MC  Quiet - The Power Of IntrovertsIt’s a pity that Susan Cain didn’t publish her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking about a decade ago; it might have saved me a lot of time and money in therapy. According to Cain (and I’ll back her up) the Western world is smitten by the Extrovert Ideal, the image of the gregarious, sunny, charismatic individual who works hard and plays hard and loves time in the spotlight of jolly, rambunctious company. By contrast, the introvert is the nerd, the wimp, the anorak, the shy person who barely speaks above a whisper and is despised for lack of social life. Cain’s book sets out to address this unjust hegemony, and to show via case studies and psychology experiments, how the introvert has different qualities whose absence we are beginning to miss quite acutely in our loudmouth culture.

Introversion is not about misanthropy, but about the different ways we soak up energy. Extroverts absorb the energy of a gathering; they need people around them to feel alive and vigorous. Introverts need time alone to generate energy, and when in company they expend it fast. This is because introverts process much more finely and extensively; the sort of mental multitasking required in group activities drains their natural powers, but they often emerge from such encounters having noticed more, felt more and deduced more than the extroverts. Indeed, a percentage of introverts are also ‘highly sensitive’ (I certainly am), which means they have even thinner boundaries than your average introvert, and cannot help but feel what other people feel, often to the detriment of their own sympathetic nervous systems. Introverts experience far more guilt when things go wrong and often cannot abide conflict, feeling that they have been unacceptably aggressed in the wake of others’ anger. They are more persistent and engaged in their studies and often very creative. They are far less motivated by the ‘buzz’ of reward. Because they listen well and nurture others they can make better leaders than the gung-ho, quick-witted action hero types. You just really, really mustn’t invite them to dinner parties, where they wilt and fade, and long to be somewhere else, alone.

I am an almost-off-the-scale highly sensitive, anxious introvert, and most of my life has been spent, as it were, on the edge of the playground, wondering why I cannot do the things ‘normal’ people do. Some examples:

The cinema is, for me, a form of torture with that ferocious surround sound and all those jump cuts designed to feel like a slap in the face. I emerge into daylight feeling like I’ve been beaten up.

My husband comes from a large and voluble family. Whenever there was a big gathering in his parents’ house, I would have to steel myself outside the dining room before walking into what felt like an avalanche of sound. There would come a point in every meal where several people were happily yelling at one another at once (his grandmother used to put up her hand when she wanted to say something) and I would realise that even my teeth hurt from the tension.

In the book, Cain describes an experiment intended to test guilt in small children; they are given a toy designed to break when they play with it, and an overseeing adult will monitor their reaction and say ‘Oh dear!’ When I read this, I was OUTRAGED. Someone call social services! I still bear the scars of those sorts of childhood mistakes.

When my son was little, I hated it when he was ill, because I would feel ill in sympathy, and this was additionally exhausting to staying up all night caring for him.

If you give me anyone, in face to face conversation for half an hour, I will be able to give you an x-ray of what that person is feeling, what their deepest wishes and fears are and (this seems to be a particular talent of mine) what they really do not wish to acknowledge about themselves. I don’t even want to know, but it’s not a choice.

The most fascinating chapter of Cain’s book for me was the one that described my life. It was about how far you can stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone, and her main example was a university professor, known for being an excellent speaker. He said he could pretend to be extroverted in the service of a greater ideal – his love of teaching. But when he was invited to come to lunch with the staff at a college who invited him to guest lecture, he preferred to hide in the bathroom. Even so, the professor paid a price for his excessive exertion by falling ill with pneumonia, and he now lives very quietly. Our personalities have some elasticity, and we can make deals with ourselves to act artificially on behalf of core personal projects. But we can only stretch so far, or else we become all limp and hopeless, like perished elastic. This, I know all too well; I’ve paid out all my possible extroversion up front, and now the quiet years commence.

