The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
by Susan Cain
"Quiet dispels the myth that you have to be extroverted to be happy and successful."
—Judith Orloff, MD, author of Emotional Freedom
"Superbly researched, deeply insightful, and a fascinating read."
—Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.
"Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we've turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform." Read an excerpt from the best-selling book Quiet.
"Quiet is an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to understand the gifts of the introverted half of the population."—Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
Download the Reader's Guide for Quiet, featuring more than a dozen questions and topics for discussion.
"'Quiet leadership' is not an oxymoron." Read Susan Cain's entire Manifesto on Introverts here.
"In a gentle way, you can shake the world." --Mahatma Gandhi
Download six helpful tips for parenting an introvert.
Phil Fox Rose
It's not that there aren't valid roles for both introverts and extroverts. It's that we choose the wrong leaders.
I would posit a stronger thesis to Cain's moving defense of the introvert: perhaps we are all introverts, alienated from our deepest, most profound self, who lives in a religious, unconscious place that we live to seek after.
The balanced contemplation and conversation, inner and outer, stillness and speech is an art, but as we discover our right blend, the depths of our inner life becomes the catalyst for creative and nurturing relationships and personal adventures.
For many of us, the unremitting chatter of every arena in which we engage is exhausting and daunting, and Cain addresses that feeling, researches the root causes and effects of that chatter, and, best of all, gives hope for an introvert to find effective modes of leadership and service in the noisy world.
Given the role charismatic authoritarian leadership so often plays in religion, I think a greater appreciation of the potential downsides of extroversion and upsides of introversion can only be positive.
A third to a half of us are introverts, Cain reports, and yet our schools, our businesses, and yes, our religious institutions are set up on the model that all of us are extroverts.
I highly recommend Quiet. It's a necessary read for teachers, parents, and administrators who must learn to bring the best out in their children, students and employees who are “reserved.”
Never forget that you can change the world without necessarily having to play host to everyone in it.
Reading Quiet as an extrovert, I found it gave voice to many of the things I've long admired about others and hated about myself.
Sometimes I feel like being an introvert and being a mother are not very compatible, but as I learn to respect my own needs, to speak up for myself, and to heed that call for silence and solitude, I realize it is compatible after all.
When thinking in terms of Christianity, the absolute categorization of either an introvert ideal or an extrovert ideal falls flat.
I've always felt that my need for alone time made me high-maintenance, and that if only I were somehow managing things better, I wouldn't need or want so much of it.
I particular liked the chapter on "The Myth of the Charismatic Leader." In it, Cain has some interesting things to say about Tony Robbins, Rick Warren, and Saddleback Church.
Is anyone listening to anyone else? Is there even a point in adding to the conversation? Do we introverts have anything of value to contribute to a society that values self-promotion, bold claims and celebrity as virtues?
Adam Walker Cleaveland
Do we pass by those who are more introverted for volunteer roles at Church, assuming that they probably wouldn't want to be involved in that specific ministry or need?