Book Review: Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Quiet by Susan Cain

Author: Susan Cain

Genre: self-help book

Publication date: 24 January 2012

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Number of pages: 333 pages


In this book, Susan Cain successfully explains how we, either as an introvert or extrovert, act socially different, the reason behind it, and how both personalities work together in a complicated world. 

We are not simply an extrovert or an introvert

Even though this book tells us about introversion and extroversion, Susan Cain write down a warning in the beginning of the book that we cannot simply classify humans into two stiff categories as an introvert or an extrovert. We are knotty human beings influenced by our own life background and varied external factors. 

Extrovert Ideal World

Some of us who identify ourself as an introvert tend to struggle to fulfill the society’s demand. It is because we are living in an extrovert ideal world. We are inclined to pick someone with extrovert personality as a leader because we think that they are full of action and communicative. Unfortunately a good thinker is not equal to a creative person. We are easily judge by its cover instead of substances. 

Introverts’ Hidden Talents

Introverts have hidden talent as great leaders. They are good listeners and love to take a step back and make a systematic plan to tackle the problem. They hate to be under the spotlight and be dominant. Thus, people with introvert personalities are suggested to be more supportive leaders so employees dare to take initiative. While extrovert person should be more calm and reserved when they lead a team. 

Maximum performance through group work is a myth

Susan Cain also speaks up about the good old working style that we are familiar with since young: collaborative or group working. Most of us misinterpret crowdsourcing as a way to boost productivity and excellence. We forget that solitude in a proper level has a significant factor to encourage creativity, for example how famous scientists discover breakthrough inventions. We can make a contra opinion that wikipedia or linux for that statement. 

Solitude is as important as group work

Solitude is crucial for us to identify our lack of knowledge, upgrade and keep track of our accomplishment, and improve it which leads to significant achievement.

Brainstorming in a company is an instance method to encourage employees to be more performant. However, study suggests that the outcome quality may get poor as collaboration size increases. Thus, it is essentially important to provide equilibrium in solitude and collaborative work to achieve maximum performance. 

Introvert is able to be temporarily extrovert

Some of us or maybe we know people who are personally introvert but they are good at social life. It is because our temperament can be loosened up to certain points for the type of work they take into so human can be adaptive and find our own comfort spot.

Your personality depends on where you are from

From region perspective, America is the most extrovert friendly followed by Europe and Asia as the most introvert region. This map personality is used not to show the superiority of certain region with its characters. It shows that there is a history of civilization behind each way of having contrast characters. I can relate with this situation when I studied abroad in Sweden. I tend to restrain my thoughts and prefer to be an observer when my European friends speaking up their mind. So did some of my Asian friends. I and my Asian friends love to make our assignment group together because we feel comfortable with each other with the way how we work and communicate. This differences in personality also explains the story behind the excellence of most Asians in math and science because they incline to be introverts who love to listen, write down subject material in notes, and persistence.

To sum up

The purpose of this book is not to emphasize that one type of personality is better than the other one. Social issue is easily come up because we don’t understand the difference in our personalities. In an extrovert ideal world, we can’t understand and make a system to work with people with introvert personalities. Thus, in each chapter and at the end of this book, Susan Cain suggest various approaches for either introvert and extrovert to work and appreciate each other and move towards in a better stage of life. 

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