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

Today, I am co-hosting Bonnie’s Book Club and we’ll be discussing Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

quiet

I was really interested in this book because I consider myself an introvert. However, I’ve always been ashamed of it because I used to be more extroverted as a child. But, once I hit college, I became introverted. And, we all know the derogatory stereotyping of introverts.

Cain’s purpose in this book is to describe and explain the psychology of introverts and extroverts, and what is at their center. She wants to show how introverts are undervalued and how we can help them see their potential and learn to work with them.

What I Liked About the Book

Cain does a very good job explaining how the minds and personalities of introverts and extroverts are different. She is also very easy to read (except for a few parts). I was able to place myself and my husband into the roles of introvert and extrovert, which made it more compelling. She described what motivates the two different groups, how shyness and anxiety come into place, the difference between personality and temperament, and how there is an elasticity reach.

I liked learning about famous people who happened to be introverts, like Eleanor Roosevelt and Gandhi.

I am so happy she mentioned extrovertism and evangelicalism. Cain met with a few in the Evangelical church who were self-proclaimed introverts. They had a hard time feeling like they fit in because the Evangelical church is all about shouting their faith from the mountaintops and proclaiming to the world. These introverts didn’t feel welcome at the church because they were quieter, didn’t like the mega-church setting, and had a hard time sharing their testimonies with others. And it made them feel bad. It made them feel like they weren’t as good of Christians as other Evangelicals. It was interesting to relate that to Mormons. I truly believe in my Church. I share my faith on this blog. But, if asked to go with missionaries to help preach the Gospel door-to-door…I’d rather claim I was sick!

Cain also brought up introverts in a school setting. I loved that she spent almost two whole chapters dedicated to introverted youth. She was very careful in her proclamations that the way education is set up, especially with group learning being a key focus. I was glad to know that in my experience of teaching I catered well to introverts.

What I Didn’t Like About the Book

Cain, herself, is a self-proclaimed introvert. And she obviously wanted to show the power of introverts. But, although she had a lot of sources and studies, she was pretty biased. She made sweeping generalizations that introverts are smarter and more creative and extroverts are rash and just bombastic.

There were sometimes that the scientific studies were hard to understand.

I wish she would have talked about any relationship and effect confidence had on being an introvert or extrovert.

It also sometimes got confusing when she mentioned all the different people she interviewed. She would go back and forth between interviews to prove her point for that specific chapters, and go back and forth between using last names and first names.

What I Learned

I learned a lot about myself from this book. I could write a large report about all my thoughts–we had a straight two hour talk about this book at our In Real Life book club on Tuesday night, with no breaks or breathers at all! And, we could’ve gone longer!

The biggest pull away was the fact that being an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean you are a recluse and anti-social and that being extroverted means you always have to be the center of attention. Cain kept going back to the clarifying point that what makes the two is where they get their energy from. Stimuli, like activity, noise, people, images, etc. makes extroverts. They get excited and full of energy from social events. Whereas, introverts get re-energized from being a lone, in-depth conversations, reading, soft sounds, sleep, etc. People drain them. I definitely am an introvert, and have always been so, according to this definition because I always feel re-energized reading, or listening to soundtracks, or being in nature and going to group activities drain me.

The other thing that I pulled away is that people don’t necessarily change. Their environment and situation changes, but their temperaments don’t, and being an extrovert or introvert are part of temperament. That means, I have always been an introvert. But, I wonder if my anxiety disorder, which has gotten worse the older I have gotten, played a part in me pulling away from extroverted tendencies.

Cain also mentioned that there is a spectrum of introversion and extroversion. I’m not super introverted–I do enjoy hanging out with friends, going to parties, and getting out of the house. But, after a certain amount of time, I am done. Whereas, my friend, Aubrey, is super extroverted and hates any down-time she has. Cain also shows that you can be more extroverted in different situations. I have never been nervous giving a lesson or talk in church. I have never been nervous teaching or while I was being observed for teaching evaluations. You may even say I am very comfortable in the front of a classroom. But, put me at a table of people I don’t know, I get nervous and don’t know what to say.

I really loved this book, and wrote a lot in the margins, and I’m sure I’ll go back and re-read it every now and then.

Make sure you check out Bonnie’s review tomorrow!

Link up your reviews of Quiet here!

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • I really need someone to analyze me and let me know where I fall. I’ve taken online quizzes and sometimes I come out as an introvert and sometimes an ambivert. So I don’t really know. It’s not that I always want to be alone or anything. I just have some social anxiety that makes it really hard to spend too much time in large groups.

    • I’d definitely recommend reading this book, then. But the thing is, there is no tried and true, one answer for the definition of an introvert vs an extrovert…

  • I actually read the book this month, but we had a Relief Society activity on Tuesday night that I was helping with! I was so bummed. At the end of the day I’m an introvert, even though I’m fairly good at acting like an extrovert when I need to. There are days where I don’t leave my home and it doesn’t bother me much. I’m kind of similar to you: I never get nervous giving a talk or performing in front of a crowded theatre (theatre and ballroom were my major and minor, after all!) and I get very motivated to do something when there’s prizes or bragging rights on the line, but I NEED my me-time. I love my me-time. I’m not a huge fan of small talk (I would rather NOT talk than make small talk!) and prefer to hang out with & talk to people when our conversations can surpass just talking about the weather and our weekend plans. I can see how the IRL book club lasted so long, there’s so much to talk about!

    • That’s the same! Small talk I have a hard time with. That’s why I hate talking on the phone! Even before texting was a thing!

      • Ugh, I hate talking on the phone! Don’t even get me started! Hahaha

  • I’m an extrovert, I definitely get pumped up being around people! But I have a shy/inhibited temperament, so I’ve pretty much been at odds with myself my whole life. It’s a tricky place to be in, haha. But that’s not to say I don’t love my alone time, either. I definitely do. I call myself an introverted extrovert 🙂 I’ll have to check out this book. One of my favorite things to study in school (I was a human development major) was temperament — in fact, my whole capstone class was centered around it and I LOVED IT. Anyway. That’s not the point, haha. I wish I could join in book club IRL!!!

    • Hahaha and I call myself an extroverted introvert! (i actually wrote a post about it)

      • Haha, too funny. I am pretty sure I remember reading that post!

  • Great Post..

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