Quiet by Susan Cain is the holy book of the Introvert Religion. All introverts must read it for further insights to who they are. The book takes a scientific approach to explaining introvertism, while giving extrovertism the space it deserves.
If you are an introverted geek, this book is just how you like it – backed by scientific research, point to point. It relies on many case studies by the author herself and scientific research by others.
The book emphasizes how quietness is only the other side of a coin, that the world neglected for long.
Cain tries to demythify that a lot is achieved in groups. She argues that best of work is always done by individuals, in solitude. This stand true in even the most unlikely professions like social activism. At the same time, it acknowledges the importance of group activities when necessary. Nowhere does the book sound one sided.
Quiet throws light on the likes of Warren Buffett and Seth Klarman. They are investors who managed to flourish even in the times of crises like 2008 stock market crash. If you have guessed they were both introverts, you are right. Read the book to know why and how they managed it.
There are many socio-cultural reasons why the Extrovert culture developed in the west. Along with them, we get to read how eastern societies have been encouraging introvertism traditionally. Being quiet is in fact respected as a sign of wisdom in Asia.
In a chapter dedicated to the married life of the extroverted POTUS Franklin Roosevelt and his introverted wife Eleanor, the book discusses strengths and weaknesses of both personality types. It shows how the couple used them to prosper together at work and personal lives.
Susan Cain’s skillful decoration of the people she interviewed keep you involved in the narrative. It makes you relate and feel sympathy to them. In a world full of extroverts boasting their skills, young introverts may feel directionless. They wonder, or even neglect, what they are unbeatable at. This book can help a lot to give them a direction. It has valuable suggestions even for extrovert bosses, teachers and parents to handle the quiet ones better. It notes and advises on the differences that arise when the two types come together – be it marriage, work, or child-parent relationship.
I’d say this is a very insightful and comprehensive book on its topic. It is a must read for everyone. No matter which side you are on, I’m sure it will help you realize something new, about yourself and about the people you live with.