CommanderStrikeher’s #CBR IV Review #16: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
My best friend of 12 years (and recent roommate) is definitely one-of-a-kind. If left to his own devices, he would never leave the house, and he would never talk to anyone. He’s not misanthropic, he just prefers to keep to himself. He likes to sit in the dark and just think. He loathes change and technology and sometimes he can frustrate the Hell out of me. When I saw this book at the store, I knew that I needed to read it as soon as possible. Finally, a manual to help me understand him! However, as I started listening to this book, I realized that I also have quite a bit of introverted tendencies. I prefer reading to listening, and I cannot handle sensory over-stimulation. If you want to watch me go all “HULK SMASH!”, play the radio and turn on the TV at the same time.
Quiet examines how society and business culture has come to worship the gregarious extrovert. Only outgoing people who can give entertaining presentations could possibly have anything worth saying. Most young schoolchildren now have their desks in groups or “pods”. Most offices are designed with open floor plans to easier facilitate group work. Everyone seems to think that group work is better. Except maybe it isn’t. Are we squashing creativity instead of fostering it? Yeah, probably.
Quiet is not just a book for introverts. There are chapters that discuss what happens when extroverts live with introverts or when extroverts have introverted children. This book also discusses how when introverts have to fake outspokenness it can be utterly exhausting. It gives some tips on coping, such as finding an quiet place to decompress.
I keep recommending this book to friends and co-workers. I thought it was fascinating, and I actually learned a lot about myself.