I found Quiet to be a very engaging, easy read, packed full of information that was well organised and endlessly interesting. But I suppose I also had two main criticisms to make. The first was that, because Cain is concerned with improving the PR for introverts, she spends no time on the extent to which we are disadvantaged in our society, or how ill-equipped our culture is to provide us with what we need. I guess the critique is there by implication, and I can understand that she would wish to avoid the victim mentality, but it is so easy to victimise introverts. I don’t believe anything will change unless there is some realisation of just how wrong introverts can be made to feel. But just as in any disadvantaged binary opposition – men and women, the native and the foreigner also spring to mind – her book assumes that the goals and the ideals of extroversion are also those of the introvert. This is a book all about being ‘successful’, about the way introverts can head up companies, and become famous music journalists and top earning lawyers. And yet one of the greatest qualities in introverts, I feel, is their celebration of something so much quieter, calmer, and less needy. Very few of the great ‘successes’ in our society are people who have reached their position through passion alone. Most high achievers are damaged people, who are over-compensating or driven by forces they cannot control. They may well achieve, but they are rarely ordinarily happy. The current fascination with celebrity and success is part and parcel of the narcissistic culture we live in, a culture that privileges extroversion to the point of psychosis. Might not the real value of introverts be their ability to be happy with so very little, and the way it shows up the common grasping desire for too much?

55 thoughts on “Quiet

  1. I bought this when it came out and am looking forward to it.
    I’m not sure though that being an introvert and being oversensitive are always going hand in hand. You seem to be both but there are introverts who are only attentive to their own inner lives.
    Our society clearly has a hard time with introverts or just quiet people. You see that every time people are ebing promoted in big companies. Often they are capable but most of the time, they just know how to sell themselves.

    • Yes, Cain is much more careful than I am to make sure that introversion is not seen as a caricature of itself but subject to all manner of variations. As for what you say about business, this is definitely something she tackles in the book! Would love to know what you make of this one.

  2. Hi, I liked reading this post! I’ve been wanting to get hold of this book ever since I read about it on Psychology Today Magazine. I am also an introvert and finally starting to feel okay being awkward in the eyes of the others, in a society where extroversion is the norm and the valued.

    • Oh absolutely this is the book for you. It’s very validating for introverts and full of all kinds of interesting information. I thought I knew a fair amount about the subject but even so I learned a huge amount. I hope you enjoy the book!

    • Sigrun, I can quite believe it. I’d already read up on highly sensitive people, and that had helped me. But even so, this book brought a lot of things together for me in a very useful way.

  3. You know, I’ve never thought of this as being associated with my introversion, but a thing I value about myself is how much pleasure I take from small things. It makes it easy to feel celebratory for minor reasons, if that makes sense. Like, hey, I am putting milk in my coffee because it is the weekend! PARTY. PARTY. PARTY. :p

  4. Loved this review and especially your conclusions about our society. I hope you can put your move into ‘quiet’ into effective action if that is not a contradiction in terms.

    • Thank you! Oh I do hope for a ‘quiet’ revolution. 🙂 But seriously, I am looking forward more than I can say to reaching the point where working every day alone at my desk is the norm. It sounds like bliss.

  5. I read (in my undergrad psych book) that extraverts need more exterior stimulation to be happy. It’s a shame introverts are seen as weak or “wrong” when it’s them who self-maintain, and the extraverts who must seek stimulation outside themselves to be happy.

    • Absolutely! I’ll bet our carbon footprints are smaller too! But I think extroverts get validation from the commercial world that wants people out spending money and there’s nothing like being part of a big pack out seeking fun to make the costs rack up. Well, I may be cynical, but I don’t see so many adverts selling the pleasures of sitting quietly alone!

    • Susan Cain says that this is a particular problem in America, which she argues is one of the most extroverted nations in the world. I think the internet has helped introverts a lot, though, as there are more and more jobs available for work that can mostly be done online, and this must be a godsend to us quiet types! And of course, writing is one of the best introverted jobs there is.

  6. Wonderful, wonderful post, which resonated deeply with me. There are days when I crave solitude, not because I don’t like people (I do), but to generate the energy to be creative, either at work (giving lectures, designing experiments) or play (writing fiction), or even just to let my thoughts settle into clarity and catch up on things. As a lecturer, I love standing in front of students and showing them what an interesting subject they are studying today – some of these teaching moments have afforded me massive highs. I would also bring in oral rather than written examinations to see what a student really knows – a form of the X-ray you mention. And I really hate it when my kids are ill (not very often fortunately). I once slept on the floor of my son’s bedroom when he was 3 or 4, after he had been sick, just to make sure he would be OK.

    I’ve got two questions – one that I’ve meaning to ask for a while. Have you ever thought about writing a book review column for a newspaper? The other is something I’ve considered, but from your review I can see you may have these qualities in spades – have you ever thought about training as a psychotherapist?

