Friday, August 9, 2013


Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a world that won’t stop talking by Susan Cain

Quiet is an informational book that attempts to explain introverts. Cain provides a lot of evidence to show how introverts contribute much to our society as a whole. She claims American society has shifted to promoting and encouraging extroverts and not enough is being done to support introverts.  This book has a lot of anecdotes to illustrate these ideas and research studies about it.

I really connected with this book, being an introvert myself. I appreciate that the author tries to define something that can be hard to define. When I mention to people that I’m reading this book they respond wither with, “You’re not an introvert” or “I’m and introvert too”. One thing this book taught me is that it is sometimes hard to judge who is introverted or not. It is more than just wanting to be alone (which I find that a lot of my friends with kids want more of, no matter whether they are introverted or extroverted). We all need time to ourselves and we all need time with people and the author does make a point to mention that none of us are completely on one side or the other. She also mentions that shyness is not always an indicator either.

A couple points I wish she explored further were self-esteem issues and other aspects of personality. She does make many references to the fact that being an introvert or not is complicated. I also wish there was more discussion on whether a person can change. She did have a chapter on nurture versus nature but not much on whether people can change from being one to the other.

I got very frustrated in the second half of the book. It turned into more of a self-help book. She even gives her insights into how teachers can help introverted kids (eye roll inserted here). As some who teaches and took plenty of educational psychology classes among a lot of others I found her tips redundant. Any teacher already knows about her “tips”.  Her tips on helping children who are introverted just sounded preachy to me. Maybe people who are not teachers and don’t know a lot about children would find it helpful but I found the classes I took almost 15 years ago sufficient.

All in all it was an interesting book. I have never highlighted a non-textbook so much in my life. It was interesting to read a book that seemed to be talking about me. Anyone who thinks they are introverted would find this interesting. If you’re an extrovert you should probably just talk to someone about it.

3 out of 5 stars

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