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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
I realized I was an introvert when we covered the subject in an undergraduate psychology class, but didn't understand what that really meant until I read this book. I was literally teary-eyed with relief a couple of times when I realized that some of the behaviors I have always been a little ashamed of (avoiding the telephone and preferring e-mail, tending towards one-on-one conversations even in big parties) were simply a different, and not wrong, way of being.

Maybe other books cover similar ground--I haven't read them all--but this book covers the subject beautifully and it spoke to me. I particularly appreciated the discussion of introverts online, which brings the subject up to the present and addresses something I've long felt funny about--my robust online social life. Shouldn't I pick up the phone and talk to people? I do, sometimes, although I don't always enjoy it. But from this book I learned that there's nothing wrong with online interaction, either. It's not wrong, it's just different.

In this book, I not only learned about myself, but I learned techniques that help me function more comfortably in our loud, busy world, and I learned how my introversion can work for me.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is a godsend! After years of beating myself up for not being more outgoing, I can finally embrace my introverted nature instead of apologizing for it - thank you Laurie Helgoe!

My own experiences, and how the book has helped

As an introverted artist, there has been no sweeter pleasure than to spend hours/days/weeks alone crafting art, reading, writing, thinking, taking long walks, etc - basically tuning in and traveling far & wide in my inner world. In solitude I felt wonderful, but with others buzzing around me I felt miserable: exhausted and unable to think, talk or connect with anyone. So confusing and embarrassing! At social gatherings, I was judged as weird, boring, timid, shy, weak, spacey, stuck-up, a mouse, too serious, and in need of "a breakthrough"; yet when I avoided socializing I was judged as unfriendly and a party-pooper. A no-win situation and a self-esteem crippler. It's amazing what our extraverted society reads into someone who's quiet or wants to be left alone. Anyway, for not being loud & chatty, I have lived with that dreaded conclusion: there must be something terribly wrong with me.

Thanks to Introvert Power things finally MAKE SENSE! For the first time in my life I feel understood and validated. I now know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me (or any introvert); I can now appreciate my gifts, draw strength from my inner world, and finally understand and appreciate the way I am. I feel free to take time for myself and be alone. I also feel confident being quiet in groups and declining invitations. This book has truly changed my life!

Contents of the Book

Rich with insights, advice and empowering perspectives, Introvert Power presents introversion in an entirely positive light, instead of a weakness to be overcome. The introvert's way of thinking and communicating as well as why we thrive in peace and solitude are explained rationally. Also presented is the important contribution we make to society - a real self-esteem booster for any introvert feeling inadequate in an extroverted society.

Some of the empowering points/quotes presented include:

-Introverts comprise over half the population, instead of the typical assumption we are on the fringe
-There is no pure introvert or extrovert - we all have some of each, with one out-weighing the other
-"[Introverts] gain energy and power through inner reflection, and get more excited by ideas than by external activities."
-Introvert brains are busier and get easily overstimulated, which is why we need to retreat to our inner world; while extroverts seek out more external stimuli by creating a rich outer/social world
-Most of us are taught the value of social skills, but what about the value of solitude skills? I.e. protecting boundaries, fostering imagination, nurturing the life of the mind, etc
-Introverts contribute so much to society! When you look around at the world, notice technical innovations, captivating novels and artistic creations - these are most likely products of introverts

Also covered are:

-Insights on societies where introversion prevails, such as Scandinavia and Japan
-Conversation styles of introverts vs extroverts
-Visualizing your ideal room and ideal world, and getting clear on what feeds your soul
-Cultivating the joys of being a "flaneur" (or "passionate spectator") for inspiration and insight, instead of shutting down when external stimuli gets to be too much
-Strategies for handling parties, dealing with the work world (chatty co-workers, meetings, etc), and declining invitations by being tactfully honest
-Insights for no longer apologizing for introversion, and accepting and embracing the gifts it offers

...and so much more

In Summary...

If you're an introvert feeling misunderstood and out of place in an extroverted society, I urge you to read this book to know loud and clear that 1) there is nothing wrong with you, 2) you are not alone, and 3) you are indeed a thoughtful, perceptive, gifted and interesting person!

If you're an extrovert, I also urge you read this book to gain insight and empathy for how introverts work. Please don't conclude we are weird, boring, depressed, etc just because we prefer solitude, quiet and deep conversation to crowds and noisy chit-chat. We just have a different way of experiencing life, and it works for us.

Thank you Laurie Helgoe for an amazing book! I hope it reaches the best-seller list :-)
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Laurie Helgoe's Introvert Power is the most important book I've ever read and I can say with conviction that she saved me from what had become a decades-long treadmill of despair.

After a lifetime of not fitting in, of being treated as the ultimate outsider in one job after another, and of feeling deeply flawed and increasingly sad, I went to the internet to find answers. An article by Jonathan Rauch began my journey of healing and Introvert Power completed it. It is written with such truth and compassion that it cannot help but act as salve to a wounded soul.

