Are you an introvert? Do you feel like you can’t find your place in society? Susan Cain addresses the difficulties of being an introvert in an American culture where being extroverted is the ideal. She provides the history of the rise of the extrovert as the ideal employee or job seeker and discusses the scientific research into the very different mindsets–in other words, theories into what makes extroverts and introverts so different. Cain emphasizes the importance of the hesitation and inward gazes that introverts favor may lead to better decisions and heightened creativity, something that this culture greatly values. In the face of collaboration and constant talking, Quiet asks readers to consider the role of the introverts and the things that they have to offer toward this culture.
This book was a great read! As an introvert myself, I related quite a bit to the societal pressures that Cain describes. It got me thinking about my interactions and the expectations that I and society puts upon me. As a result of this book, I am more convinced than ever that some kind of balance between extroversion nd introversion needs to be struck, both on the individual and national level. I agree with the idea that America is spiraling into a purely mechanical state, where they try to create the things they value without considering all that society has to work with. However, I don’t think the book is just for introverts! Cain writes in an extremely accessible style, which is particularly nice when she discusses scientific research. Although I have read quite a bit of psychological research, it was still nice to read a work that so nicely summarized the research in an easily digestible fashion. Also, I think there are some potentially helpful tips for interacting with individuals who are on the other end of the spectrum from you.
Despite the advice, I still think Cain leans pretty heavily into supporting the introverts over the extrovert. I would be curious to hear the opinion of an extrovert to see if the book is overtly biased, or if extroverts find it as compelling or helpful. Overall, it’s a fantastic read, asks great questions, and I definitely recommend it!