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Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength [Kindle Edition]

Laurie Helgoe
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"If you have introvert inclinations and are doubting yourself, this is a must read. Or if you know someone who exhibits introvert symptoms, read this book before calling the shrink."
- Bhante Yogavacara Rahula, author of One Night's Shelter: An Autobiography of an American Buddhist Monk

Are you an introvert? Psychologist and introvert Laurie Helgoe reveals that more than half of all Americans are. Introverts gain energy and power through reflection and solitude. Our culture, however, is geared toward the extrovert. The pressure to enjoy parties, chatter, and interactions can lead people to think that an inward orientation is a problem instead of an opportunity.

Helgoe shows that the exact opposite is true: Introverts can capitalize on this inner source of power. INTROVERT POWER is a groundbreaking call for an introvert renaissance, a blueprint for how introverts can take full advantage of this hidden strength in daily life. Supplemented by the voices of several introverts, Helgoe presents a startling look at introvert numbers, influence, and economic might.

Revolutionary and invaluable, INTROVERT POWER includes ideas for how introverts can learn to:

  • Claim private space
  • Carve out time to think
  • Bring a slower tempo into daily life
  • Create breaks in conversation and relationships
  • Deal effectively with parties, interruptions, and crowds


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. "Most Americans, whether introverted or extroverted, have learned to look like extroverts," writes psychologist (and introvert) Helgoe in this well-written and well-reasoned analysis that challenges the perception of introverts as a silent, problematic minority. The author reveals that 57% of the U.S. population identify as introverts and are so commonly misunderstood because many of them have become adept at mimicking extroversion (becoming a "Socially Accessible Introvert") to get by. Helgoe encourages introverts to see themselves as perfectly functional and to fulfill their need for solitude with regular retreats and creating a private space in their homes. Helgoe's book is wide-ranging and cross-cultural, invoking how other societies (particularly in Japan and Scandinavia) are more compatible with and accepting of introversion. Helpful sections details why introverts need extroverts in their lives and how extroverts depend on introverts for their artistic contributions and inner "richness." The author's voice is vivid and engaging, and she skillfully draws real-life examples of awkward scenarios introverts find themselves in when forced to play a role in society or the workplace. Readers will find much insight, as well as a comforting sense of being understood and validated.


So many spot on assertions about introversion – what it is and what it isn't. I definitely appreciated the insight Helgoe had with respect to understanding and building upon the strengths of the introverted mind.

Product Details

  • File Size: 422 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1402211171
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0023ZLLW6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,734 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
239 of 240 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Introverts are not alone February 15, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Oh my, where has this book been all of my life?!! As a marked introvert who has to pretend to be an extrovert in my health-care career at a busy county hospital, this book was like water poured over my soul. It is okay to need alone times to recharge. Introverts are up to 57% of the American population, according to some sources, and if you an introvert, there is nothing wrong with you. I burst out laughing at the quote on p. 16, "If you've been spending a lot of time with people, she might suggest that you are avoiding time alone and suggest that you might be depressed." I could relate so well! In our society, everyone thinks there is something wrong with you, if you like quiet time, not if you're avoiding quiet time. I adore books, and if I get a day off work, I'm happiest at our nearby bookstore curled up with a stack of good books to peruse and a cup of hot chocolate from their cafe -- this is also a recommended introvert pursuit, according to the book, but one that few people understand (I assume that many readers of Amazon reviews also enjoy books, however, so I'm assuming readers of this blog will understand a love of books). I'm also half Swedish/Norwegian, and the author describes Sweden as being one of the openly introverted cultures in the world, along with Japan, where introversion is also prized and understood. I enjoyed how the author is familiar with the Myers-Briggs test; as an INFP myself, I also recommend the book "Please Understand Me II." It is not likely that I can restructure my people-centered career at the hospital, but I've learned to escape on lunch break to my car and sit quietly for a while with a book or my thoughts. It is worth it even in winter when it is so cold, just to not have people constantly demanding my attention, and just let my spirit breathe. Read more ›
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87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provoking, in every sense possible- July 10, 2008
I feel that had I known, or my parents and the adults around me, all this information, these helpful insights, I would have saved myself a lot of trouble. Trouble, in every sense of the word. It's bittersweet. I feel justified, vindicated, explained, comprehended, normal. But at the same time, it's almost haunting.
"If they had know this or that...things wouldnt have happened that way." This book has thusfar explained every struggle I've ever had, and the truth is I'm not exaggerating.

Aside from being wonderfully written, in an accessible and personal tone, the book leaves nothing unanswered, and no room for doubiousness. It's a great investment for people who are introverted, or people who know introverts, or extroverts who can understand introverts....the list goes on.

