Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan CainQuiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking

bySusan Cain

Paperback | January 29, 2013

Pricing and Purchase Info

$18.26 online 
$24.00 list price save 23%
Earn 91 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


The book that started the Quiet Revolution

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.

Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content

SUSAN CAIN is the co-founder of Quiet Revolution LLC and the author of the award-winning New York Times bestseller QUIET: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can’t Stop Talking, which has been translated into thirty-six languages, has appeared on many “Best of” lists, and was named the #1 best book of the year by Fast Company magaz...
Title:Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop TalkingFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:368 pages, 7.98 × 5.17 × 0.99 inShipping dimensions:7.98 × 5.17 × 0.99 inPublished:January 29, 2013Publisher:Crown/ArchetypeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307352153

ISBN - 13:9780307352156


Rated 5 out of 5 by from If I could give this more stars, I would! This is such a good, educational read. I'm an introvert, and can relate to a lot of things she mentions in this book. I definitely think Western society would benefit greatly from taking some points from this novel. Even if you don't consider yourself an introvert, this is a great read and gives you a lot of insight into today's culture and society. It may teach you to see people a different way and think about things more deeply. Overall a good novel that is well put together and engaging throughout the pages.
Date published: 2019-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourite books I absolutely loved this graphic novel! I felt like it was written for me. I connected immediately to the character. I cannot recommend this book enough to introverts and friends/family of introverts. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting and thoroughly researched! I absolutely loved this book. Susan Cain's research of introversion is extensive and fascinating. While this is a book I think anyone can appreciate and learn from, as an undeniable introvert this book allowed me to dig in depth into my own personality and tendencies and makes me appreciate more a part of myself that I've always struggled with. Introversion is not an easy thing to live with in a more extroverted society, and this book showed me that I can embrace and be proud of my introversion!
Date published: 2018-07-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Read This book told me that there is nothing wrong with being an introvert, even if some societies value extroverts more. Though it starts out a little slow, it speeds up about midway. I recommend this book for everyone, introverts and extroverts.
Date published: 2018-07-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty Good One of the first people to have written about introversion and its benefits and contributions to the workplace and society. It is slow to a start but gets better and more intelligent from the middle.
Date published: 2018-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely fantastic read!! I read this in my english in March. It was recommended by my teacher and couldn't agree more with rest of the world. I read this book in 2 weeks. Dragging it out because I didn't want it to end.
Date published: 2018-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring and empowering-- a must read! A must read whether you're an introvert or an extrovert. Masterfully put together by an introvert, Susan Cain, who sheds light on the true difference between extroverts and introverts. Neither is better than the other-- they are simply different, each with their own pros and cons. Very informative. Useful for learning about yourself as well as for parents and teachers. Great advice on how to improve communication between extroverts and introverts and how to nurture introverted children. As an introvert, I found this book to be empowering and reassuring to know that there are others like me. It made me feel understood and proud to be an introvert. Thanks so much to Susan Cain for teaching the world about introverts and letting all those unappreciated introverts here in the West know that we are powerful and we, too can change the world.
Date published: 2018-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must-read If you're an introvert, this book is for you. Even if you're not an introvert, this book is for you! An interesting topic with beautiful insight. Amazingly written. Definitely worth the read, trust me. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Interesting This book was such a great read. As a quiet person myself, I could relate so well and it helped me understand myself better as well as helped me to be able to express and explain myself to others.
Date published: 2018-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely necessary to read Finally a book that appreciates introverts. I am not finished reading this book yet but so far I love it and I'm learning so much about myself. It's absolutely reassuring to read material that resonates so well with who I am. Not only has this book provided insight in to the lives of introverts (and extraverts), but I've also gained a lot of confidence knowing that just because I have introverted tendencies doesn't mean I am incapable of impacting the world. Thanks so much to Susan for writing such a detailed and well-thought out resource like this.
Date published: 2018-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredibly insight A great read for anyone who thinks there is something wrong with being introverted, and also for those who think being extroverted is the only "right" thing #plumreview
Date published: 2018-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Recommended to any Introvert out there Where has this book been all my life. I enjoyed this as it helped me to better understand myself as a fellow introvert and opposites like extoverts. I would recommend this to anyone as it is well written and researched. I could have used this book growing up as the shy, quiet kid !
Date published: 2018-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring I love love loved this book! Not only was it super well-written, well-researched and engaging, but it made me feel as though I wasn’t alone in the world – and that my introversion wasn’t a bad quality, or something that needed fixing, but a strength all in its own right.
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book Absolutely amazing read and I think any teacher or manager should definitely have a read. A really unique perspective and very eye opening!
Date published: 2018-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful Whether you're an introvert or not, this is a must read #plumreview
Date published: 2018-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! Great read! Insightful look into the world of an introvert.
