Rummanah Aasi
  It may come as no surprise to those who know me, but I am an introvert. For many years I thought it was a personality flaw that needed to be fixed as I was told by many that quiet people do not get ahead in life. Truthfully no matter how much I tried, I couldn't be something that I'm not. Susan Cain's Quiet affirmed that I'm actually normal and gave my introspection and love of solitude the legitimacy it deserves.

Description: Demonstrates how introverted people are misunderstood and undervalued in modern culture, charting the rise of extrovert ideology while sharing anecdotal examples of how to use introvert talents to adapt to various situations.

Review: We all heard the terms extrovert and introvert before. We may even have taken personality tests to see which category fits us the best or even know before hand. Our society leans towards those who are amongst many things assertive and socially active while the quiet ones are deemed to be in some ways defective or need fixing as a plethora of self help books will tell you. Susan Cain's bestselling book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking revisits the widely discussed dichotomy of personalities, but better yet she explains the how the trend of extrovertism came to be and why being an introvert is not a flaw.
  In the highly readable and enjoyable book, Cain defines the terms extrovert and introvert broadly. She even gives examples on how each individual who falls into either category succeed. What I loved about this book is how Cain gives excellent portraits of a number of introverts and shatters misconceptions. For example, she notes, introverts can negotiate as well as, or better than, alpha males and females because they can take a firm stand, listen, ruminate, and draw out important questions about the case. The breaks between psychological discussion with real life antidotes and situations is what brought Quiet to life. There were many moments where a light bulb clicked on when I read passages as to why I do the things I do subconsciously. To be honest, Quiet helped to reassured me that there was nothing really wrong with my personality and that it is okay not wanting to be super social and that for me sitting at home reading a fabulous book is just as good a weekend then going party hopping. Furthermore Cain also provides tips to parents and teachers of children who are introverted or seem socially awkward and isolated. She suggests, for instance, exposing them gradually to new experiences that are otherwise overstimulating.
   As you know I'm not a nonfiction reader as I don't gravitate to them naturally, but once in a while I come across a great title from which I learn something without feeling stupid. It's clear that Cain's research is diligent and she's passionate about the topic, but her voice never sounds condescending. I highly recommend picking this book up if your are at all curious about psychology or want a different, intelligent and absorbing read.

Curriculum Connection: Psychology

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for teens interested in psychology and adults.

If you like this book try: Multiplicity: The New Science of Personality, Identity, and the Self by Rita Carter, Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength by Laurie Helgoe
6 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    "there was nothing really wrong with my personality and that it is okay not wanting to be super social and that for me sitting at home reading a fabulous book is just as good a weekend then going party hopping."

    This is me Rummanah! When I'm in a social situation, I think I'm pretty (or at least decently) outgoing, but if given the choice between doing something social and staying in to read or watch movies - I'll choose staying in every time:)


  2. This sounds like a good read! Does it talk about social anxiety and introverts at all? I'd really love to read more about that...

    PS. Introverts, FTW! :)


  3. Very interesting! I have extrovert and introvert tendencies just depends on the day, but I am with you a night home with a good book is just fine. We all are unique and there is nothing wrong with being an introvert, still I am glad that this book explains it all in detail, I would certainly like to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!


  4. @Jenny: Me too, but I end up coming home drained and exhausted.

    @Amanda: She does touch upon social anxiety a little bit in the book.

    @Heidi: The way the author defines extrovert and introvert are very broad but of course there are times when the two can blend for a person.


  5. "It is okay not wanting to be super social and that for me sitting at home reading a fabulous book is just as good a weekend then going party hopping." Hey, me too! My dad gets mad at me because he's very outgoing and always wants us to visit his friends' houses/dinner parties/etc. but I've told him so many times that I'd much rather stay at home. He still hasn't gotten the message yet apparently :(


  6. Elizabeth Says:

    I've been wanting to read this book for a while now..can def relate. Great review!


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