At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who invent and create but prefer not to pitch their own ideas; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts we owe many of the great contributions to society - from Van Gogh's sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.
Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with the indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Susan Cain charts the rise of "the extrovert ideal" over the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects - how it helps to determine everything from how parishioners worship to who excels at Harvard Business School. And she draws on cutting-edge research on the biology and psychology of temperament to reveal how introverts can modulate their personalities according to circumstance, how to empower an introverted child, and how companies can harness the natural talents of introverts. This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.
Now with a Reader's Guide and Bonus Content, including a recommended reading list of introverts in literature, and resources for readers with tips for introverts on public speaking, tips for parents of introverted children, and tips for educators.
Some of the recent comments posted about Quiet. Join the discussion! You can see the full discussion here.
Do you think your job suits your temperament?
I am retired now, but when I worked, for many years my job suited my temperament. Then, like so many places, my employer caught the "everything must be done in teams" fever. I am much more productive and creative when working alone. I really... - juliaa
Have you experienced "Groupthink" in your own workplace?
Oh, the infamous inservices... How I hate those, when we have to work in groups. But I found out being the note-taker is a good move that takes some pressure off. That's what I did last time. Usually they aren't group meetings, though, thankfully. - lisag
How does your temperament compare to those of your children?
Of my 4 children, one is an extreme introvert (coupled with extreme shyness/social anxiety), the other three range from relatively introverted to ambivert to mildly extroverted. Reading Quiet made me really see the differences. The mild extrovert... - pams
Misconceptions about introverts
I could certainly relate to nearly all the posts before mine. I know that many people see me as either shy or snobbish (more so the latter). I absolutely hate large social gatherings but love getting together with just one or two friends. In large... - bettyt
Overall, what did you think of Quiet?
I really enjoyed this book. It addressed both the introvert and the extrovert. The world today seems to cater to the extrovert and it was so refreshing to have the needs of the introvert addressed. - bettyt
I have to admit I do... Or try to. Even people I know well can make me feel uncomfortable. At least I'm fine at home, with my immediate family. Could be a little awkward, otherwise! - lisag
Who are your favorite introverted role models?
I am withyou lisag on the question of Obama being introverted. He seems to be socially engaged all of his waking hours which is something I could never do. As far as role models I think some of the authors I read are introverts which I think is a... - joyces
Though her research is current and substantial, the basic tenets of introvert-versus-extrovert issues she explores are, for the most part, not revelatory. Rather, it is her big picture view and her unification of so many aspects of one maligned temperament that make the book an excellent read. Quiet is different from previous books on introversion because it explores the topic from so many perspectives. Other titles on this subject tend to be strictly in the self-help genre or straight memoir. Cain approaches introversion as a cultural anthropologist might, looking for all the ways it affects our society. (Reviewed by Stacey Brownlie).
In this well-written, unusually thoughtful book, Cain encourages solitude seekers to see themselves anew: not as wallflowers but as powerful forces to be reckoned with.
[Cain's] diligence, research, and passion for this important topic has richly paid off.
This book is a pleasure to read and will make introverts and extroverts alike think twice about the best ways to be themselves and interact with differing personality types.
An intelligent and often surprising look at what makes us who we are.
Starred Review. An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike.
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
A superbly researched, deeply insightful, and fascinating book that will change forever the way society views introverts.
Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth
Susan Cain is the definer of a new and valuable paradigm. In this moving and original argument, she makes the case that we are losing immense reserves of talent and vision because of our culture's overvaluation of extroversion. A startling, important and readable page-turner that will make quiet people see themselves in a whole new light.
Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment Quiet legitimizes and even celebrates the 'niche' that represents half the people in the world. Mark my words, this book will be a bestseller.
Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person
Susan Cain has done a superb job of sifting through decades of complex research... This book will be a boon for the many highly sensitive people who are also introverts.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Diane S. Quiet: What a fascinating and well written study on the differences between introverts and extroverts and what goes in to making them that way. I believe anyone managing people in any capacity should read this book as well as parents who are raising... Read More
I wasn't surprised when Susan Cain's book, Quiet, mentioned that introverted people often thrive in the online world and are actually more likely to share personal information there than extroverts. I, for example, though unquestionably an introvert, enjoy reviewing books for BookBrowse, have profiles on several social networking sites, and have written a blog; these are all comfortable outlets for me to explore and express my interests.
Many introverts communicate via the Internet for this reason, relishing the chance to pursue their passions and find like-minded people in a way that is friendly to their temperament. Likewise, online communication has also made information and discussion about introverts and introversion more accessible to the world at large. The following examples are just a few of the many online resources created for and about introverts:
Susan Cain's website, www.thepowerofintroverts.com, and an article she wrote for The New York Times entitled, "Shyness: Evolutionary Tactic?" (2011). Cain also...
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