The Power of Introverts

All of us have little habits that we do or characteristics in our personality...things that we don't really understand why we do them even though sometimes they affect our lives in good or bad ways. Why would I rather sit on the couch at home than go out and socialize with others? Why is it hard for me to speak up in class but I have no problem talking expressively and openly in smaller groups?

The book that I just finished reading has really opened my eyes and helped me to understand why I am the way that I am. A month or so ago Susan Cain gave a forum at BYU at introversion and extroversion. It was really fascinating and I felt like I was beginning to understand so I decided to read her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. This book has really changed the way that I see myself and understand my own behavior. I've loved reading this book.

This is obviously a non-fiction book about introversion and it really is a fascinating read. I'll give you a little taste by sharing the synopsis on the back of the book:

"At least one-third of the people we know 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. Suess, Steve Wozniak--that we owe many of the great contributions to society.

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts--from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves."

Sections of this book discuss how the extrovert has become the ideal, especially in American culture, how both nature and nurture affect temperament and gives advice for working and dealing with relationships in which people are opposites. I can now understand that I'm an introvert because I'm highly reactive to outside stimuli and I unwind by being away from people. I'm quiet sometimes because I'm better at observing and analyzing than speaking up.

I highly recommend this book to any introvert out there who is interested in understanding their personality type, accepting themselves, and helping them adapt to a variety of situations. This book is also helpful for extroverts who have an interest in understanding those who are their personality opposites and seeking for better harmony in their relationships.


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