Saturday, March 9, 2013

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

 I don't think this book really needs a synopsis. The title says it all: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking.

This insomniac introvert's opinion:

I found the information in this book to be fascinating. I am an introvert. In fact, there is a quiz at the beginning of this book to see if you are an introvert and I answered 'yes' to every, single one. This came as no surprise to me. I also know that all three of my children are introverts, although they vary on the spectrum of how introverted they may be. So this book is very relevant to my life.

I do have to say that parts of the book are very dry and I found myself wanting to skim over those sections. You can tell that the author is extraordinarily passionate about this subject and did an incredible amount of research. She profiles different celebrities that were famously introverted and the amazing contributions they made to society. My favorite was Eleanor Roosevelt, because she is my idol and I had no idea before reading this book that she was an introvert. I love that she was able to overcome her introversion in order to focus on her passion for change in this country. That was the most inspiring this that I read in this book.

If you are an introvert, like me, you may learn something new about yourself in the reading of this book. I am a pediatric nurse and was speaking to a co-worker about this book while I was reading it. She seems shocked when I said that I was an introvert. We've worked together for three years, so I was very surprised that she didn't realize how uncomfortable I am in social situations. She made me realize how extroverted I seem during patient care. My passion for working with children overrides my introversion during my work hours.  I am what the book calls "an introvert masquerading as an extrovert", but this does come at a cost to me personally. I come home from work mentally exhausted and in desperate need of down time to calm down. However, with three children, down time rarely happens. So I have developed insomnia, among other negative side effects. I realize that I need to continue to balance my passion for my job with my innate need to have a lot of quiet, introspective time.

So, if you are an introvert or a parent to an introvert, this book may be for you. It has great suggestions to overcome your introversion in social, work and school situations. They discuss the overwhelming use of "groupthink" in our schools and how that affects our introverted children. I found this discussion to be very relevant to my children's school career.

There were great quotes about introversion in the book, as well. My favorite is from Anais Nin:
"Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for center. So we lost our center and have to find it again."

Worth staying up all night to read?

I read this over the course of a month and it was not a book that I would be able to read straight through. However, it was definitely an interesting and informative read.

Rating: 4 stars

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