We all have experienced this random browsing on internet whenever we feel bored or dull.So here I was, randomly browsing through YouTube and came across the TED Talks of Susan Cain on Introverts. I became so impressed that i decided to read this book “Quiet”.
Now before I start the review, let me tell you a bit about myself.I consider myself somewhat of an introvert, even though not everyone around me agrees on that, because you know, I talk to people and can be pleasant at the same time. Convincing people there’s more to the introvert-extrovert distinction than that hasn’t always proven easy.
Before I started reading this book, I was hoping it would do two things:
1. Tell me what I wanted to hear
2. Tell me what I needed to hear.
“We’re amazing and we know it and we don’t clap our hands.”
Am just on the 3rd page and am like,Yes, this book is proving I’m introverted alright. Yay me. Or maybe I’m confusing lack of being assertive with introversion. Whatever the case, this book will teach. It has already begun doing so, in any case.
As an introvert, I was pretty amazed by the several studies and ideas that Cain brought up in her book. I never knew I thought this, but obviously I saw extroverts as superior and strived to be like one…they are the ones in power in our society after all. Cain’s book challenges all the things that we take for granted about each others’ behaviors and our genes.The historical and cultural explanation for how the extrovert obsession came about was very insightful and easy to understand because it makes PERFECT sense how a huge social movement like Capitalism would effect how people came to behave or want to behave…just like capitalism tells people what they need or want. I enjoyed reading about the how the culture of character became the culture of personality, since I honestly have never thought to distinguish between character and personality in the first place.
It gets three stars because it told me what I wanted to hear. This book is the voice of those who are disinclined to use theirs: the introverts. It puts the introverts under a shower of compliments, in the kind of spotlight we’re comfortable in: a generous ode that we can absorb from the comfort of our own cozy corner in our own cozy homes, telling us we have a value in this society.This may seem like a ridiculous reason to give stars to a book, but I think it’s a good thing that someone gave attention to a group of people who are not used to, and not always comfortable with, getting so much positive feedback.
PROS: The author debunks myths and stereotypes about introversion and reaffirms the inner value of variety in personality.
“There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”
She exposes straightforwardly the western bias to the extrovert ideal and offers multiple evidence why this bias is not right. Her intention is at no point that of saying that introverts are better than extroverts, but instead she reminds the reader in multiple ways that different personalities have always been part of the greatest milestones of human history.
CONS: The first chapters of the book attempt to demonstrate the extrovert bias in different areas. Nevertheless, the author’s writing and arguments seem to be more logical (they make a lot of sense) than scientific (with hard-data backing them up). She refers to the theory of evolution more times than necessary although it really does not make a significant contribution to her main arguments. Furthermore, her analysis of modern-day Christianity and extroversion based on a single local church seems to be included more out of need than any other thing (particularly since there is no mention of the many types of church that appeal to introverts as well). Despite paying lip service a few times by saying that shyness is not the same as introversion, she repeatedly through her anecdotes and examples confuses introversion with shyness, social anxiety, fear of public speaking and lack of confidence.
On a societal level, I don’t think this book is as important as it has been made out to be. Introverts indeed consist of a big part of society and thus have helped form it. I’m of the belief that society can’t progress by itself. Nothing can be “expected” from society. Society shouldn’t cater to any particular group, it’s the particular groups that have to find or fight for their place and evolve themselves, in turn engendering progress in society.
CONCLUSION: Read it! Whether you are an educator, a parent, or if you want to know your workmates, your spouse, or yourself better, this book will teach you a lot of important things. The writer shows the kindness, structure, and depth that an introvert will usually display and because of that the book communicates directly and it is an easy reading. Definitely one of the best books I have read recently