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

For so long introverts have been undervalued for being too quiet, too shy or too serious. Why does being ‘loud’ get more attention and recognition? Is that because people have stopped to listen to what others have to say or is it because everywhere we go, corporations, big chains, and even universities impose the requirements that only extroverts can cope with? 

Not Everyone is a “Team Player”

To endure, people have to be team players, socialize every Friday after work and be involved in each conversation and meeting, providing as many ideas as possible. Since when is a quantity more important than quality? Universities require students to work in groups and collaborate as often as possible to achieve more. Big corporations have offices with open spaces to allow group collaboration for almost every part of the job. Have they ever thought that everyone has different learning patterns and that forcing people to work together will in most cases bring the opposite results rather than success?

Being an Introvert

I was very happy when I found out about this book. Being an introvert myself it is quite difficult to go through a university without putting yourself out of your comfort zone. I cannot remember how many group assignments I had to be involved with and how many times I tried to hide my shaking hands before presenting in public. Not to mention, trying to share an idea or get your point across in a group full of extroverts. Susan Cain helped me to see strengths in being an introvert and also helped me to understand extroverts which I think is crucial if you want to progress in your career or just simply enjoy the way you are. 

Underestimating Introverts

Susan Cain argues that we underestimate introverts and by doing so we lose so much. She presented the ‘Ideal Extrovert’ throughout the last century and discussed how profoundly it pervades the current culture we live in.  She changed the perception of how introverts are seen. Being quiet does not mean being weak, as Rosa Parks clearly showed us by saying a simple ‘no’ to a bus driver when asked to give up her seat for a white passenger in 1955. Cain also does not deny group work but she also argues that working alone is much needed and should not be perceived as weakness. She presented wide research done by professors and doctors from all over the world who studies the nature of introverts and helps others to understand them better.

Quiet should be read by everyone as it permanently changes how we perceive introverts and what is more important how introverts perceive themselves.

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