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


source: purchased
title: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
author: Susan Cain /Twitter
genre: non-fiction/self-help
pages: 360
published: January 29, 2013
first line: Montgomery, Alabama.
rated: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

My thoughts:

It took me a while to get this review up because I truly enjoyed this book and I wanted to write an articulated post without rambling. This is the kind of read that begs to be discussed and I definitely could go on and on about it.

Being a natural born introvert, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking grabbed my attention straight away. Author Susan Cain covers intro and extroversion in great detail here and as I read I could relate time and again to what she was saying.

The author highlights famous introverts such as Rosa Parks and Eleanor Roosevelt and shares how their quiet strength helped changed the course of history. This quote below sums it up and the author really gets it when saying that “introverts and extroverts are differently social”.

Probably the most common- and damaging-misunderstanding about personality type is that introverts are antisocial and extroverts are prosocial. But as we’ve seen, neither formulation is correct; introverts and extroverts are differently social.
p.240, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

I have always been quiet, it is just my way. “You are too quiet Naida” and “You need to come out of your shell” and other comments like those have been tossed my way all my life. In high school one of the popular girls once told me “You are too pretty to be so quiet”.  I never forgot that because I wondered why she thought attractiveness with chattiness went together.

Susan Cain points out that there is a kind of guilt associated with introverted people, because they are made to feel that there is something inherently wrong with being quiet. It is very true, when we live in a world that pushes being outgoing and where the loudest take center stage, being introverted can be a daily challenge; many times introverts are overlooked.

There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.-Susan Cain

This was an interesting read as Cain gives various different examples, ranging from age groups and different cultures to people at work and couples. She discusses introverted children and how extroverted parents interact with them and vice versa.

A book like this can make you think about the different relationships in your life in regards to who is introverted and who is extroverted.

As far as growing up in a Hispanic family like I have, everyone is expected to be loud and lively, and spicy and for the most part, they are. Stereotypical Latina Sofía Vergara right? Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy socializing, but to an extent. Family events and gatherings can be exhausting, not physically but mentally because of all the chatter. After reading Quiet, I now wonder which of my family members are actually introverts pretending to be extroverts because of social expectations.

This book also made me think about introverts and extroverts in regards to how they interact on social media. Social media almost gets many of us to seem extroverted doesn’t it? All that interaction and chatting online, but what if we were all face to face? How different would these interactions be?

As I read Quiet, I really felt a kind of validation. It was very nice. I enjoyed how the author brings the strengths of introverts to light without pitting them against extroverts. It is more of a yin and yang thing.

What do you consider yourself to be, introverted or extroverted?

I highly recommend Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, for the introverts of the world especially.
This is a clip of Susan Cain speaking. You can find more on YouTube and the author is on Twitter as well:

Author bio (quoted from the authors website ):

Her record-smashing TED talk has been viewed over 12 million times, and was named by Bill Gates one of his all-time favorite talks. Cain has also spoken at Microsoft, Google, the U.S. Treasury, the S.E.C., Harvard, Yale, West Point and the US Naval Academy. She received Harvard Law School’s Celebration Award for Thought Leadership, the Toastmasters International Golden Gavel Award for Communication and Leadership, and was named one of the world’s top 50 Leadership and Management Experts by Inc. Magazine. She is an honors graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School. In 2014, Cain partnered with office design company Steelcase to create Susan Cain Quiet Spaces, with a range of architecture, furniture, materials and technology to empower introverts at work.  She lives in the Hudson River Valley with her husband and two sons.


Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I purchased my copy of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.



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

  1. I remember seeing this awhile back and wanting to read it. Need to get my hands on it soon. That bit about the social networks hiding into/extrovertedness is interesting, cos you really can’t tell sometimes. I would never have pegged you as introvert, for example 😛 I guess online communications give all of us introverts that buffer we need sometimes when interacting with other people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lady Disdain. That’s funny though, I’m definitely an introvert lol. Like you say, online we get a buffer that allows us to interact differently. Plus being online tends to be all about interactions and chatting away, especially where book blogging is concerned since it’s so much about discussing books.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You have encouraged me to give Quiet another go. I started reading it almost two years ago, and I remember nodding vigorously along with almost everything she said. I ultimately put it down, though, because I was so discouraged by how society seems to favor/encourage extroverts. I felt like I was lost in this world I am powerless to change… Almost two years later, though, I’m in a much better place (psychologically speaking), so maybe it’s worth picking it up again! Thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kristin. We definitely live in a society where extroversion is encouraged, so I liked seeing introversion being highlighted here and put into a good light. There is nothing wrong with being introverted. I’m glad you are in a better place now and I do recommend this one. 🙂


  3. I have a copy of this one, but haven’t yet read it. I really need to. I definitely fall on the Introvert spectrum. It will be interesting to see where my daughter falls as my husband is introverted as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Wendy. It’s funny because my hubby is a total extrovert, he just thrives on interacting with others and loves to conversate. I think my kids are both introverted and extroverted. They are a nice mix of the two.


