Ladies and gentlemen,
I have a confession to make. I am an introvert. Yes, I know, it’s shocking. When teachers find out, they become very concerned for my wellbeing. My introvertedness has lost me job offers and caused me to receive reprimands from management. Over the years, many people have tried to “cure” me of this. I’ve even tried to “fix” myself. It turns out that being an introvert is not something I can change. I’m not even sure that I would want to change it. It turns out that there’s nothing actually wrong with me. It’s the other people that have the problem.
I have just finished reading the book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. In it, Cain conducts a thorough study of what it means to be an introvert and the science, psychology, and social significance behind the personality types. According to scientists, introversion is genetic. That’s right folks, genetic. It’s a natural personality trait and is not something that can or even needs to be cured. Not only that, introverts are generally observant, better at being diplomatic, are careful decision-makers and are actually capable of being excellent leaders. Ha! Take that former elementary school teachers!
Ms. Cain is clearly passionate about her subject and her writing style is very informative and engaging. Fans of Mary Roach should appreciate her style. She is never overly formal or academic and writes so that the reader can clearly understand what is a very complex subject. She also shares many case studies as well as studies from her own life to make the content very relatable.
Alongside relating all of her research, Cain also offers advice to fellow introverts in everything from public speaking to how to handle classroom and office situations. There is also a great chapter for parents with advice on how to raise an introverted child in an extroverted world. I highly recommend this book to introverts. I would not necessarily classify Quiet as a self-help book because that would imply that Cain is trying to help you to fix something about yourself. She mostly informs while washing away all of the doubts that have been put in your head by the upholders of what Cain calls the “extrovert ideal.” I also believe that anyone currently or going into teaching should read this book. In my experience as well as Cain’s, the classroom seems to be the harshest and most difficult part of the day for many introverts to navigate and Cain offers many simple solutions.
All in all I would rate this as an excellent book. Introvert or not, I believe you will enjoy Quiet. Cain has a strong voice and her work is very well-researched and informative. Check it out at your local bookstore.
Title: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Author: Susan Cain