    • Thank you, Mark! I think we have had very similar experiences of teaching as the way you describe the best bits of your job is almost word for word how I’d describe the best bits as I found them, too! As for your questions, I would LOVE to write a book review column for a newspaper – if only! And yes, sigh, I have thought a great deal about psychotherapy as a profession. My friend and manager at the book shop who is a trained therapist herself keeps telling me it’s just a matter of time before I cave. I worry about my ability to keep separate from people’s problems, though. I used to end the interview period just steeped in candidate’s nerves! But she tells me you get trained up in that sort of thing. Well, I keep thinking about it and hopefully time and destiny will give me a prod in the right direction, whatever that may be.

  7. The connection between introversion and being highly sensitive really interested me in this book because it’s not something that I had thought about. I am quite introverted, but I’m not particularly sensitive in the way you describe, as far as feeling other people’s feelings. For me, the sensitivity comes in being extremely sensitive to various stimuli, such as sounds, smells, even sensations involving the way my clothes rub against my skin. That tendency is something I’d never noticed about myself until I read this book, but reading those descriptions, everything fell into place.

    I liked the professor story a lot too because it sounded like something I would do. Public speaking has never been much of a struggle for me. I actually enjoy performing or speaking in front of people in a controlled environment. But any sort of small talk afterward saps me completely.

    • Teresa, I always used to feel that if I had to interact with 50 people, I would so much rather lecture them than have to have a cocktail party with them! I used to be very good at public speaking, but to be honest I did always find it quite draining. Very interesting about your responsiveness to stimuli. Cain says that sensitivity can come out in all kinds of variations, doesn’t she? Like you, I did have several moments of revelation reading this book – for me the main one was about conflict, and how horrified I feel by it, even though I know in theory it is unavoidable. I do feel turned on, though, and can hardly bear to be physically near someone who has aggressed me verbally. I found that section truly enlightening.

    • Re: high-sensitivity, I’m reading –or listening to, rather– a book mentioned in “Quiet”: Elaine Aron’s “The Highly Sensitive Person” and it has been very illuminating thus far. It has all the psychology missing in Quiet and quite a few tips on how to handle over stimulation in a day-to-day basis.

      That’s all. I’ll go back to my corner now 🙂

  8. I love your post. I’m an introvert too and am reading this book. It’s opened my eyes about myself – I’m not as highly sensitive as you are, and I did manage to stretch myself enough to give talks and actually enjoy them – but only if I was able to prepare in advance. And I most certainly need periods of quiet to recharge my batteries. An excellent book.

    • Margaret, I will be so interested to read your review (I have awful trouble getting your posts to show up in my feed reader, no idea why!). I thought it was an excellent book too, and it’s interesting how many of my online friends are introverts. I think the internet is a godsend for us quiet people – socialising happens at the perfect distance in the virtual world!

  9. I’m really enjoying the insights that Cain has here and it’s made me look at extraversion and introversion in a whole new light. I’m glad to see that you had a couple of criticisms too. One criticism I had is that I would prefer more of a psychological focus. I agree that she does a great PR job for introverts but, as you say, it’s not all about the traditional markers of success. You make an excellent point about the quiet gains of introversion.

    • Yes, I know just what you mean. When I first started it, I was confused. Was this just a book about business, then? It sort of felt like a management guide initially, which threw me a little. I felt she was extremely careful not to prescribe any particular trajectory for introverts, but I became very sensitive to the way that each case study or example she used was of someone who was classically ‘successful’ in the world, and I just found myself quibbling with that. A real revolution by the quiet people would mean changing goals and ambitions too, no?

  10. I read this book a couple of months ago and am about as affected by it as you seem to be. I wish I’d read it twenty years ago when I thought introversion was a stigma to be embarrassed about, rather than a more physiological way of dealing with sensory input. I would highly recommend it to anyone even slightly introverted.

  11. I remember when this book first came out and Cain was being interviewed on many of the radio networks (your problem with the cinema extends to the television where I’m concerned). I kept thinking I ought to read it but was frightened that I would find it too revealing and too painful. I am definitely with the professor. I can only handle being in a group of more than about three if I’m going to teach it. I taught for almost forty years through what little extrovert I have in me and the experience drained me to the point where now even a couple of monthly lectures defeat me. I once heard the singer Emma Kirkby asked if her personal listening was large orchestral pieces to balance the more intimate early music works for which she is famous. Her reply was that she always preferred the smaller scale works. “I am,” she said, “a small scale person.” I hang onto that as my mantra now. I am a small scale person.

