Review: Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Title: Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Author: Susan Cain
Publisher: Broadway Paperback an Imprint of Crown Publishing which is a division of Random House, Inc.
Paperback published in 2013
Genre: Non-Fiction
Labels: Psychology, Personality Type
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 368
Rating: 5 Stars

The author Susan Cain states "at least 1/3 of people we know are introverts". Introverts living in North America or western society, live amongst noisy extroverts. Extroverts are seen as being more intelligent, interesting, entertaining, a personality type that "gets things done".
In the countries of China, Vietnam, Japan, introversion is the dominant personality type, and extroverts are looked at as being rude. Finland is another nation where introverts rule.
In Quiet: introverts, shyness, agreeableness, highly-sensitive, low-self-monitored, threat-oriented, are all explored---versus their opposite type.
Quiet explores: biology versus environment, prejudice against introverts, famous people who were introverts, coping skills of introverts, introverts have a strong conscience, and accepting oneself for being an introvert.
At the end of the book there are helpful hints for parents and teachers of introverts.

Warning Transparency Ahead:
I am an introvert, shy, highly-sensitive, low-self-monitored, threat-oriented, agreeable. This is my basic personality type. Through the years I have become more confident, a better communicator, bold, relaxed in who I am. When I was in school, especially in elementary and middle school, I was made fun of and bullied often. I was quiet, reserved, meek. I was quiet in not retorting because I couldn't bring myself to hurt someone else even though they'd hurt me, because I knew how "it" felt. Add to this I lived in a home with a bully, and with a mother who was an introvert, highly-sensitive, low-self-monitored, threat-oriented, agreeable.....and she did not speak-up for herself. It could be a mix of my own biology personality and environment that shaped my personality. I am also very strong-willed, defiant even, stubborn, resilient, surrender is never an option, and I will persevere in quietness. I intensely dislike attention, unless it is from my husband. And don't even think about fussing over me because I'll give you the raised left eyebrow.
This past weekend I had a girls day out with my best friend. She told me that when she first met me she wasn't quite sure we'd connect because I was so quiet. After she got to know me she found out I was reserved, but friendly, had a bold laugh, and could state loudly my opinions which shocked her.
I've been prejudged many times as being weird, odd, unfriendly, stuck-up, and even gay.
Those people in my life that got past their pre-conceived judgments of me found out that when I make a friend, I'm their friend for life.
I am highly-sensitive. Although I have a high pain tolerance, I do not like bright over-head lights or noise. I have a keen sense of smell. Art and music provokes emotion in me. I've been known to see color when I hear music. I dream in color, even tasting and smelling food. I have great empathy for people, sometimes I can almost feel their emotion (which is scary if the person is angry). I have to make myself do something impulsive. To say I'm a thinker is an understatement. I have a rich and enjoyable inner life. I enjoy spending time with myself in a quiet house.
Years ago I had a stressful job working as a unit clerk in a busy cardiac-monitored hospital floor. I had to adapt and make myself work this job. For 13 years I existed with glaring over-head bright lights, and in a noisy epicenter of a hospital desk. I had to speak with doctors, nurses, patients, family members, administrators, and other hospital workers. It was painful, yet I grew out of many of my quirks. I will admit that when I came home from work everyday, I had to go to my bedroom, shut the door and be in a quiet dark room for at least 1 hour in order to self-medicate myself back to reality. After 13 years I was happy to leave. Yet, those years were a benefit for me in more ways that one.
I am low-self-monitored. This means I dislike games like charades etc. Actually I would go hide out in the kitchen if this game was going on. Other than pretending when I was working in order to make it through the grueling days, I cannot pretend to be someone I am not.
I am threat-oriented. This means "criticism or scolding hurts me quiet a bit."
I am shy. "Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating."
I am agreeable. Agreeable people are warm and supportive.

My Thoughts:
I loved this book! Some of the information I had already suspected in myself, and had already adapted coping mechanisms. It helped to have validation in what I thought I knew about myself. It also helps to know their are so many of us introverts. Most important, I'm more accepting of myself, I'm working on re-training my mind to not think something is wrong with me because I'm not like the other people that seem so socially bright. I'm hoping that this book educates the public about introverts and that we really do have something to say, we're not just a shell of a witless simpleton.

Link @ Amazon:
Paperback $9.60

I bought my paperback copy at Target for $12.80


  1. This sounds like a book for me, a fellow introvert.

    Have you read A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland? I have it on my Kindle. Haven't read it yet, but it's about understanding silence. Introverts are happy with it and extroverts fear it.

  2. Thank you for telling me about A Book of Silence. I understand that well. I have family and friends that have to have some kind of noise on all the time, a radio or television. Of course that drives me crazy because I want silence. Not to say that sometimes I like to listen to music or watch a movie on tv, but the majority of time silence is my preferred state. I have read The Highly Sensitive Person Person by Elaine Aron? Another great book.
    Thanks for visiting.

  3. I meant have you read The Highly Sensitive Person?

  4. I've heard about this book and want to read it. I am not introverted, but many of my clients are and I want to understand them more.

    I am happy to find your blogs. Thanks for following my Rose City Reader blog. I am following you back!


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