Since reading Introvert Power, I have rediscovered joy. I began writing again, renamed my editing business and created a more attractive website for it, raised my prices to reflect my newfound sense of confidence in my skills, and even had the courage to go on my first date in years. I am making and renewing friendships again and feel that the old barriers have dropped away once and for all.

I read other introvert-related books sold on Amazon and mentioned in reviews here before I found Introvert Power. They didn't come close to its life-changing impact on me.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book would be good for someone who is not very self-aware, or who is struggling to be extroverted but not liking it. It is not, however, going to be helpful for someone who has accepted their introversion, and who is looking for some insightful commentary.

The author is rather combative towards extroverted personalities, and has an "us vs them" mentality that is simplistic and frankly annoying. It is filled with black and white thinking. Also, her writing style is sensational, and adolescent.

However, there are some interesting points, and she does have several exercises that could be beneficial. For example, how to negotiate with friends that frequently invite you out to bars or parties. I would recommend it for someone who is young, or who has no idea how to cope with being introverted. I would not recommend it for anyone who has already developed a lifestyle that suits a more introverted personality.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
it's rarely that I feel compelled to write a review about a book. In a culture that pathologises introversion, it's a moral booster. I came away with some much needed validation. It's not really a book for teaching how to get on in a extroverted world, but rather how to embrace the strengths inherent in introversion. I appreciated how the author emphasized the normalcy of introversion, rather than making introverts out to be delicate little flowers or freaks that need extra consideration. I liked the down to earth approach with regards to carving out space for ourselves.
It's great book for some one who's comfortable in their introversion, and gives some good advice for being unapologetic for it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I'm a small business owner and a psychology major. The psychology part is great; I understand that introversion is an indelible personality trait. The business part is more of a struggle, as I constantly run up against the message that I have to be a manically extroverted networking machine in order to be successful. Dr. Helgoe deconstructs the myth that only 1/3 of Americans are introverted (it's actually more than half) and that there is more value in being an extroverted person. This book is chock full of tools to use in conversation, introspection, retreat, and self-acceptance. There are a lot of us "accessible introverts" hiding out with extrovert facades in a society that overvalues the squeaky wheel. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has struggled with their identity, feeling that they SHOULD be more outgoing, accessible, nimble in conversation, and social. Scientific, thoughtful, and validating. I would also recommend this as reading for an extrovert who struggles with an introverted spouse, partner, or best friend, unable to understand why they tend to withdraw.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Finally, a book for both those who have pathologized introversion and for all of us introverts who were pathologized or simply marginalized, and/or who took on those assumptions as 'fact.' Such as, I have to fix this, it's a deficit, I need "balance." No, I don't. I just need to, as the author says, "melt into my introversion." And what a lovely and permission-giving phrase that is. I'm one of those who - like so many she describes and quotes directly - felt 'homeless' whenever I tried to live the life of what I called "the outgoing introvert." I did it really well, but at the cost of my creative soul for years and years. (I'm a writer.) I have ceased from this now, just recently, and this book miraculously came into my life at the same time and it has been, and is, a true Godsend. I cannot recommend it too much. It's like a Bible for introverts. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I wish this book had come out years ago. For most of my life, I have felt isolated and embarrassed because of my introvert nature.I have been ridiculed endlessly for not speaking enough and not making myself known. It was simply not normal to hang out alone or be anything less than loud and flashy.

This book allowed me to embrace myself for who I am. Being an introvert is not a flaw and it does not make you any less worthy or important than an extrovert.

I highly recommend this book.

Thank you Laurie!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book has given me a new lease on life. I cannot imagine what my life would have been like if I had this knowledge that nothing is wrong with me. I think of all the past conversations, and how people talked to and treated me, and I would have known this is why I am the way I am... I am an introvert!

I actually bought it awhile back, and finally sat down and read it. I cried at many points in reading it. Wow, there is nothing wrong with me. What a relief! Knowing all these years I should have trusted myself. I love spending time alone, researching, pondering, walking on the beach especially, looking for sea glass. I am always amazed the answers that come when I unplug, and just putter around the house on weeknights, or weekends. I have close, very special people in my life and am a busy person at work, so I will treasure that wonderful time I have in solitude, doing what I love doing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Before reading this book, I knew I was an introvert, but didn't have much knowledge of introversion. When someone recommended this book, I read it right away. This book was great and I learned so much about who I am - all the characteristics of an introvert. This book helped me appreciate and accept who I am, knowing that others are the same way and that introverts are needed in society (yin and yang balance). I also liked learning how to be a better introvert, to make quiet time for myself, for example. I definetely recommend reading this book, extroverts too! I think if more extroverts read this book, extroverts would be more understanding and accepting towards introversion, and would strengthen relationships with others (particularly introverts). Go read this book!
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