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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking Cover

 

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Karen Sampson, February 8, 2014 (view all comments by Karen Sampson)
I was immediately taken with this book as I am one of those introverts for whom the world seems too full of chatter. Wonderful discussion about the contributions that introverts give, and have given in the past, to our evolution and societal structure. Highly recommend!
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Sean Hayes, October 14, 2013 (view all comments by Sean Hayes)
I have been waiting for a book like this for many years, and read it as a sort of manifesto. It could be a companion piece to Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright Sided, in which brain dead optimism is connected with recent social failures.

In this book, we see how the world is stacked in favor of a singular personality trait - the extroverted 'hail fellow well met' with a smile and firm handshake for everyone - to the point where any contrasting personality type is considered a mental disorder, or totally shunted off into social abnormality. Cain explores how this can cause conflict in classrooms (which are now increasingly oriented toward group learning, a subject that could have been explored at more length), workplaces (in which open plans meant to foster creativity actually promote distractions), cultural interactions (differences in Eastern and Western modes of communication), and parenting. She explores existential differences between the two personality types, which strikes me as far more significant than books like "Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus," which identify similar problems as part of a divide between genders or races.

Along with scientific analysis of personality types, Cain uses her own experience (as an introverted business consultant) to show others how they can use their introverted personalities to help them in positions - social, work, relationships - which would seem to favor the extroverted.

I did see a flaw in the self help aspect of the book in the same area I normally see flaws in the genre: Most of her examples were of business leaders, lawyers, yuppie parents, etc. It is no coincidence that self help books target the very people who can afford to attend lectures and seminars which typically arise as corollaries to any best selling book of this type.

There are definite problems faced by anyone (no longer merely the disadvantaged or uneducated) who seeks work in customer service, retail, or other areas where want ads sometimes read "now hiring smiling faces," with no mention of actual qualifications. Cain does go into this at one point with call center employees, but it could have been better explored. Ditto job interviewing, and isometric tests measuring personality that are sometimes conducted before an interview even takes place.

But I am mainly criticizing the book for what it leaves out. What is here should be read by anyone who felt that there was something wrong with them for hating small talk and breezy interaction and valuing thought, solitude and meaningful discourse.
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(5 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
mudcatmls, September 5, 2013 (view all comments by mudcatmls)
I have recently finished reading this great book on some very important personality types, the introvert. I am an introvert, but can, at times, be out of my box. This is a book that I highly recommend to introverts that will help you to better understand who you are as a person, how important you are, and how to not let extroverts tell you that you need to change for the better in their way of thinking. I like how the author tells us that it was introverts that changed the world in many ways. Introverts are scientist that make great discoveries, business people, artist, and great thinkers who have changed the world for the better. I like how the book helps the introvert how to make it in a very extroverted society. Kudos to the author of this great book that I whished had come out many years ago!
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Melinda Ott, June 20, 2013 (view all comments by Melinda Ott)
I should start by saying that I am an introvert--one who fought against being an introvert for many years as I was continually told that I needed to change, that I needed to "come out of my box." So, from my personal position, this was an incredibly freeing book to read.

Cain starts by examining not introverts, but the extrovert ideal. When I first started, I found this a bit awkward. However, as I got into the book, I realized that this was necessary to set the foundation for her examination of introverts. And she does examine them from every angle--nature versus nurture, cultural influences, even biological influences. This book is packed with information, but Cain is able to present it in such a way that it is easily readable. There were times that I felt it dragged just a bit, but that happened when she discussed areas (such as business) for which I don't have much interest. Other people may find those sections to be the most interesting.

I've seen many bloggers reading this book, and I know it has shown up on more than a few "bests" lists. And I'm happy for that. Cain has an important message to share and I hope that people do read this book--introverts and extroverts--and take it to heart.
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(5 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
gogi, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by gogi)
An important book, much more than a "psychology text." Quiet is not only an interesting read, it's on a topic that is (like introverts themselves) often overlooked, underestimated and/or misunderstood.

Cain's thinking is of immense value (and comfort) to anyone who is or has been labeled an introvert, or any creative person who is challenged by our culture's over-emphasis on the "squeaky wheel," groupthink, and the ubiquitous but often unproductive "team brainstorm."

It is also of great practical value to a whole range of folks (whether or not they themselves are introverted)-- a few that come to mind off the top of my head: HR people, CEOs, mid-level managers, creative directors, producers, space planners, interior designers and meeting planners. And, oh yes, PARENTS, PLEASE! (Especially extroverted ones.)

A MUST READ for anyone who collaborates professionally. (And finally out in affordable paperback, hurray!)
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(10 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
 1-5 of 5

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307352156
Subtitle:
The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Author:
Cain, Susan
Publisher:
Broadway
Subject:
Personality
Subject:
Psychology : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130129
Binding:
Trade-only material
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
7.99 x 5.19 x 1.06 in 0.68 lb

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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
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Product details 368 pages Broadway - English 9780307352156 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

One-third of the world's population are introverts, and we are quietly going to take over the world while you extroverts are busy yapping it up and not paying attention. Don't say you haven't been warned.

"Review" by , “A superbly researched, deeply insightful, and fascinating book that will change forever the way society views introverts.”
"Review" by , "An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike."
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , Quiet legitimizes and even celebrates the 'niche' that represents half the people in the world. Mark my words, this book will be a bestseller.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , "Cain offers a wealth of useful advice for teachers and parents of introverts…Quiet should interest anyone who cares about how people think, work, and get along, or wonders why the guy in the next cubicle acts that way. It should be required reading for introverts (or their parents) who could use a boost to their self-esteem."
"Review" by , "Rich, intelligent...enlightening."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "An intelligent and often surprising look at what makes us who we are."
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