Quiet – Review

A few years ago, I first learned of the term “introvert” while scrolling through Pinterest. I found this photo and immediately thought, “Yes, that’s me!”
I wish my parents would have done these things!

Giving a name to something that I felt made me seem strange my whole life was my first step in developing confidence about being a quiet person. After years of reading articles about introversion, and then finally taking they Myers-Briggs test to confirm I what I already knew, I finally was beginning to feel understood, or at least understanding myself. When I came across Susan Cain’s book, I knew I had to read it for the title alone. “Finally, someone gets it!!” As I dove into Quiet, I found myself underlining something on nearly every page. So many things were resonating with me after years of feeling like an outcast for being different from everyone else.

“By the time I was old enough to figure out that I was simply introverted, it was a part of my being, the assumption that there is something inherently wrong with me. I wish I could find that little vestige of doubt and remove it.”

Susan Cain delves into the history of introversion and the “Extrovert Ideal” America has placed on its citizens with the use of advertising and movies, and more so today with social media. Society feels the pressure to not only look beautiful and eye-catching but have a winning personality, too. Unfortunately, the Extrovert Ideal did not simply target adults, children with forms of shyness in the 1920’s were considered to have “maladjusted personalities” and were thought more likely to develop problems later in life such as alcoholism and even commit suicide. However, children with outgoing personalities were likely to reap the most benefits in life, including financial and social success. All of these misconceptions were peddled to create “like-able people”.

Luckily, people like Susan Cain have studied and written books to debunk these old-fashioned ideas, which have helped create the most accepting time in history for introverted people. Today, there is more understanding of quiet and sensitive people than ever before, though there still is a long way to go. One of the most interesting things I found in Susan Cain’s writing was that high-reactive introverts tend to actually sweat more and literally have thinner skin than extroverts. Scientists believe this is where the idea of being “socially cool” comes from     “the cooler the skin, the cooler you are.” Fortunately, in today’s times people like Susan Cain, Laurie Helgoe, and websites like Introvert Dear are making Introversion seem cooler than ever before. Introverts are learning ways to stay true to who they are without feeling the need to pretend to be someone else quite as much, and Extroverts are learning ways to nurture the Introverts they love.

“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Stay home on New Year’s Eve if that’s what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story. Make a deal with yourself that you’ll attend a set number of social events in exchange for not feeling guilty when you beg off.”

If any of these topics resonate with you, you are likely to also be a more introspective type of person, too. However, this book is beneficial to people of all personality types. I highly recommend this informative publication with the hope you will consider picking up a copy right away. You are likely to come away brimming with knowledge and newfound “quiet” confidence.

Purchase on Amazon!


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