‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’ by Susan Cain is genuinely a brilliant book! If you’re an introvert get a copy! If you want to understand your introvert friend get a copy! Or if you’re on a limited budget like me, try the local library. – I’d been thinking I might like to read it, but spotted it when I was browsing the little library just down the road from me.
It’s fair to say that I’m normally really rather cynical of books in this kind of genre. So often they lack any real science and are based on some flimsy observation, but I thought I’d read it after seeing her TED talk. Having now read it I’d genuinely give it five stars.
Cain carefully weaves together stories, autobiography, observation and science in a really engaging and genuinely revealing way. It is obviously meticulously researched, having very much begun with her own desire to thoroughly understand her own introversion. It’s a book I wish I’d written!
As a book it has really helped me see how many of the things that I thought were weird or frustrating about myself, are simply just part of being a fairly normal introvert. It is an encouraging, empowering and practical book. Having read it, I feel much more thankful for how God has made me, and much more patient with the way I naturally function. My brain is simply wired differently from an extrovert, and like extroversion this has some real benefits. Our world needs both types of people.
I love what she says in her conclusion – “Love is essential; gregariousness is optional.”
“Whoever you are, bear in mind that appearance is not reality. Some people act like extroverts, but the effort costs them in energy, authenticity, and even in physical health. Others seem aloof or self-contained, but their inner landscapes are rich and full of drama. So the next time you see a person with a composed face and a soft voice, remember that inside her mind she might be solving an equation, composing a sonnet, designing a hat. She might, that is, be deploying the powers of quiet.”