Author: Susan Cain
|Quiet (2012) by Susan Cain explains, why introverts may be severely undervalued, and how we can bring out the best in ourselves and others by changing the way we see introversion. In this Quiet book summary, you’ll learn the differences between introversion and extroversion, why both personality types have their strengths and weaknesses, and the broad implications for work and life.|
Susan Cain begins her book with a silent bang presenting all the achievements and accomplishments reached by introverts. She states that introverts are people who prefer to think more than talk. They need to spend time alone, do not seek out loud social gatherings, and usually feel guilty about their less friendly nature. Our Western society is indeed very pro-extroverted. We encourage people to speak, to make their voices heard, and to mark their place in history.
Meanwhile, introverts have quietly secured their places. Cain does an excellent job at demonstrating that introverts have their place in the world and should not be ashamed. She explores the slow rise of the extrovert ideal for success throughout the 20th century while making a case for the underappreciated power of introverts and showing up new ways for both forces to cooperate.
Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert you have the right to be provided with equal chances to contribute, work and rest in the ways that you prefer and that fits your personality. Quite advocates the fact that our education system is made to be ‘one type fits all’ and it only prefers people who speak openly and is social. There should be more activities and opportunities for people who are introverted so that they do not feel left out. The world needs as many introverts as it needs extroverts.
Quiet Book Summary Key Points
Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert determines if you like small talk
Introverts are what’s called “highly sensitive”, meaning they take in the information given to them, for example via stimuli from their environment, a lot more thoroughly than their extrovert peers. For example, an introvert can stand in front of a single big picture in a museum for 10 minutes, continuously observing and looking for new details to be found – a horror fantasy for an extrovert. Similarly, introverts don’t like small talk. They are engaged in profound conversations about life, values, morals, and ethics because it allows their highly sensitive information processing to thrive.
In Western cultures, extroverts are often presented as the ideal of success
We often perceive whoever’s the most confident to be the most competent and efficient as well. Being more sociable often leads people to think you’re also more interesting and willing to cooperate. But if you’re an introvert, sitting quietly in your corner, just listening and taking everything in, nobody will come and talk to you. More often than not, people will think you’re a weirdo. In our culture, extroversion is often seen as a prerequisite for success, which gives extroverts an unfair advantage.
Even the best schools, like Harvard, try to groom their graduates into extroverts, by forcing them through group work, seminars, presentations and even going out with fellow students at night as part of their program. Go to Japan, however, and you’ll find none of this. Students study quietly, take vigorous notes, and speaking without being asked is considered downright rude. Different countries, and different cultures, but in the Western world, the extrovert ideal prevails.
Companies should adapt their workplaces to let introverts make their best contribution
Due to the extrovert success ideal, most companies are tailored to extroverts. For introverts, this means they feel constantly interrupted, overloaded with information, and stressed. This makes it hard for them to thrive in such an environment. So, if you have a great introverted thinker on your team, don’t force them into a box they don’t fit into. Give them the option to work alone and let them flourish – as long as you keep an open mind, they’ll always come to you once they’re ready. Companies should consider this and have more options for introverts to spend time alone vs. Participating in group activities and meetings when they feel they have something to share. Cain points out the many business leaders of America who were introverts and suggests that companies stop catering their company culture to extroverts.
With Groupthink strategies and an emphasis on collaboration, introverts are failing to live up to their fullest potential. Instead, western culture thrives most when the strengths of each temperament are addressed. So, through recognition, communication, and cooperation, both introverts and extroverts can thrive and survive in the western world.
Quiet Book Quotes
“There is a lot of power in being introverted. They can think deep, they notice things, they build strong relationships, and they are excellent listeners.” –Susan Cain
“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured…Spend your free the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.” –Susan Cain
Quiet Book Summary Review
If you are an ardent reader of self-help books you will know that most of such books are directed toward a general audience regardless of their personality type. While these books claim that their advice can work for everyone Susan Cain argues that introverts and extroverts function differently. Not one type fits them all. They need different types of people around them, different work environments, and different habits. When we realize these distinctions, we give both personality types equal space and opportunities to grow. A quiet book summary will teach you to respect and assist the other personality type. This book is fantastic to learn about personality types like introverts and extroverts and its strength and weaknesses.
To Whom I Would Recommend Quiet Book Summary
- To anyone who is frustrated with being labeled as rude just because they like quietness.
- The 13-year-old just wants to sit in her room and read, play or do puzzles.
- The 43-year-old who works in an open office environment and thus feels overwhelmed a lot.