Sunday, 11 June 2017

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

I really enjoyed reading this book the last couple of months and I can easily see it being in the top-10 favourite non-fiction books list of every "quiet" person that comes across it. It is for me. Definitely one of the best popular psychology books that I've read and will probably ever read. The author does a good job discussing concepts like assertiveness, certainty, charisma, charm, confidence, introversion, sensitivity, seriousness, shyness, sociability and verbal fluency in an understandable, relatable and not overly academic manner. If you haven't already, it's worth listening to the one of the author's talks at TED (20 minutes) or Google (40 minutes) before getting the book.

In closing, below are some of my favourite quotes from the book:
"As with other complimentary pairings – masculinity and femininity, East and West, liberal and conservative – humanity would be unrecognisable, and vastly diminished, without both personality styles [introversion/extroversion]."
"Introversion – along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness and shyness – is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man's world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we've turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform."
"Nor are introverts necessarily shy. Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating."
"The pressure to entertain, to sell ourselves, and never to be visibly anxious keeps ratcheting up."
"We fail to realise that participating in an online working group is a form of solitude all its own. Instead we assume that the success of online collaborations will be replicated in the face-to-face world."
"So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don't let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don't force yourself to seek breadth." 
"Probably the most common – and damaging – misunderstanding about personality type is that introverts are antisocial and extroverts are pro-social. But as we've seen, neither formulation is correct; introverts and extroverts are differently social."

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