Quiet The Power Of Introverts by Susan Cain
Did you know that at least one-third of all the people in the world are introverts? They prefer listening to speaking, reading to going out to parties, staying in as opposed to hitting the grad parties, weddings. They tend to dislike self promotion and favor working on their own over team brainstorming sessions. They are labeled quiet, shy, unsure of themselves, non sociable…. and in many cases that is not true at all.
Did you know the introverts of our society actually approach challenges not as rushed as an extrovert, not speaking as loudly or as quickly as an extrovert, and that is ok? It is ok to be more of a listener and a processor than the up front idea person. After all introverts contribute much to our society… it was an introvert who invented the personal computer. Rosa Parks was an introvert.
Did you know that I am an introvert?
I absolutely adored this book. Why? Because it absolutely spoke to me and it was about me. That person who would rather work quietly at their desk prodding along without a team of people to assist? That is me. That person who walks into a party and sees no one she knows so finds a quiet corner to hang out in? Me. The person who listens more than speaks during staff meetings? Me again.
Yet I have friends who are shocked when they hear me refer to myself as an introvert. I am not overcome by stage fright, I can speak to large groups of people, I can lead a book discussion group, a committee, and be an advocate for a cause. What my friends need to remember is that the day they met me, I did not run up squeal and hug them. :D It takes time for me to warm into a group where I feel comfortable to speak up with my ideas and opinions. I don’t have the “bull in a china shop” mentality where I can charge on in and look around later…. I need to know my surroundings and get a feel for the environment and the people around me before I can move forward.
What I took away from Quiet is that the way I need to energize is by being alone, and not always wanting to take on a group of people to complete a task I can do on my own, is normal introvert behavior. And better yet, it is ok to ask this way. That was kind of life changing for me to hear that. I do like to work alone. I do get excited when I come home and I have the house to myself. I am sure my lifestyle of kids gone and hubby working all the time does not help me control this desire. I am alone a lot. And I really like it.
We know society leans in favor towards the extrovert. We see them on TV and they are the actors and actresses we are drawn to by the power they have to capture our attention. They are the people around us who flourish in business discussions, can rule the conversation in a group, and can be found at most social engagements. Yes what Susan Cain lets us know is not to overlook the person who is more quiet, more reflective than verbal… after all they are the makings of J K Rowling, Steve Jobs, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Steven King.
As book lovers, I think many of us may be considered introverts.
Kathe Mazur does a fine job of narrating this one. Highly recommended to anyone who has ever been told they need to speak up more, has been called quiet or shy and knows that there is more to them than meets the eye.