    • And yet you are someone I always think of as having a very rich cultural life, always attending talks and going to the theatre and reading and listening and thinking. One can be rich on a small scale, I think. I admit that I have given Mr Litlove quite a few lectures about the thoughtlessness of extroverts (of which he is one) while reading this book, and it did make me feel mildly angry for all the times I have felt wrong and displaced because I did not want to go on an expedition holiday with a jolly team of travellers or have struggled to attend a party or other social gathering. However, it is a very interesting book for anyone who is introverted. But still, you know your own tolerances best and I am all for protecting myself where possible!

  12. I am certainly a quiet person, very comfortable with my own company, and I dislike large groups. But there often seems to be an assumption that introverted people lack confidence, and I don’t think this needs to be the case at all, in fact if anything I would describe myself as quietly confident. It seems to me that very often it is the most extrovert people who really lack confidence, as they are constantly seeking the validation of others.

    • Neil, I know just what you mean. There can seem something very needy about seeking the approval of a crowd. Cain is very good in her book about making sure that there are no negative stereotypes of introversion in play, and she stresses all the variations possible on the scale. However, my feeling is that introverts can have a greater tendency to lack of confidence simply because they are conscious of not being able to do certain things that are culturally validated. It seems that the best kind of introversion comes with a stubborn streak, that ensures its owner stays true to what he or she genuinely wants. Good for you if you have that!

  13. I’d been reading Susan Cain’s blog about the book for months before it was published last year, and splurged at once on the hardback. Like you, I both love it and have major criticisms. As ever, you express the latter supremely well.

    I remember vividly the first time I read about the notion that an introvert has a very easily stimulated cerebral cortex and constantly seeks to moderate the level of stimulation, whereas an extravert’s is much harder to stimulate and they’re always seeking more stimulation. I think it was in a book by the wonderful Dorothy Rowe. I wasn’t sure if I could believe this literally (and I’m still not – I think we really don’t know; we know so little still about the brain), but, whether it’s scientific fact or just a vivid metaphor, this was a ‘yes, that’s it’ moment that has never gone away.

    • I did not know she had a blog! How interesting it must have been to read that as publication approached.

      That little shift of perspective, from seeing introversion as being about relating to people, to being about levels of stimulation and energy makes such a huge difference. Suddenly, it’s not personal any more. I actually think all introverts should hand this book out to extroverted loved ones. Finally! An end to the arguments. I have always felt such a wimp about things like the cinema, and it is so very reassuring to understand where that preference comes from.

  14. Isn’t it a good book? When I read it about a year ago now I found it to be kind of creepy at times, like Cain had been spying on me. Otherwise, how could she possibly know so much about me? I didn’t get the impression that Cain was in anyway urging introverts to be like extroverts. I thought she provided some good advice on how to cope in an extroverted workplace and find ways to carve out the kind of space we need to be successful no matter what we do. I do agree that she is striving to give introverts some good PR which can’t hurt really but it does come off sometimes as an attempt to explain ourselves and prove that we are just as good as extroverts so please stop picking on us now.

    • Oh I agree, I don’t think she is urging introverts to be extroverts. What I was trying to say (and probably very clumsily) is that what we think of as ‘success’ in our society is very bound up with the sorts of rewards that extroverts chase after. I felt that a proper ‘quiet’ revolution might actually challenge the whole notion of success in worldly terms. I know that my idea of success these days is about actually experiencing every moment of pleasure I get in a day, from the simplest of interactions and the time I take in contemplation and writing. This is a huge turnaround for me, as previously my idea of success had been a conventional one, determined by external markers – publications, or papers given, student evaluations of my work, status, and so on. My own experience has been one of turning away from those extroverted goals that never actually gave me any sort of buzz, to much quieter ones that few people understand!

      And lol, you can call Cain now and get her to take down the CCTV in your house. She can take it out of mine, too! We’ve given her enough material. 😉

      • Thanks for the clarification! I wonder though, can we lay the conventional ideas of success at the feet of extroverts? It’s a bit of a chicken and egg thing, which came first, extroverts or conventional ideas of success? I know plenty of introverts who gladly pursue success in all its conventional glory and several extroverts who have a very different idea of what constitutes success. I suspect extroverts might find it easier to be conventionally successful and have probably tweaked the ideal in their favor through the years but I think we introverts haven’t been very good at speaking up and challenging it. That’s the biggest dilemma, isn’t it? In order for change to happen we have to step up into the spotlight, something completely against our natures.