  4. Naida, I’ve heard about, and read about, this book before. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this book and this interesting topic.


    If someone is thoughtful, it doesn’t automatically make them an introvert. I often feel as if I am the one initiating communication, and yet, sometimes people say I’m quiet (as if that’s a bad thing!). Other times people say I’m outgoing (and I think I am). Your example of family gatherings illustrates that the whole matter can be fairly relative (pun intended). I also believe that we can be both, depending on many factors, including the environments and situations we find ourselves in! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Susan. Isn’t it funny how people think being quiet can be a negative thing? I think we can be both as well, depending on the situation. Cain discusses that as well, how at work people who seem to be the most outgoing extroverts are actually introverts outside of the workplace.


  5. Hi Naida,

    Well! As a confirmed introvert, what more can I add to the conversation 🙂

    I particularly liked the comment you made about socialising, even if it is only with family, with whom you should feel most relaxed, being mentally exhausting because of all the noise and chatter.

    I also agree with your first commenter ‘Lady Disdain’, about the power of on-line communication being a buffer to change someone’s perception of us. Although sometimes when I am writing a post, or answering a comment, there is so much more I would like to say, I often find myself deleting many of the words, as I think they make me sound too forward and patronising. I guess I don’t want to be noticed that much, or to be thought badly of.

    A book I should read, although probably won’t. I wonder if it has challenged the way you think about yourself and does it make you want to change?


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Yvonne. Yes, I enjoy the family gatherings, but definitely need to unwind after it’s all over. It really reminds me of the holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas where we all get together for the day.
      Like you, I revise my reviews when I find they sound too forward. I don’t want to sound rude or snarky.

      Quiet didn’t make me want to change, but it did make me think about the whole intro\extroversion topic more. I always knew it was fine to be quiet and introverted, it was nice seeing the book validate that. It’s also interesting to see how most of us are both parts introverted and extroverted, but tend to veer towards one or the other. I also enjoyed the authors talks on youtube.


  6. I really enjoyed your commentary on this book Naida.

    I have heard a lot of really good things about this book.

    I am an extrovert. But I am glad that this author is highlighting the strengths of introverts. I really like the message that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a quiet person. Society tries to impose so many silly and invalid norms on people. Folks should be left to, and accept who they are.

    I do want to read this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve seen this book around when it was first released but didn’t pick it up. Now after reading your review I might have to change my mind. I’m an introvert since young and though there’s nothing wrong being an introvert or extrovert, it is always interesting to find out more about these two characteristics. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful review, Naida. I can relate to what you’ve gone through – you’re so quiet, come out of your shell! I’ve heard those all my life too. Hopefully this book will help others understand us quiet-types. 🙂


  9. Thank you for this! I’ve been wanting to read it, many introverts could use a little validation huh? In a society that tends to favor extroverts, I’ve found that my quiet and calm demeanor bothers more people than it bothers me. The world needs both groups and we should each respect our selves and one another. Thanks again for your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Rachel. Yes! I find the same thing, some people tend to get bothered by my quietness for some reason. Almost as if it is a character flaw. Introverts and extroverts should be embraced, not contrasted and compared about what’s the better personality type. Thanks for your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      • If we all kept in mind we need each quality to make the world balanced we could be more tolerable of differences. I absolutely agree with you! Yes ma’am 😊


  10. Currently reading this book. I have recently discovered my introvert nature (INFJ by MBTI) and I am learning the process, understanding myself and loving myself in the journey. Susan Cain’s book is irrefutably grounded on facts and I have yet to find a review from an introvert (or extrovert for that matter) that did not agree with her work. The world needs to discover that introversion or being an introvert is not a negative word. Great review.


  11. I didn’t expect this to have much of an effect on me. I suppose I used to be more of an ambivert, maybe even an extrovert to some extent. For the past couple of years at least I have been much more of an introvert though. While watching her TED talk, I found myself tearing up a little a couple of times. That was such a great speech.


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