This was an interesting read. The first third of the book made me feel good. Finally, someone that understands! 

There were anecdotes used to convey how introverts are different from extroverts. To relate the struggles of being one in a society that puts a high value on extroversion. It was all fine and pretty well-researched. A lot of times I found myself bobbing my head and completely relating to the text. 

Studies have shown that, indeed, introverts are more likely than extroverts to express intimate facts about themselves online that their family and friends would be surprised to read, to say that they can express the ‘real me’ online, and to spend more time in certain kinds of online discussions.

I especially enjoyed the advice and tips on how to parent an introverted child. Very useful and insightful. 

And then my feelings started to change. Apparently, if an introvert wants to succeed in this society, we have to create an “extroverted persona”. Do you know how awful that sounds? You want me to play a part, so that others will accept me? Rather than they accepting me as is? What kind of message is that? 

To top it off, the author relates stories of introverts that have taken on that gregarious persona. Yes, they’ve been more successful but they’re miserable. As I expected. They talk about how rundown they feel, how depressed, how utterly drained by a farce they have to keep up for so long.

Some people act like extroverts, but the effort costs them in energy, authenticity, and even physical health.

Yet, the “extroverted persona” is still given as sound advice? WTF?!

Look, I’m already damaged enough. I can’t and won’t do something completely bonkers so others will like me. Why should I conform and make myself miserable in the process? You know what? I’m happy being myself, thanks. Damn society and its extroverted ideal. 

2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge.

Challenge update: 41/50
Prompt: a book by an author with the same first or last name as you 
[My mom named me Susan :)] 

“Books hold the key to her career”

Bruh! For real? 

First of all, where do they get this from? And second of all, does this mean I was destined to be a bookworm from birth??

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

  1. I have noticed that about introverts that they do come across online as more likely to reveal intimate details about themselves that they ordinarily wouldn’t do to friends or family which, fair enough, is up to them. They might feel more comfortable that way, and it is their digital space. I will be honest… sometimes it makes me uncomfortable if I know they wouldn’t say something like that to my face because I feel like there’s a misrepresentation. 😞 But, it’s up to them, hopefully they build the courage to do that face-to-face one day. My own rule is: don’t write anything on social media to someone that you wouldn’t to their face. I’m not talking about mean comments just more so personal details about their lives.

    Instead of an extrovert persona, there needs to be a balancing act. You will have to build cordial relationships with your colleagues (depending on your profession) and they, in turn, need to respect introverts need for privacy. Having said that, I’ve seen introverts do well without having to fake who they are.

    The bookworm part is hogwash. Introvert doesn’t equal bookworm. That’s a bit of an over presumption.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It takes us a while to get comfortable in real life but once it happens, well watch out haha. We’ll get there. It just takes a little time. But for introverts working in a fast-paced environment, they may not have that luxury. You’re right. Balance is key.

      Ooh there was also a point about introverts opening up quickly when talking about something they’re passionate about. So take books as an example. I could walk up to a stranger and talk books with them. But if it were something that I don’t care about, like Football (American) then I’ll just listen to this complete stranger tell me about that crappy sport.

      People are so weird. But I love it. Trying to better understand ourselves and others is so interesting.

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  2. I love this post and have had my eyes on this book for awhile now. I’m an introvert, too, and I can’t stand when people tell me I need to be more “confident” when in reality they mean I need to be more extroverted. I am confident! I just don’t feel the need and many times don’t feel comfortable being around so many people I know at once. I think what the book says is so true, putting on an extroverted persona when you’re an introvert is tiring lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right?! I’m confident in some regards but just because I don’t flaunt it doesn’t mean I’m not. The book talks about how the extrovert ideal has been pushed on society. And why it’s probably not a good thing. We need a balance. Pretty good book. Didn’t like some things but I really did feel understood.

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  3. I agree with you I have loved reading since a very young age and apparently according to mum when I was still too little to know how to read I used to sometimes open the bedtime stories book and pretend to read them in my own made up language.

    I guess we all have a piece of bookworm in us from the beginning but then we decide whether we want that little piece to become bigger or fade away 🙂

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  4. I understand the need to act extroverted sometimes–just as extroverts need to act introverted sometime. To me, it’s just a way of communicating, not necessarily a personality change. For example, if I am speaking publicly, I speak more loudly and act way more upbeat/peppy than I would normally. I’m trying to generate interest, not pretend I’m someone I’m not.

    In the same vein, I sometimes act more extroverted around people who seem shy or nervous, or who are extroverted. I need to be more extroverted so the shy person doesn’t bear the burden of keeping up the conversation. I don’t speak loudly because I don’t want to come across as aggressive or annoying, but I do talk more than I might usually. It’s my way of letting them get more comfortable because they know I’m not just going to stare at them and wait for them to talk, and then complain that they’re “not saying anything.”

    With extroverted people, I am more extroverted sometimes because that seems to be their communication style. I don’t want them to think I’m unfriendly or don’t care about them, so I try to talk to them the way they talk.

    To me, it’s all about making connections. I try to read the situation and the individual, then find the best way to make them feel comfortable and heard. Some people are much more accepting of quiet and, in those cases, I won’t talk as much. I try to let the conversation flow at their natural pace. Some people, however, read silence as judgment or disinterest. So I would be more extroverted in my interactions with them.

    I think of this as flexibility, versus a personality change. A personality change suggests that I’m pretending to be someone I’m not for an extended period of time. So I don’t go into job interviews acting overly extroverted because I can’t do that all day without being exhausted. And, frankly, I don’t want to work for someone who doesn’t value my particular skills or who doesn’t understand that workplaces need introverts and extroverts. (The person who spent hours doing that monotonous task without speaking to anyone and while making sure every detail was correct? Yeah, they were probably an introvert.) I think the author was suggesting we be flexible, not change who we are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely depends on the situation. Sometimes I feel comfortable enough that my gregarious side pops out. But the examples in the book were specifically about people who keep up their extroverted persona for a longtime. Which sounds completely draining. It’s like you said, why would I work for someone that doesn’t allow my skill set to shine?

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      1. I don’t remember the book in detail, but I remember her discussing professions such as a professor. Academics tend to be introverted because you need to be in order to spend hours (or days or weeks) alone researching. However, most academics are expected to teach and research. One is an extroverted job and one is an introverted job. So I can see that cases like this would require someone to take on extroverted role for large periods of time, even if they became a professor because they are introverted and like to be alone with their books.

        It is arguably not ideal to have the same person do two very different jobs (some people are better teachers than researchers and vice versa). But, if you spent seven years in grad school and more years after that fighting to get a semi-regular position in a university, you are indeed going to have to pretend to be extroverted very often to succeed. I actually agree with her on this one. Some jobs require regular juggling of different personas. It’s not like the person was an introvert and went in for a sales person job, knowing they’d have to be extroverted 100% of the time. It’s more that they are taking on roles within their regular job that require putting on a different hat

        Plus, this works both ways. An academic who is a really extroverted teacher is going to need to act introverted sometimes. If they don’t stop socializing and lock themselves into their office with quiet time to read and write, they’re not going to succeed, either.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hm, that makes sense. See you worded it a lot better haha. I’m obviously not going to go into sales and not expect to interact with people. That’s a job requirement. I see what you’re saying. But somehow that’s not the message I got from the book..

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      3. Well, as I said, I don’t remember the details, you are going to have a clearer idea of what it actually says than I do! This is just the take-away message I would come up for myself. Sometimes I need to wear different hats or take on different roles. It will not necessarily be the most relaxing or enjoyable thing I do. But someone has to stand at the table and hand out flyers, so I guess I’ll pretend to be social for a couple hours. XD

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