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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book July 10, 2008
Wow! What a fascinating book. The title caught my attention, and once I got into it, I was pleased with all of the insights the author provides. I always figured I was an introvert, but I didn't realize what that meant until I read this book. Now I understand that introverts simply gain strength from within and that many social interactions cause them to expend energy, while extroverts gain strength from interactions and have to expend more energy through internal reflection. That explains a lot of mysteries about people I have known, including me. The author does a great job of disproving the falsehood that introverts are in the minority and that extroversion is the preferred state of being. Neither is better than the other, but knowing the difference can help all of us understand ourselves and others better. I also like the way the author combines academic research, real-life examples and her own experiences to make a very compelling case for the power of introverts. I plan to keep this book in a handy spot so I can refer to it whenever I need a refresher on its concepts. This book is a good investment.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laurie Helgoe, Ph. D. - INTROVERT POWER April 13, 2009
I have read most of the recently published books on introversion, and INTROVERT POWER is, by far the best one I've encountered. Even when introversion is acknowledged and explained by many authors, it is regarded as an obstacle that needs to be overcome, or an enemy that should be conquered.

Dr. Helgoe identifies introversion as a characteristic of personality that is common, but widely ignored; and explains that when properly understood, introversion can be enjoyed, celebrated and put to productive use.

I have discussed the subject of introversion with people who have advanced degrees in psychology, and I have been told that introversion is a personal choice or an attitude. Bull!

Dr. Helgoe GETS IT! She understands that some people are plenty of company for themselves. She understands that many of us just don't care for parties or crowds or superficial relationships. She knows the value of just a few good friends and the life enhancing value of a solitary retreat. And she knows the need to have the freedom to think your own thoughts and to feel your own emotions.

This is an outstanding book. Introverts will be refreshingly validated by it, and extroverts will be educated.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By Deborah
I'm a woman in my early forties and I have had problems all of my life due to my introverted nature. On my own, I came to accept it as a part of myself but not without paying a social cost. I'm naturally an inquisitive person and stumbled upon this book: Introvert Power. Out of curiousity, I picked it up to read it and couldn't put it down. Most of what's written about introversion and the authors experiences mirrored my own. I was astonished, to say the least, and now I finally know what my problem is. It's my natural, God-given preference for introversion.

In the book Laurie Helgoe exposes our cultural bias towards introverts by exposing the language used to label introverts like antisocial and stuck-up. I have always felt that the problems I have endured because of my introversion have been a form of discrimination. I hate parties so I don't go. I'm awful at small talk and useless when it comes to giving comeback answers but I'm insightful, thoughtful and full of ideas, every moment of the day and I enjoy being with myself. Something that the author states isn't valued enough in our society where everything is "in your face", including extroverts.

The author states that introverts brains are busier than extroverts which is the reason why I learned that I get so easily overwhelmed. I also learned that solitude is not a bad thing and there are two types of introverts. I'm definitely a "shadow dweller" and I have often gotten a lot of slack from "socially accessibles" who are often jealous of my ability to be true to myself. Though I didn't realize this until I read this book. Challenging the extrovert assumption is a responsibilty that all us introverts have for each other. I also learned why I love Scandanavian countries and design. I'm a minimalist for a reason.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Item as described. Quick shipment.
Published 29 days ago by Mel T.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great argument for the thinkers of society
An early read I did on introverts. Another great argument for the thinkers of society.
Published 3 months ago by Diane Steiner
5.0 out of 5 stars must read for all introverts
This is my favorite "introvert" book, and it was the first book that affirmed my introvert-ness. I really enjoyed reading it, and liked the idea about having my own space. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dan the Engineer
5.0 out of 5 stars An insightful, thoughtful book
It was nice to have my way of being affirmed. It was also good to be challenged to live out of my strengths and to grow into greater authenticity and health. Read more
Published 11 months ago by PACC
4.0 out of 5 stars a book I can relate to
Found this book to be very relatable. Being an introvert, I often feel that I have some extrovert characteristics at times. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Angela
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible. The validation I didn't know I was missing!
This book is phenomenal. It is easily readable and relatable. I stopped reading after 3 pages until I could get home to a highlighter! Read more
Published 13 months ago by momtulsa
5.0 out of 5 stars liberating for introverts
As a life long introvert I found the books content both liberating and affirming. You don't have to be an extrovert to lead a fulfilling life even though for most of my 59 years I... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Joe E.
3.0 out of 5 stars Written by an extrovert?
The title of the book is misleading. It suggests an analytical, factual read. Where as it feels more like you're reading someone's journal (and a very female-oriented one at that),... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Reminder On Listening to Your Inner Voice
I approached this as an 'extrovert' however, the author is correct in that we all have a bit of both within ourselves. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Randyl's Reids
3.0 out of 5 stars Introverts are NOT the majority
This was a very well written book, except when she said introverts make up more of the population than extroverts. That is just WRONG. NOT TRUE AT ALL. Read more
Published 20 months ago by magicgirl
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