Date published: 2017-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read for all managers This book really helps you appreciate introverts more. I like the little stories that are scattered throughout the book.
Date published: 2017-10-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Perspective on Life of an Introvert This gave me a greater perspective upon my own life and how the industrial revolution gave birth and favored the extroverts of the world for a long period of time, this gave me such a good understanding of myself going through a lot of my experiences, though i finally realize I'm an ambivert after reading this. It still gave me a better understanding because I'm more of an introverted Ambivert. I recharge mostly though being in nature and being calm. Great book for anyone seeking to understand themselves and how their world is shaped by personality and our temperments.
Date published: 2017-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dear Introverts, Read this book! I love this book! Being an introvert myself, I had an instant connection with the book. There were really great examples to prove the author's point making its fun and easy to read. It's definitely one of the first in its kind in showing the power of introverts. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would read again and again.
Date published: 2017-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it, own it, read it, give it. I read half this book nearly five years ago. The reason why I stopped reading it: I was enjoying it so much, I didn't want to binge read it. I wanted to savor every page. But other books came and went since then and I forgot. Fast forward to a month ago, a friend is chatting me up and I recommend this book that would be perfect for her. I give her my copy and end up buying a new one. This time, even though the words are like music to my ears, I don't stop. Contrary to my initial feelings on this book, I don't think this book should only be read by introverts. I think it should be read by everyone. Most of us are already aware of how we are, how we think, cope, communicate and react. It would be beneficial for others to be mindful of this, but mindfulness starts with education.
Date published: 2017-10-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great read for introverts I'm an introvert and this book made so much sense for me. It made me understand myself and the way I interact with world (and vice versa) better. Nothing exciting about it. It reads like a textbook which isn't really my cup of tea. But lots of great insight.
Date published: 2017-09-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting An interesting look into the mind and world of an introvert. However, the author seemed a bit too biased!
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A must read for every introvert! Loved this book. Very relate-able and helpful book for me personally as I grew up being told I was so "Quiet"
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book A great book that's very readable and full of insight.
Date published: 2017-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read for all As an introvert, I can attest to people not understanding or seeing the positive attributes to being introverted. I hope this book will serve as an eye opener for many people.
Date published: 2017-09-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very relatable! This was a great book. Introverts were always looked upon as not a good trait. This book was helpful in opening my eyes and others eyes to a different perspective.
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pick it up! Very well done! An affirming read for introverts and an edifying read for the extroverts who love us.
Date published: 2017-07-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I very much enjoyed this book I like that it acknowledged and validated introverts as something other than socially awkward or anti-social. I'm a functionally outgoing introvert meaning I am introverted, but often people may mistake my people skills and sociability for extroversion and I thoroughly appreciated the example she had for people who are like me who like people and are fun and out going with people, but at the core are introverted.
Date published: 2017-06-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I am an Introvert In my opinion, introverts are not always seen, but they always make the difference. Read this book, and enjoy the wise words of Susan Cain. I Read this book on my week vacation, and it changed how I view my friends and family. I became more conscious to the people around me and what they are doing. This is sticking around my shelf for a long time. I imagine this book being around 50 years from now.
Date published: 2017-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Self Understanding As an introvert this book really helped me to realize aspects of myself and how to navigate in the world along with them. It was quite interesting to learn about studies and differences between extroverts and introverts and success stories in regards to both.
Date published: 2017-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful book This book makes a great gift for those people in your life who are "quiet"; it is reaffirming in the way that Elaine Aron's "The Highly Sensitive Person" is. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Worth a read For introverts, and extroverts alike, this is a great read to gain insight into the great gift that the more introverted personalities are to society. The author does a great job at presenting her readers with ample evidence supporting the benefit of allowing introverts to "do their thing." As inspiring as this can be, it takes a while to be able to get really engaged on a more personal level and see the direct value of one's own degree of introversion as a reader.
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book! Very well written, informative. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pretty life changing This book was incredibly helpful to me. So many aspects of introversion are covered here and in a way that parcels them in a beautiful box with a label. If you feel constantly chided by phrases such as "You play small" or "you should put yourself out there more" or "it's so hard to get inside your head", this book will help clarify that you don't owe the world extroversion. You can possess sharp social skills while still preferring nature walks, reading, music or time alone with a partner or friend or two. The science behind introversion is extensive here as well, a bonus I was not anticipating. Some of our strongest social figures were introverts and their stories are included. "I am a horse for a single harness, not cut out for tandem or team work...for I well know that in order to attain any definite life goal, it is imperative that one person do the thinking and the commanding." -Albert Einstein
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such an eye opener! This book is amazing! Really makes you think about why you are the way you are. Great read for both introverts, extraverts, and everyone in between!