        Heh, yeah, we have given her more than enough material, turn off the CCTV please! 🙂

  15. This sounds like an excellent read–and I’m with you on the cinema. The last time I tried it, I had to leave because I felt so horribly assaulted. I also think it’s immensely important for introverts to find a way of being in the world that doesn’t overextend them or demand resources they don’t have.

    • David – you too? Oh I am reassured by the solidarity. I completely agree – it IS all about finding ways to manage those resources, something I have been stunningly bad at in the past, and which I am trying to do a lot better now. I used to feel I’d had to settle for a small life, but looked at in this light, I can see it is simply a differently organised life, which feels so much more encouraging.

  16. I read (or gulped down, honestly) parts of this book standing in a bookstore, and you’ve summed up the rest.
    I think it’s good that there’s a dawning consciousness that some people are drained by being in company. I’ve found it less awkward in the last few years to tell people I need to be alone. I’m dreading two weekend trips coming up, though, because they’re with people I can’t tell to leave me alone for a while–one is my mother, and the other is a good friend who is a little on the Asperger’s scale, and so not very sensitive to the need for withdrawal.

    • Jeanne, I freak out completely when I have to go into situations with people who either don’t understand or, ultimate horror, will berate or reproach me for my limitations. It feels so wounding. I really hope you can find excuses for some quiet alone time on your weekend trips. It would be wonderful to think that the physical need for peace and quiet could actually become something widely understood and accepted. My life would certainly be easier for it.

  17. So much of this sounded true for me –

    I re-charge only in solitude; put me in large groups and I get drained really really fast. I’m careful about the stories, media, and groups of people I expose myself to – I only take doses I know I’ll be able to handle. (My peculiar talent seems to be to literally live in the words I read or stories I hear – I have images in my mind of what’s going on while exposing myself to the narrative)

    I used to fall ill in sympathy too – something I really did not like.

    Like the professor I can be the charming, gets-work-done extrovert at work place but I need to head home and do absolutely nothing after that.

    Amazing. I didn’t know… that all this was *normal*. I might end up reading this one too.

    P.S. Over the years, I’ve ended up carving out slices of ‘me-time’ throughout the day. This could include reading a blog I enjoy, listening to music that soothes, or just taking a minute or two to breathe in and out deeply. My favourite ‘me-time’ time is night time. I love the silence and the absolute and utter quiet that seems to wrap me up.

    • Juhi, you have become good at finding what this book calls ‘regenerative niches’! Your instincts are clearly excellent! Oh yes, I really would urge you to read this one if you can. I think it will make a lot of things clearer, and I have certainly found it to be encouraging and validating. I know just what you mean about living in stories – I gave up watching the news several years ago now because I knew it would compromise my mood quite severely. Mr Litlove follows world affairs quite closely, so I leave that responsibility to him (he is perfectly happy about that) and stick with literary narrative (which I have a strong suspicion is often a literature of introversion). I’d love to know what you think of this if you do read it.

  18. I’m never really sure I fit the introvert template, but there is def a lot of introvert in me (ugh small talk with strangers – so draining) but I find situation and mood are very important. I love going out as long as it’s somewhere I want to go, with people I am comfortable with. I do like to have time to recharge, but find the level of my need and tolerance for missing this time changes with my life circumstances instead of staying constant. But perhaps there is something in this book about changing levels of introversion? I’m certainly not an extrovert, whatever my levels anyway because take me outside my comfort zone and I hatesssss it 😛

    • Cain is really good in the book about making sure that all sorts of introverts are represented, and in stressing the variations and complications of the scale. She also says it is perfectly possible to be halfway between an introvert and extrovert – something I think my son is as he can find ways to be quite comfortable either alone or in crowds (he says this is because he has inherited genes from both introverted me and extroverted Mr Litlove). I also think that I was more comfortable with social events when I was in my late teens and twenties. Although even then, I was picky about what was comfortable and what wasn’t. I am so with you on comfort zones though! I am equally dismayed if I ever have to tread outside one, and these days I avoid doing so quite strenuously! 🙂

  19. It’s so sad that this book even needs to be written. That we introverts need justification for our being. But of course, I’m afraid this is a little like “preaching to the converted”… no? I hope not. I hope extroverts will read it.

