Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Review: A Terrifically Insightful Look at Introverts

     I received this complimentary copy of Quiet from Crown Publishing (affiliated with WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing) in exchange for an honest review.

     Maybe you have been called quiet, geeky, bookish, shy, reserved or even snobby. There is a chance you have as estimates have it that one-third to one-half of the population is introverted. Given the American people are an extremely extroverted group, many introverts are ousted to be shy or any of the other aforementioned labels. Thanks be to Susan Cain, the author of this wonderful book Quiet:The Power of Introverts in World That Can't Stop Talking, you can now gain a deeper appreciation for all of the workings inside introverted heads.

     Cain leads the reader on a journey back in time when introversion was seen as polite and dignified and then brings us into the present age of a very gregarious culture. The first part of Quiet will hold your attention as I found it to be chock-full of information and touches of humor. Is it not fascinating to muse that historically my reservation, or yours for that matter, would be regarded in high esteem?

     Then, in the subsequent chapters, Cain delves into the physiological makeup of introversion and explores what makes introverts tick. Introverts do indeed process the outer world around them at a much different pace and way. There is actual physiological evidence for being thin-skinned (validation for this introvert). She explores a myriad of hypotheses and theories, actually interviewing  many of the leading researchers of the noted studies. I must say the research Mrs. Cain put into this project herself is astounding, impeccable really. This book is the accumulation of years of work and passion.

     Part Three, also known as Chapter 8, explores the concept of "soft power" and the Asian-American experience. I was rather taken by this chapter page by page. The final part of Quiet looks into the practical application of the astounding research. She addresses topics such as: When should introverts act like extroverts? and How can we parent quiet children in the loud din of the world?

    Susan Cain penned Quiet experientially using her own career as a corporate lawyer as her jumping off point. She found herself surrounded by loud-mouthed, fast-talking lawyers and executives wondering how she could cultivate her introversion to gain the upper hand in situations. This experience has been filtered down to the reader in a cohesive book. I appreciated that she allowed room for the various nuances each introvert possesses to be addressed. Not every introvert is shy. Not every introvert loves to read. Introversion may fuel us, but in no way can it peg us perfectly.

     My only warning is to know Quiet is a book to explore for yourself and the business talk may steer some wrong. However, I would hate to think that a potential reader would not pick this book for that very reason. The wealth of information and validation will outweigh beyond measure any hindrances you may possess.  Although we may live in an extroverted culture, maybe to a fault, being quiet can actually be perceived as a gift to yourself and the world around you. If I have learned nothing else, it is okay to be Quiet.

Take a peek into Quiet.

Purchase through Amazon here.

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