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book This book was really well written. Offers a lot of useful information. Anyone working with children, youth or adults should read this. Ok, we all should read this!
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Empowering. As an introvert, this book comforted and empowered me. For the first time, I thought, "Maybe there's nothing actually wrong with my personality." As a future educator, as well, I feel this an important, if not essential read.
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A MUST READ FOR INTROVERTS! Susan Cain's book Quiet, is an amazing, well researched book. Extremely impowering, I recommend this to all introverts. Cain provides readers with an in-depth look at why introverts act the way they do, while also encouraging the growth of classic introvert traits that society attempts to eliminate. She allows readers to see the power in the quiet, meek and overthinking part of the population that is so often left feeling inferior to the extrovert population. A book that encourages people to play to the strengths they had grown up believing where weaknesses, Quiet has significantly changed my perspective on life.
Date published: 2017-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yes! As an introvert I truly appreciated what this book had to say. I recommend this book for introverts and extroverts alike.
Date published: 2017-01-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 4 Stars Book about the benedits of being introverted. Author makes some convincing arguments. Interesting read about personality.
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this book I think that everybody should read this novel. It is so important to understand people that are introverts, they are always deemed shy by society. I would recommend this book to everyone that is or feels part introvert, great insights and side stories.
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! My favourite thing about this book was that it made me feel ok about being me. Empowering and educational; very well written and researched. Great source of info on how to be an (successful!) introvert in a world that promotes/ rewards extrovert qualities, without reading like a "How to" manual. Beautifully presented arguments. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Interesting I enjoyed this book. I was able to learn more about introverts as a whole and myself as person. Usually I do not like non fiction but this book was an exception.
Date published: 2016-12-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Some good points This book was okay, not as mind-blowing as I'd been lead to believe by the various reviews I'd read. Most of it seemed to be just fairly common-sense observations about introversion vs. extroversion.
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really interesting I don't normal enjoy non-fiction books but this one was really interesting. However, if you happen to be extroverted as opposed to introverted, you can sometimes feel a little shamed.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An enlightened look at introverts Beautifully written from a place of deep understanding and insight. The studies were fascinating and revealing.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everyone should read this book Introverts should read this to understand the potential of introverts in an extroverted world. Extroverts should read it to understand how introverts feel and react to an extroverted world. A great read for anyone interested in learning more about themselves and others around them. Especially recommended for managers and teachers.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A great way to understand yourself more This was a book I chose to read for an assignment in my Human Development course . It initially peaked my interest when my professor began explaining that it surrounded the topic of introversion. I myself identify as an introvert/ Ambivalent personality type. Now there were things I really liked about this book, and things I didn't like about this book. Lets start with the likes. I really enjoyed that Susan Cain used this novel to educate, empower and explain introversion. I wouldn't say that you have to be an introverted person to read Quiet, you can identify as any personalty type. That was something I loved. As an introverted individual it empowers you to be yourself and gives you an entitlement to be who you are and rock it. On the other side it can be used as a resource for extroverted individuals in trying to understand their introverted counterparts. Parents, educators, peers and partners can read this book and gain an understanding into what introversion really is and ways to support introverts. I also liked that although this book was primarily a resource explaining introversion, Cain would show both sides. With each explanation she gave she would show how both sides would interpret and react to a given situation, and in the end say it was ok to be who you are, the key is understanding what you need as an individual. Other topics she discussed were the extrovert ideal, culture, group think, school systems, and business. Now onto what I didn't like. During her explanation of different topics Cain often used real life examples which really helped in the growing understanding of introversion. However I felt that some of these explanations were unnecessary or the author would go off on a tangent. This made me lose interest in what I was reading every so often, or left me wondering who cares? Other than that I really enjoyed reading this book. All in all this was a good read. I believe everyone should give this book a chance if you want to try and understand introversion more and possibly see how the other side lives.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb! Great read. Couldn't believe how true it was. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A TRUE Explanation of Introverts I just finished this book and have now recommended it to our NextGen leadership cohort. This book truly speaks to the topic of introverts, using factual research and interviews that are relevant and applicable to career and personal life. I HIGHLY recommend you give this a read.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quite too quiet on some issues, not quiet enough on others. An interesting book with solid research which, despite the author's repeated claims to the contrary, glorifies introversion at the expense of extroversion. I am (I think) an introvert myself and I must admit I enjoyed Cain bloviating my ego. But it seems to me that, despite her claim to scientific objectivity, there is a paucity of evidence in her project regarding early childhood experiences, upbringing, and abuse. These, according to scholars such as Alice Miller, Murray A. Strauss, or Philip Graven may account for much of our nurture-based ills and propensities and, by extension, perhaps our introversion. Yes, "Quiet" has a lot to say about genetics and cultural influences (which are by no means unimportant), but it remains suspiciously quiet on operant conditioning. Could it be that introverts – “raised by hand” to use Dickens’ phrase – are actually wannabe extroverts or extroverts in disguise (disguised even to themselves)? Another minor but vitiating issue (apart from plethora of trite pop culture examples) is Cain’s critique of extrovert’s hijacking of Jesus while using that same Jesus as an exponent of introversion; or her adducing that the business prowess of “quiet” is on par (if not greater) to the charismatic extroverted CEO’s. (I think that the author would agree with me when I ask: why does my introversion has to “proven” to be constructive, productive, or creative at all before it can be accepted???) In sum, until more comprehensive research is done I think that the definite work on the subject remains to be seen.