    As for the cinema, Oh… how I wish I can make some recommendations for Cain. There are still, now and in the past, quiet, meditative, and meaningful films I’m sure she’ll thoroughly enjoy. Just don’t go for the Hollywood label.

  20. Wonderful review of a book I think I’d love. I am definitely an introvert. My parents used to worry about me – at kindergarten, when all the other kids were playing together, I apparently walked around the perimeter of the playground all by myself! I’m sure these days I’d have been diagnosed with something, but back then they just said I was odd. Fortunately my mother is also an introvert, so didn’t try to “cure” me by thrusting me into more and more social occasions, which is what I think happens to a lot of people.

    Here’s an article you might like from The Atlantic – it’s from 10 years ago, but I only discovered it last year. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-for-your-introvert/302696/

  21. Loved this post Litlove: so thoughtful and well written, as always.

    I saw Cain’s TED talk & loved it, especially her discussion of the current US education focus on “group work” for everything. But I ended up only reading a few pages of Quiet, because the tone somehow alienated me. I’ll have to give it another go one of these days.

  22. I’ve read parts of this book and parts of other books like it, such as The Introvert Advantage, but I’ve always known I was an introvert and liked that about myself, at least when I was alone. When in public, I felt intimidated and overwhelmed by all the extroverts. Luckily I’m now married to a fellow introvert, so together we spend our time reading quietly at home and only going out to bookstores. I read somewhere that everyone wants to marry an extrovert–they would marry each other or an introvert and extrovert would marry, but there were no introvert/introvert relationships. Mine may be rare, but it’s peaceful and very supportive and caring! I knew as a teenager that I preferred shy boys but for years struggled with the fact that they all seemed to prefer loud girls. My husband had only dated extroverted girls before he met me, but had found them inconsiderate of him being more sensitive. Now he values all my introvert traits, when for years it seemed that everyone was just trying to bash me over the head to become more outspoken and ‘fun’ and all that nonsense. 😉

    But although our introvert marriage has worked out, my husband and I both struggle a lot with finding jobs that will not make us feel crazy (since we’re also both highly sensitive and depressed too). I’m now training to be a medical transcriptionist since I just want a job where I can work quietly at a computer and be left alone.

    Speaking of sensitivity to things, I hate watching sports. My friends once dragged me to a basketball game and all the shouting and crowding and uncomfortable seats were so horrible, I had to lie down. I hated being forced to play sports in school too and I now really wish the gym teachers had said this class is just to help you stay healthy, instead of making it such a competition and status thing. I can’t remember a single sympathetic gym teacher or one who made it fun and unterrifying. Now that I’m older and more sedate, I’m wishing that I didn’t equate all exercise with crazy extroverts! I’ve also often wished I could find a church for introverts, where the music was calming and the speaker was thoughtful and genuine, without all of the overly aggressive hard sell tactics I’ve seen used over the years in churches. Anyway, this comment is long enough! 🙂 Thanks for writing about this.

  23. I ordered this book (and it now sits by my bedside) after I received your last email! I am an introvert, too, as you so well noticed and find much of what you write here resonates, too, with how I feel and deal with the world. I can totally sympathize (empathize?) with others to the point of feeling their pain, which can be hard and draining. And I often feel steamrolled over by people at times–talked over and forgotten, to the point I sometimes just don’t bother ‘speaking up’. It can be very hard and I often think people just don’t listen or ‘hear’ me–also very difficult. And I live in fear of having to take center stage in anything–even if I feel confident of what I know or am doing–the thought of having to be in front of others and the possibility of failure is hugely nerve wracking–then I do usually fail in making my point. I stutter and get hot and red cheeked. Well, I think you know exactly what I mean. I am really looking forward to reading this–thanks for writing about it!

  24. “The current fascination with celebrity and success is part and parcel of the narcissistic culture we live in, a culture that privileges extroversion to the point of psychosis. Might not the real value of introverts be their ability to be happy with so very little, and the way it shows up the common grasping desire for too much?”

    Perfectly put.

  25. Pingback: Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain | BooksPlease

  26. I think this book would change the world if everyone would read it. I am a closet introvert. I’ve learned to appear an extrovert to be successful in business but I am always at my best when I have more time in solitude and quiet.

  27. Pingback: Tales from the Reading Room

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