Sunday, August 17, 2014

Quiet - The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking - Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks - Week 34

This week I chose to read Quiet - The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

The beginning of this book was great when she focused on "successful" introverts. Her message was to embrace introversion and make the best of who you are based on this quality. You can be very successful even if you are not outgoing.

Then the author moved into quotes and data from different psychological studies. Normally this would interest me, but she had a way of making the information dry and not engaging. At this point, she lost me.

I flipped through some the chapters and could not find anything that captured my attention. I couldn't imagine reading through 271 pages simply to say I read this book. It wouldn't have been a good use of my time.

That being said, there were some interesting points she made:

=> One third to one half of Americans are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.

=> Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are overstimulating.

=> Many introverts are also "highly sensitive." If you are more sensitive, then you're more apt than the average person to feel pleasantly overwhelmed by Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" or a well-tuned phrase or an act of extraordinary kindness. You may be quicker than others to feel sickened by violence and ugliness, and you likely have a very strong conscience.

=> When you were a child you were probably called "shy," and to this day feel nervous when you're being evaluated, for example when giving a speech.

I had high hopes for this book, but was disappointed about a third of the way into it. Thankfully the book I read last week about introversion was much more insightful and engaging.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Interesting. I haven't read this book, but my husband, who is definitely an introvert, listened to it on audiobook and LOVED it. He and my sister-in-law both recommended it to me (a shy extrovert) to help me better understand them. I wonder if the paper book versus the audio book made the difference. Thanks for your feedback!