Date published: 2015-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Recommended to anyone Great book, helped me learn a lot about myself. Didn't realize how much of an introvert I really am or that I was fighting some of personality traits in order to accommodate our extroverted personality based society.
Date published: 2014-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Greatly appreciated. In a society where extroverts truly are favored this little gem allowed me to understand and except my introverted personality. The author, Susan Cain, allowed me to realize that I am not alone when often being disregarded, unappreciated and misinterpreted just because I am not a bubbly and open personality. I can now truly embrace who I am, and not be burdened with the ever-present idea of acceptance and conformism. Thank you!
Date published: 2014-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Reality A book that explains me and my introversion. Detailed and straight to the point. Susan hit the nail on the head. For those who appreciate the power of silence & those who just want to understand.
Date published: 2014-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An important book Finally a book that shares the values and importance of introverts. For those who have been told to get out of their shells and basically stop being who they really are (an introvert), this book introduces the history of our extrovert-valuing society and shares a unique perspective on introverts and their quiet power.
Date published: 2014-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read and knowledge This book was a great help for me as I am an introvert and wanted to know why I do the things I do and to help people see me for me. This book taught me that it is alright to just be myself and not worry about what other people think. I have to learn how to let things go and not so caught up in being like everyone else and just be me. This book shows that introverts are a part of this world and that we all have to learn to work together and not judge each other on our looks or the way that we work.
Date published: 2014-01-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting read 3.5 stars Western society tends to value extroverts more than introverts, extremely social people more than quiet people. Susan Cain, an introvert herself, has collected and presented various studies looking at introversion and extroversion, and relayed various personal stories. I'm not sure it gave me any amazing insights, or anything, but it was definitely interesting. It actually surprises me that there are “only” between 1/3 and ½ of people who are introverts. I actually thought that number would be higher. I'm sure I know more introverts than extroverts, but I suppose that's because I am an introvert, and I probably gravitate more towards other introverts. Anyway, I did like the book.
Date published: 2013-10-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life-Changing Read After seeing Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain at a local bookstore, my dad bought it for me. Having maxed out on the introvert score on the Myers Brigg personality test (a test that assesses your personality type) he thought it would be good for me to understand what being an introvert really means so that I could understand myself a bit more. I went from thinking being an introvert meant you would go nowhere in life to realizing that maybe it is a good thing after all. Susan Cain admits that she is an introvert, which really helps prove her point, and adds a personal touch to everything she says. For example, she is a powerful individual, who speaks regularly and has presented a must-see TED Talk (on introverts). With all of this in mind, it is hard to believe that she is an introvert as she is doing some of the things it is said introverts are unable to do. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Even if it is a slow read, packed with facts and scientific studies, it is still a must-read. Even if you are like me, and do not usually enjoy books based on studies, this will surely change your opinion. This book can be life changing if you are an introvert or have a close relationship with one. It is not only introverts who will find pleasure and benefit in reading it. Extroverts can learn about their introvert friends, family members, and co-workers, helping make their relationships stronger. This book is one that has had a great impact on my life. It changed how I thought about myself and others. It also allowed me to see some of the things I used to see as imperfections in a new light. After reading this book, I felt like a different person, filled with newfound confidence in myself. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone, especially the introverts in the crowd. I hope that, like it was for me, reading this book will be one of those important defining moments in your life.
Date published: 2013-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very well researched and written. I loved it! I am an introvert, which would surprise many people who know me. I loved this book. It revealed a lot about myself and people I know. Tom too tall Cunningham www.tom2tall.com
Date published: 2013-01-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A balm for the introverted spirit. Have you ever wondered at the sociability of some people which allows them to engage endlessly in conversation with others? Have you ever longed for the end of the day when you could return home and enjoy the solitude of your private environment? Are you the type of person who would decline a spontaneous social evening out in favour of a show or good book curled up in your favourite chair? Chances are you're an introvert, and you draw your energy from being alone. While extraverts gain energy from frequent interaction with other people, introverts do the opposite, naturally preferring to be by themselves, thinking through their thoughts alone in their head, and processing things internally. They don't speak as often as extraverts, who process their thoughts spontaneously, preferring to talk their way out loud through an issue until they reach a satisfactory conclusion. They prefer interaction with others while they do this, and use others as a sounding board for new thoughts