Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Quiet - Susan Cain

Ever since I scored as an extreme introvert in a work administered Myers-Briggs test, I have been fascinated with the qualities of introverts and extroverts- the different ways that we learn, interact, express ourselves, and of course conduct ourselves vis-a-vis other people (or alone, as the case may be).  Quiet is a thorough examination of the lives of introverts - how and why we behave the way we do, and how best to function in a world that values the qualities of extroverts.  But rather than encourage introverts to overcome their natural instincts, it is a book about embracing the positive in introversion and using it to your advantage in business and relationships.  The book is, of course, written by an introvert, and is definitely biased in favor or extolling the virtues of introversion over extroversion, but despite this, I felt it had many valuable insights and I found myself nodding my head vigorously as I read much of it.  There is a significant amount of the book dedicated to business and product development by introverts - which I wasn't that interested in.  I did like the parts about extroverts raising introvert children (though my husband and I seem to have found our introvert selves in the opposite position of having spawned an extrovert).  This books is comprehensive, and does much to dispel the myth that introverts are simply shy hermits who don't know how to interact with others.  It served to validate my existence, but also give me some comfort that I do have much to offer in a world that seems to value all those boisterous loud-mouths.

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