Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Finally finished Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. It's a wonderful book. I bought it, initially, for validation (because I'm a closet introvert!) but I came away with so much more. It took me through the scientific basis of introverted behavior (sensitivity to stimuli), navigating relationships (especially between extroverts and introverts who are naturally drawn to each other), and raising introverts (dealing with "shyness" and how an introverted child can thrive with the right environment). There was also a bonus of workplace introversion (a third or half of the entire workforce are introverted) and a beautiful insight on introversion: successful introverts are willing to sacrifice their comfort (or nature) to do what they love or what they truly care about. There's a particularly touching story of a professor (Professor Little) who can't look people in the eye but who gives impassioned lectures because he genuinely cares about the growth of his students.
I also liked how Cain emphasizes that the Western world was built for the extrovert ("leadership qualities") when, clearly, in Jim Collins' research (Good to Great), it is humble, unassuming, and introverted leaders who can take good companies and make them great. She also illustrates how Eastern culture values silence and considers introverted behavior wise.
All in all, it is an insight-laden book with many practical paths that an introvert can take to thrive in this noisy world.
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