and ideas. Shared brainstorming sessions aren't preferred by the introvert who prefers to process thoughts in silence, doing all their thinking in their heads, and coming out with their conclusion at the end of the thought process, fully formed and considered. Introverts generally think before they speak, and they're fairly good listeners. The challenge for introverts is that society has geared itself and its social, educational and work processes around the extraverted person. Children no longer sit in rows in school classrooms, encouraged to do their thinking by themselves inside their minds. They are clustered into pods of 4 or 6, undertake group work at least as often as working alone, processing school work through the group dynamic and getting a group mark instead of marks that reflect individual effort. Great for the extravert, likely an uncomfortable and out-of-preference activity for the introvert. Children grow up from school and enter the work of work where the process of group work continues to take precedence over individual quiet work. Work is done by committee, with people gathered around tables and encouraged to speak their thoughts out loud. Back at the office, people are more likely to work in cubicles where it's hard to have individual privacy of thought or action: people engage in group work, are evaluated for their facility to work well on teams. The team takes credit for the solution, even when it's the introvert's mind processing away quietly in an environment of distractions that may have ultimately given the answer that gets adoped by the group. In her recent book, "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking," author Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extravert Ideal in the twentieth century, from the story of Dale Carnegie and the push toward public speaking, to the Harvard Business School ideal, where introverts are subverted into an extravert curriculum, social and cultural program that measures success by outward expression and aggression. And while there are many benefits to be obtained from operating in an extraverted world (mostly by extraverts), a world without introverts would be deprived of the theory of gravity, the theory of relativity, Chopin's nocturnes, Proust's In Search of Lost Time, Peter Pan, George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm, Charlie Brown, The Cat in the Hat, Google, Schindler's List, E.T., and Saving Private Ryan, and the magical world of Harry Potter. Quoting science journalist Winifred Gallagher, Cain pithily observes "Neither E-mc2 nor Paradise Lost was dashed off by a party animal." Cain's book is a salve to the injuries sustained over time by the introvert in twentieth-century society, but she offers up more than sympathy. Through delightful and insightful introduction to some of the century's most celebrated introverts (Rosa Parks, for one), and pairing them with some of the century's most celebrated extraverts (Martin Luther King Jr), she reveals interesting partnerships that can arise when introverts and extraverts come together. She also offers sage advice to introverts on when and how much to exhibit extravert behaviour, how to negotiate one's way in a world that celebrates the extravert ideal, and how to tap into the natural tendencies of introversion that can lead to great powers of observation, listening, and creative thought. Quiet is an engaging book, a good read for the introvert who likes to read and stop and read again, stop and think about what's just been read, pulling in observations, related thoughts, and speculation, listening quietly for wisps of ideas to wiggle forth. While useful for persons of all type, if only to broaden one's understanding of the amazing differences between people, it is written especially for the introvert, an indulgence, like taking a tall glass of water after a long, dry run.
Date published: 2012-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Teachers, I implore you: READ THIS BOOK! If you have ever felt guilty for turning down an invitation to a raving party, a concert ticket, or any other social event in favour of a good book, a quiet dinner with your partner, or a walk in the park, you need to read this book. I've always known that I fall slightly to the quieter side of the introvert/extrovert line. And I'm 100% okay with that. But this amazing book explained how other aspects of my personality -- not liking violent movies, hating high school, and thoroughly enjoying the far more sociable man that I'm with -- are all related to my introversion. If you are a teacher or business owner, I implore you to read this book and incorporate what you learn into your teaching/business strategies. You will find your students and employees producing better work than you have ever seen (and liking you more, too!)
Date published: 2012-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Quiet “Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again.” —Anaïs Nin Susan Cain’s book will come as a great relief to introverts. They will find themselves saying out loud, “Yes! Yes!” They will be filled with a sense of vindication: finally someone understands them, and, more importantly, someone values them. They will find an answer to a question they might have asked themselves: “Is there something wrong with me?“ Every introvert should read Quiet to gain greater understanding of themselves and what they have to offer to society. Every extrovert should read Quiet to gain greater understanding of the powerfully quiet people in their lives, and how a lack of understanding can cause deep pain. “. . . introverts relate to other people. Of course they do. They just do it in their own way.” There is no clear definition of introversion or extroversion, and most people fall at different points on the spectrum of one extreme to the other, but recent science points to “fixed traits” and “free traits” and “temperament” versus “personality.” We all have free will and can adapt our outward behaviours, but we all have inborn, biological behaviours and emotions. Our culture and life experiences affect us, but we have an underlying temperament that forms the foundation for our approach to life. Science also says that introverts and extroverts operate differently. Introverts are more sensitive to stimuli and new situations. They begin tasks slowly but then work deliberately with fixed concentration. They persevere with difficult tasks through to completion. Extroverts soak up new stimuli, and dive into tasks enthusiastically. They are easily distracted and tend to give up on difficult tasks more quickly than their introvert counterparts. “It’s not that I’m so smart,” said Einstein, who was a consummate introvert. “It’s that I stay with a problem longer.” As Cain points out, in our North American culture, quiet perseverance isn’t sexy. People who don’t talk are seen as failing in some way. We like the engaging enthusiasm of the extroverts, so it is easy for introverts to feel underappreciated or even shunned. Cain hopes that her book will encourage introverts to honour their true nature. After all, introverts brought us such