In today’s western society, introversion is often looked down upon in favor of being brash and aggressive to get your way. In “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” Susan Cain discusses western culture’s evolution from emphasizing character to its current focus on personality. In Cain’s view, this mistake overlooks the energy and talent of a whole segment of society. She includes many interviews and studies that support her claims about how society looks at and treats its quiet people. One thing is evident in this book: There is nothing wrong with needing your space.
Thoughtful accounts throughout the book portray many of the great introverts throughout history and how their contributions may not have happened at all if they had mistaken meekness for weakness. You will recognize names like Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Warren Buffett, and Dr. Seuss, who each changed the world in their ways. Cain explains that introverts are often too shy to speak up for themselves and be visible even though they may statistically outnumber extroverts. Although introverts do not enjoy getting too much attention, they still like to make an impact and can be hard workers.
When extroverts overshadow their counterparts, explains the author, society misses out on a lot of brilliant ideas. The book advocates for changes at home, work, and school to restore introverts to their rightful, equal place in the world. One suggested way to make space for the solitary is to allow for independent creativity in the workplace. Another option, if you are an introvert, would be to engage with your passions rather than seek rewards that will leave you drained and unfulfilled. Cain also offers some tips on how to communicate between extroverts and introverts. Even if you are not an introvert, you will gain a new appreciation for friends and family who share these characteristics.