FInd the “story of my life” through Quiet by Susan Cain

Image from http://www.forbes.com
Image from http://www.forbes.com

I first saw Quiet in a book store 1-2 years ago, and got re-acquainted to it a few weeks ago, watching the author Susan Cain in Marie Forleo’s online show, Marie TV. In the show they discussed about networking tips for Introverts, which I sorely needed for my line of work. They touched based a bit about the book and I purchased shortly after watching the show.

Quiet is my life story. I believe many other people around the world would say the same thing. There is a sizeable population of Introverts out there, some covert and others hidden through seemingly outgoing personalities. I’m quite glad I got to read this book that made me realize I am not alone in this journey of stillness in a noisy world. Susan was able to champion the introvert temperament passionately with detailed scientific research, anecdotes from known introverts and ordinary people, and through her own life experiences. I’ve picked up tons of wisdom in this book. Let me the top 5 here:

In the era of “personality culture”, Introverts are highly undervalued. With extroversion becoming the ideal personality, people who are physically attractive, talkative and gregarious are deemed more credible and likeable, than those who prefer to be solitary, do their work quietly, or are more comfortable in one-on-one or small groups.

Introverts, despite of their supposedly weak, aloof and self-contained nature, have powerful qualities and abilities that has made them great leaders and influencers. Prominent introverts provided supportive leadership to strong-willed teams, made careful decisions that made businesses survive during economic downturns, created works of art, science and technology with their constant deliberate practice, and inspired millions to make changes in society through their sensitivity to other people’s needs and plights of hardship.

-Introverts are known for their aversion for public speaking, and large group settings. However, there aren’t any less of them in people business such as senior management, media, sales etc. So how do they do it? They adopt an extrovert persona. Though it might appear to some as hypocrisy, it is really all about having an “on and off switch” as to when they should be sociable, and when it is ok to be a recluse.

-It’s understandable that parents want their children to become outgoing, friendly and well liked. However, if they do see the signs that their children are introverted types, parents should not treat their kids as someone who should be “treated” or their personalities should be changed. Instead, they should help children to appreciate their true natures and at the same time, equip them with skills and habits that will both help them adapt in a social setting and to stay true to themselves.

-If you are an introvert, stay true to yourself. Embrace your temperament and make it work for you. Make sure you have enough time and space to be alone to think and create. At the same time, in this extroverted world, know when to engage in carefully selected social gatherings and when it’s time to retreat back to your camp.

P.S. Aside from being a best-selling author, she is also the proponent of The Quiet Revolution, a movement created to unlock the power of Introverts and help them navigate the world that “can’t stop talking”. Check their website at www.quietrev.com

3 Replies to “FInd the “story of my life” through Quiet by Susan Cain”

  1. I didn’t feel like this book was objective, she was talking about glorification of extroverts, but she was doing exactly the same and that was a major turnoff for me. I expected that she will take the best of both worlds, explain that to us and then explain how to live in the world we are in the way we are. Instead I felt like it is just talking to a wall and she is just putting rage out there, just as talking about extroverts don’t reach the other side.

  2. I think we are travelling in the same boat! I read the book in October, 2014 and had similar experiences and feelings as you had. Keep encouraging the introverted community.

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