fun and important things as Charlie Brown, the theory of relativity, Google, Harry Potter and E.T. (That’s right, Spielberg is an introvert.) In order for introverts to function well in our extrovert-loving society, they must spend a lot of time pretending. Introverts learn from an early age that their inborn temperament doesn’t click with societal expectations. They learn how to act. They learn how to pretend to speak comfortably in public, and then they hide in the bathroom on breaks. They develop an effective sales pitch that puts them at the top of their sales team, and then they curl up by themselves and read all weekend. To get by introverts spend a lot of time pretending to be something they are not—but only so far. The “rubber band theory” proposes that people are elastic and can stretch, but only so much. Then they need a “restorative niche.” It seems unfair to introverts that they must spend so much time being something they are not when the extroverts go about life with carefree ease. Shouldn’t they have to learn to turn it down a notch sometimes? Cain believes this to be true. Our society needs a better balance of both and a better understanding of both. Companies gain from hiring employees with both the outgoing enthusiasm of extroverts and the thoughtful perseverance of introverts. Our financial system benefits from having a balance of risk-takers to ensure growth and careful monitors to ensure stability. Spouses learn how to relate to each other. Parents accept children that may think and behave in ways they don’t understand. “Whoever you are, bear in mind that appearance is not reality. Some people act like extroverts but the effort costs them in energy, authenticity and even physical health. Others seem aloof or self-contained, but their inner landscapes are rich and full of drama. So the next time you see a person with a composed face and a soft voice, remember that inside her mind she might be solving an equation, composing a sonnet, designing a hat. She might, that is, be deploying the powers of quiet.”
Date published: 2012-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Brief Summary and Review *A full executive-style summary of this book is now available at newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com. Being the quieter, more reserved type, introverts are not as inclined as others to broadcast just who they are and what makes them tick, much less honk their own horns. However, given that Western culture has increasingly pushed introverts aside, and is intent on celebrating their opposite, it is high time that introverts stepped out of character, made themselves heard, and proclaimed to the world that they have much to offer indeed. This is the campaign that Susan Cain launches in her new book, `Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking'. Cain begins her account by way of establishing that Western culture has increasingly adopted an `Extrovert Ideal,' in which louder, bolder, more ebullient and risk-friendly individuals are valued over and above the quieter, more reserved, reflective and heed-friendly ones. While Western culture has a long history of favoring the extrovert, Cain argues that this bias has steepened since the industrial revolution, and particularly in the past century as the West has become ever-more urbanized and commercial. Over the course of this time-frame, Cain argues, a Culture of Personality, perhaps best represented by the motivational guru Tony Robins, has come to replace a Culture of Character, best represented by such figures as Abraham Lincoln. Cain's intention here is not to put-down extroverts, or to say that they are inferior to introverts. Rather, her argument is that the latter have an important role to play in many areas of society that is now often overlooked. For one, the introvert's greater willingness to listen to others and their input makes them better leaders than is generally recognized. Second, their heed-friendly temperaments serves to better protect them (and those around them) against dangerous situations, and makes them particularly valuable in such professions as financial investing, where undue risk is not only known to get individuals in trouble, but entire nations, and even the entire international community. Third, the fact that introverts tend to have a sharpened moral sense makes them well-suited to fill the role of the social conscience of society, which is often valuable in protecting the downtrodden, and also in saving societies from their own recklessness. Finally, the added thoughtfulness and persistence of introverts, and their heightened capacity to work independently, often gives them an edge in creative enterprises such as art and technological innovation, as well as in more intellectual industries such as science and engineering. Indeed, Cain insists that there is plenty of evidence to indicate that working independently is an important part of having and developing the best ideas, not only for introverts but for everyone. This helps explain why the most creative people tend to be introverted, and also serves as an argument in favor of tempering the emphasis on groupthink and collaborative work that is currently running rampant through our schools and businesses. While introverts often have more to offer than many recognize, it is also the case that their sensitive nature tends to make them more fragile than others; as such, they are particularly susceptible to having their talents stifled and even snuffed out before they have had the time to develop. For this reason, Cain argues, it is especially important for parents and educators to know the best approaches when it comes to both raising and educating the quieter type, and the author makes a concerted effort to address these issues here. In particular, Cain emphasizes just how vital it is to encourage and nurture the introvert's peculiar talents, and to be patient in dealing with their inwardness. Having said this, Cain does not advocate giving in to this inwardness entirely, as she stresses the importance of challenging the introvert to come out of their shell as much as they are able, in order that they may learn to make their voices heard, and to get along in a more extrovert-friendly world. In connection with this, Cain argues that it is not only possible, but often healthy and beneficial for introverts to stretch themselves to be more extroverted on occasion--especially when it is in the name of a goal that they value, and as long as it is not overdone. Altogether, the work is well researched and very insightful, and there is much to be learned here about the quieter among us for the extroverted and introverted alike--and also much to help the latter feel more comfortable in their own skin (thankfully without being an exercise in self-congratulation for them). A comprehensive summary of the book, as well as many of the juicier details and anecdotes to be found therein, is available at newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com; the information in the article will also be available in a condensed version in the form of a podcast soon.
Date published: 2012-06-25

