Quiet by Susan Cain

A quick rundown… A celebration of the introvert, revealing the unique skills they can bring to a world that celebrates extroverts.

Strengths: Fascinating studies and really uplifting for an introvert

Weaknesses: Took me a little to get into – I needed somewhere quiet to focus on this (no pun intended)

Why I read it: Sent to me by Random House US – thank you!

Pages: 354

Published: 2012

Publisher: Broadway Paperbacks

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Quiet is a book that took me some time to get into. It’s a book that I couldn’t read quickly; I needed to digest the information given and reflect how it fit into my own life. It didn’t work reading it on the couch with the TV on and phone within reach; I needed to focus on the words and the new ideas presented to me.

When I eventually found the right place to read this book (it turned out I needed a quiet place, like the library or quiet carriage), I was amazed. Never have I read a book that celebrates and revers the introvert. In today’s society, being introverted is seen as a Bad Thing – you’ll have a terrible life, with poor social and work prospects.

Should I mention now that I’m an introvert? (Although one that loves public speaking, which doesn’t fit the mould!).

I loved how this book said that it’s okay to be quiet and reflective and carefully explained the benefits, from thinking that little bit deeper and methodically, painstakingly tackling a problem until just the right solution is found. I liked how it celebrated famous introverts and showed that we’re not in the minority. It made me reflect on my time at school and university, wondering if all that group work was truly useful and new ways to individualise learning. It also allowed me to look at the workplace with a fresh view, trying to accommodate all personalities and not cramming everyone into a box called ‘extrovert- real or fake’. Cain made me laugh out loud when she talked of ways introverts learned to ‘fake’ or tolerate situations that they do not find enjoyable – I’ve done that many times at large gatherings. Like she suggests, I prefer deeper conversation to surface chit chat (unless it’s Twitter!)

Because of this book, I know it’s okay to say that I need time out to chill and recharge – and that time out is time alone. It was great that Cain explained the ways companies are trying to draw on individual strengths and building workplaces that suit.

Cain’s writing draws you in and she presents arguments with logic and awkward situations with caring. Definitely a book that all those in the workplace should read.


4 thoughts on “Quiet by Susan Cain

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  1. I loved this book. I listened to it last year, and it is pretty spot on for describing me as well. I really need to get around to buying a copy, because I need to make my dad read it, because he’s guilty of all those extroverts trying to “fix” introvert comments. Which is really annoying.

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