Book thoughts: Quiet by Susan Cain

Note: This is the first such review I’m writing; I intend to continue this, but we’ll see what happens. I like reading, and like talking about books I read, so this may be a good fit. We’ll see.

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

This book attempts to explain the core differences between introverts and extroverts, and then deconstructs how introverts can find their space in an extroverted world.

I really enjoyed this book – it explains a lot about how extroverts and interacts interact, which is something I often struggle with. I’m a fairly introverted person, married to an extrovert, in a world that’s very extroverted.

How did this book help me? It broke down where conflict happens between introverts and extroverts. It offered concrete ways for introverts to fit in at work, school, and home.

It introduced a new concept to me – introverts tend to be highly sensitive people from birth, which is why they get overwhelmed in social situations. The opposite is also true – extroverts tend to be lower sensitivity; it’s much more comfortable for them in the middle of a party.

The end of Chapter 10 discusses dinner parties – this resonated with me. I want to entertain, and to interact with groups of people at our apartment. But it’s often difficult and draining for me – I tend to get overstimulated and have trouble enjoying the event. Quiet suggests that there are ways to make these social events more fulfilling and less draining through one simple step – make the event more flexible. Make dinner a buffet with seating around the house instead of everyone around one table. This instantly sounds much more comfortable for me.

In the interest of keeping this review short and actually publishing it, I’ll stop here. Each chapter (11 chapters in all) have a concept that can be applied to your life. I found myself constantly applying the examples to interactions in my life – it was very encouraging to find tips for how to work with difficult situations. I highly recommend Quiet – go read it.