Read from the Book

Today we make room for a remarkably narrow range of personality styles. We’re told that to be great is to be bold, to be happy is to be sociable. We see ourselves as a nation of extroverts—which means that we’ve lost sight of who we really are. Depending on which study you consult, one third to one half of Americans are introverts—in other words, one out of every two or three people you know. (Given that the United States is among the most extroverted of nations, the number must be at least as high in other parts of the world.) If you’re not an introvert yourself, you are surely raising, managing, married to, or coupled with one.If these statistics surprise you, that’s probably because so many people pretend to be extroverts. Closet introverts pass undetected on playgrounds, in high school locker rooms, and in the corridors of corporate America. Some fool even themselves, until some life event—a layoff, an empty nest, an inheritance that frees them to spend time as they like— jolts them into taking stock of their true natures. You have only to raise the subject of this book with your friends and acquaintances to find that the most unlikely people consider themselves introverts. It makes sense that so many introverts hide even from themselves. We live with a value system that I call the Extrovert Ideal—the omnipresent belief that the ideal self is gregarious, alpha, and comfortable in the spotlight. The archetypal extrovert prefers action to contemplation, risk- taking to heed-taking, certainty to doubt. He favors quick decisions, even at the risk of being wrong. She works well in teams and socializes in groups. We like to think that we value individuality, but all too often we admire one type of individual—the kind who’s comfortable “putting himself out there.” Sure, we allow technologically gifted loners who launch companies in garages to have any personality they please, but they are the exceptions, not the rule, and our tolerance extends mainly to those who get fabulously wealthy or hold the promise of doing so. Introversion—along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness—is now a second- class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform. The Extrovert Ideal has been documented in many studies, though this research has never been grouped under a single name. Talkative people, for example, are rated as smarter, better- looking, more interesting, and more desirable as friends. Velocity of speech counts as well as volume: we rank fast talkers as more competent and likable than slow ones. The same dynamics apply in groups, where research shows that the voluble are considered smarter than the reticent—even though there’s zero correlation between the gift of gab and good ideas. Even the word introvert is stigmatized—one informal study, by psychologist Laurie Helgoe, found that introverts described their own physical appearance in vivid language ( “green- blue eyes,” “exotic,” “high cheekbones”), but when asked to describe generic introverts they drew a bland and distasteful picture (“ungainly,” “neutral colors,” “skin problems”).But we make a grave mistake to embrace the Extrovert Ideal so unthinkingly. Some of our greatest ideas, art, and inventions—from the theory of evolution to van Gogh’s sunflowers to the personal computer— came from quiet and cerebral people who knew how to tune in to their inner worlds and the treasures to be found there. Copyright © 2012 by Susan Cain. From the book QUIET: The Power Of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, published by Crown, a division of Random House, Inc.  Reprinted with permission.

Table of Contents

Author’s Note |
INTRODUCTION: The North and South of Temperament |
Extroversion Became the Cultural Ideal |
Culture of Personality, a Hundred Years Later |
The Rise of the New Groupthink and the Power of
Working Alone |
4. IS TEMPERAMENT DESTINY?: Nature, Nurture, and the
Orchid Hypothesis |
5. BEYOND TEMPERAMENT: The Role of Free Will (and the
Secret of Public Speaking for Introverts) |
Why Cool Is Overrated |
BUFFETT PROSPER?: How Introverts and Extroverts Think
(and Process Dopamine) Differently |
8. SOFT POWER: Asian-Americans and the Extrovert
Ideal |
Members of the Opposite Type |
11. ON COBBLERS AND GENERALS: How to Cultivate
Quiet Kids in a World That Can’t Hear Them |
CONCLUSION: Wonderland |
A Note on the Dedication |
A Note on the Words Introvert and Extrovert |
Acknowledgments |
Notes |
Index |

Bookclub Guide

The book that started the Quiet RevolutionAt 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.Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content1. Based on the quiz in the book, do you think you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or an ambivert? Are you an introvert in some situations and an extrovert in others?2. What about the important people in your lives—your partner, your friends, your kids?3. Which parts of QUIET resonated most strongly with you? Were there parts you disagreed with—and if so, why?4. Can you think of a time in your life when being an introvert proved to be an advantage?5. Who are your favorite introverted role models?6. Do you agree with the author that introverts can be good leaders? What role do you think charisma plays in leadership? Can introverts be charismatic?7. If you’re an introvert, what do you find most challenging about working with extroverts?8. If you’re an extrovert, what do you find most challenging about working with introverts?9. QUIET explains how Western society evolved from a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality. Are there enclaves in our society where a Culture of Character still holds sway? What would a twenty-first-century Culture of Character look like?10. QUIET talks about the New Groupthink, the value system holding that creativity and productivity emerge from group work rather than individual thought. Have you experienced this in your own workplace?11. Do you think your job suits your temperament? If not, what could you do to change things?12. If you have children, how does your temperament compare to theirs? How do you handle areas in which you’re not temperamentally compatible?13. If you’re in a relationship, how does your temperament compare to that of your partner? How do you handle areas in which you’re not compatible?14. Do you enjoy social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and do you think this has something to do with your temperament?15. QUIET talks about “restorative niches,” the places introverts go or the things they do to recharge their batteries. What are your favorite restorative niches?16. Susan Cain calls for a Quiet Revolution. Would you like to see this kind of a movement take place, and if so, what is the number-one change you’d like to see happen?

