Saturday, July 13, 2013

Book Review: Quiet

Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop TalkingQuiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I strongly believe that this is an important book for people to read. I was pretty hesitant myself before picking it up - I had seen Susan Cain's TED talk, which was interesting, but I wasn't sure if it would be interesting enough to hold my attention through an entire book. I was very wrong though.

Through research and interviews that Cain compiles, she makes a compelling case for introverts everywhere and provides a voice to people who the world thinks are just "different" or "shy". And because (especially in America) we are conditioned to hear the loudest voice in the room, these people are unconsciously written off because of their personality. Introverts are cast as "anti-social" and not liking to be around people, which is one of the many myths that Cain dispels about this segment of our population - which, according to which research you believe makes up either a third or half of our population.

Part of what the book so interesting to me was the many different approaches and topics that were addressed in the book: Introverts in the workplace & space - how can they survive in the new "open" work environments (something that I myself have struggled much with); Introverts in modern-day evangelical churches - Are churches set up in a way that only allows for extroverts to worship; Introverts and biology - can you tell whether a child will be an introvert or extrovert soon after they are born?; Introverts and personal relationships - how to navigate different personalities in relationships; and Introverted children and how they do (or don't) succeed in school and how parents can help them.

If there's any complaint that I would have about the book, it would be the style with which it is written - it read like a Malcolm Gladwell book to me - lots of overarching statements with some compelling antecedent research. However, when flipping through the appendix, you do find that this book was well-researched and thoroughly thought out.

Again, I think this is an important book for people to read because of the understanding of different personalities it will provide you - which will help you in relations with coworkers, parents, children, friends, and spouses. And if you are an introvert or are not sure, you'll learn more about what makes an introvert and what makes an extrovert from this book.

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