introverted people.
In 2015, Cain co-founded ‘Quiet Revolution’, a mission-based company with initiatives in the areas of children (parenting and education), lifestyle, and the workplace. Cain’s 2016 follow-on book, ‘Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts’, is focused on introverted children and teens and is directed towards their educators and parents.
Publication Year: 2012
This book was very insightful and informative. I watched Susan Cain’s TED talk once and I was fascinated by it, being an introvert myself. As a kid, I was shy, serious and studious with a little bit of social anxiety. As I grew up, I outgrew my shyness and got more confident socially but there have been many situations where I questioned myself.
Once when I was out on a trip with a big group of college friends. Everyone was getting along so well and they seemed to be having so much fun together but I felt so lonely and left out and I was like, “What’s wrong with me”? Turns out I’m just an introvert. Then, I found this book.
“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured”.
This book describes in detail what introversion and extroversion means and the traits associated with both personalities. Even though in most areas (or cultures), the introversion or shyness is viewed in a negative light, the writer states that it’s an essential trait to have and how powerful it could be if it’s used well. The introversion should be valued just as extroversion is.
“Everyone shines, given the right lighting”.
I found this book very interesting to read because she presents her ideas by using data gathered from case studies, research, her own personal experiences and from other people as well. She has also provided an analysis of many famous personalities and how their temperaments shaped their actions and how essential their role was in that area.
It also describes how our genes and our environment play a role in shaping our personalities. Many definitions for introversion-extroversion are provided to show how both personalities think and behave in general. There is no personality type better than the other but creating a balance is very important to bring out the best in both.
“We know from myths and fairy tales that there are many different kinds of powers in this world. One child is given a lightsaber, another a wizard’s education. The trick is not to amass all the different kinds of power, but to use well the kind you’ve been granted”.
The message, in short, is: value your individuality and do things the way you want and not because you have to conform to certain cultural norms. It also shows how both personalities can strike a balance between both traits. Both extroverts and introverts can lead a fulfilling life without changing their core values or trying to be someone they are not; the power lies in knowing who you are and using it to the best of your abilities.
After reading this book, I feel like I can understand myself a little better now, in terms of what my motivations are and what makes me the way I am. I recommend this book to both introverts and extroverts as it can help them understand the qualities in themselves and in each other a bit better.
It’s definitely a book worth reading.