Editorial Reviews

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERNPR BESTSELLER WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLERLOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLERUSA TODAY TOP 50 BESTSELLERINDIEBOUND BESTSELLERPUBLISHERS WEEKLY BESTSELLERFast Company’s  #1 Best Business book of 2012INC Magazine’s Best 2012 Books for Entrepreneurs People Magazine’s 10 Best Books of 2012O, The Oprah Magazine 10 Favorite Books of 2012Christian Science Monitor’s Best Books of 2012GoodReads Nonfiction Choice Award Winner Audible’s #1 Non-Fiction book of 2012Amazon’s Best Books of 2012Barnes & Noble Best Books of 2012Library Journal’s Best Books of 2012Kirkus REVIEWS’ Best Books of 2012“An important book that should embolden anyone who's ever been told, 'Speak up!'”—People“Cain offers a wealth of useful advice for teachers and parents of introverts…Quiet should interest anyone who cares about how people think, work, and get along, or wonders why the guy in the next cubicle acts that way. It should be required reading for introverts (or their parents) who could use a boost to their self-esteem.”—Fortune.com“Rich, intelligent...enlightening.”—Wall Street Journal“An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike.”—Kirkus, Starred Review“Cain gives excellent portraits of a number of introverts and shatters misconceptions.  Cain consistently holds the reader’s interest by presenting individual profiles, looking at places dominated by extroverts (Harvard Business School) and introverts (a West Coast retreat center), and reporting on the latest studies. Her diligence, research, and passion for this important topic has richly paid off.”—Publishers Weekly“This book is a pleasure to read and will make introverts and extroverts alike think twice about the best ways to be themselves and interact with differing personality types.”—Library Journal“An intelligent and often surprising look at what makes us who we are.”—Booklist“Charm and charisma may be one beau ideal, but backed by first-rate research and her usual savvy, Cain makes a convincing case for the benefits of reserve.”—Harper's Bazaar “Quiet is a thought-provoking and fascinating work that reminds us of the dangers of solely listening to the loudest voices.”—Psych Central“In this well-written, unusually thoughtful book, Cain encourages solitude seekers to see themselves anew: not as wallflowers but as powerful forces to be reckoned with.”—Whole Living“Cain’s Quiet revolution calls us all to rethink the way we value human contribution.”—Revel In It Mag“Those who value a quiet, reflective life will feel a burden lifting from their shoulders as they read Susan Cain's eloquent and well documented paean to introversion--and will no longer feel guilty or inferior for having made the better choice!”—MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI, author of Flow and Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management, Claremont Graduate University “Superbly researched, deeply insightful, and a fascinating read, Quiet is an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to understand the gifts of the introverted half of the population.”—GRETCHEN RUBIN, author of The Happiness Project“Quiet is a book of liberation from old ideas about the value of introverts. Cain’s intelligence, respect for research, and vibrant prose put Quiet in an elite class with the best books from Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink, and other masters of psychological non-fiction.”—TERESA AMABILE, Professor, Harvard Business School, and coauthor, The Progress Principle“As an introvert often called upon to behave like an extrovert, I found the information in this book revealing and helpful. Drawing on neuroscientific research and many case reports, Susan Cain explains the advantages and potentials of introversion and of being quiet in a noisy world.”—ANDREW WEIL, author of Healthy Aging and Spontaneous Happiness “Susan Cain has done a superb job of sifting through decades of complex research on introversion, extroversion, and sensitivity--this book will be a boon for the many highly sensitive people who are also introverts.”—ELAINE ARON, author of The Highly Sensitive Person“Quiet legitimizes and even celebrates the ‘niche’ that represents half the people in the world.”—GUY KAWASAKI, author of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions “Susan Cain is the definer of a new and valuable paradigm. In this moving and original argument, she makes the case that we are losing immense reserves of talent and vision because of our culture's overvaluation of extroversion. A startling, important, and readable page-turner that will make quiet people see themselves in a whole new light.”—NAOMI WOLF, author of The Beauty Myth “Superb…A compelling reflection on how the Extrovert Ideal shapes our lives and why this is deeply unsettling. Based on meticulous research, it will open up a new and different conversation on how the personal is political and how we need to empower the legions of people who are disposed to be quiet, reflective, and sensitive.”—BRIAN R. LITTLE, PH.D., Distinguished Scholar, Department of Social and Developmental Psychology, Cambridge University   “Quiet elevates the conversation about introverts in our outwardly-oriented society to new heights. I think that many introverts will discover that, even though they didn't know it, they have been waiting for this book all their lives.”—ADAM S. MCHUGH, author of Introverts in the Church “Gentle is powerful... Solitude is socially productive... These important counter-intuitive ideas are among the many reasons to take Quiet to a quiet corner and absorb its brilliant, thought-provoking message.”—ROSABETH MOSS KANTER, Harvard Business School professor, author of Confidence and SuperCorp “Memo to all you glad-handing, back-slapping, brainstorming masters of the universe out there: Stop networking and talking for a minute and read this book. In Quiet, Susan Cain does an eloquent and powerful job of extolling the virtues of the listeners and the thinkers--the reflective introverts of the world who appreciate that hard problems demand careful thought and who understand that it's a good idea to know what you want to say before you open your mouth.”—BARRY SCHWARTZ, author of Practical Wisdom and The Paradox of Choice“A smart, lively book about the value of silence and solitude that makes you want to shout from the rooftops. Quiet is an engaging and insightful look into the hearts and minds of those who change the world instead of tweeting about it.”—DANIEL GILBERT, professor of psychology, Harvard University, author of Stumbling on Happiness