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The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World Paperback – February 1, 2002
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"Its clear, step-by-step advice will help introverts recognize and capitalize on their unique strengths." -- Dr. Bernardo J. Carducci, author of Shyness: A Bold New Approach
About the Author
- Item Weight : 15.9 ounces
- Paperback : 330 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0761123695
- ISBN-13 : 978-0761123699
- Product Dimensions : 6 x 0.76 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Workman Publishing Company; 1st Edition (February 1, 2002)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #64,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Are you kidding me? I just read this entire book of cuddly wuddly stories and various pats on the back about how it's okay to be an introvert, all for her to flip the table over and go- oh well you're actually gonna have to be like an extrovert sometimes. Bleh. Also, since when do extroverts make up 75% of the population and introverts only 25%? Most other sources I see have it estimated about equally at 50/50, which would make more sense that it's pretty balanced. I suppose the excuse for this misinformation is that the book is simply outdated. It kept going on and on about how we live in an extrovert world and you'd think we'd get some useful information on how great it is to be an introvert but it's really not like that at all in this book, it's surprisingly borderline condescending.
The beginning of the book had some decent information, but then as soon as it started getting into relationship issues, it completely nose dived, even though I still continued reading hoping that this "advantage" would be revealed. Most of the book was just cobbled together situations and repetitive ramblings offering very obvious advice. I'm talking basic common sense stuff that the author apparently seemed to think was worth including. I'm not kidding, near the end of the book the author gives us lists of things to do. For example when we go outside we should have all these things to take with us such as chapstick and an umbrella if it rains. Yes, because this is not useless advice at all. Terrible. Besides, much of the supposed advice seems geared toward single moms or moms who work part time, certainly not the average working man.
At one point early on the author even tells the reader that if you want to, go ahead and skip around and skim through pages. Why on earth would any author say this to their reader? For crying out loud, sell your book. Convince me why I should read it, don't tell me just to skip around if I want. And that pretty much sums it up, it's a book not worth reading.
My advice- do not read this book, you will be disappointed and quite possibly very insulted. This is a poor book about introverts that unfortunately turns into a really lame self help book with a confusing message. This will not satisfy your itch to learn more about introversion and have a deeper understanding of yourself. It fails to deliver the goods, and if anything it further causes confusion and misunderstandings, and that's something that Introverts really don't need.
The book left me feeling like I have major short comings as an introvert and I just need to accept the fact that I'm at a disadvantage.
For one third of the price I thought it would have been worth the purchase.
One of the most interesting facts I immediately picked up in this book is that 75% of people are extroverts which means only 25% are introverts. It makes sense then why so many of our daily activities are more extrovert-centered and why introverts may think something is wrong with them. The truth is, there is nothing wrong with introverts. This book helps to explain that the brains of introverts and extroverts are different and thus, we process everything at different speeds and different ways. While I was reading this book, I could picture some of my friends and family who fit the personality traits of those mentioned in the book and it made it easier for me to understand the information presented.
I like how the book is organized, even though at times some of the information seemed a bit daunting. The book is organized in three parts and within those three parts are a total of ten chapters. The book starts about by defining the ways in which introverts differ from extroverts then goes on to discuss ways in which we can thrive in the "outie" (extrovert) world but at the same time still be ourselves. There are sections for handling relationships, parenting, friendships, and jobs which I found helpful since I can go back and read a section that I feel is particularly useful to me. I enjoyed the author's occasional humor inserted into the book which added a little bit of zest for me. In the beginning the author states that you can read the book cover to cover or skip around and read whichever sections sound appealing. I chose to read the entire book and, because I am used to reading fiction novels from cover to cover, I didn't anticipate just how much information I would be taking in all at once with more of a self-help type of book. It probably would have been more beneficial to me to read a chapter here and there so I could have more time to process all of the interesting information. I will most likely just go back and reread the sections I want to review.
Overall, I found this book to be a good resource so I can understand more about myself and how I can tweak certain things I do in order to still enjoy social activities and thrive out in the world without having to exhaust my energy constantly. This book would be a good read for any introvert wanting to learn more about their personality as well as extroverts who want to understand how introverts work. It certainly helped me to understand personalities a bit more and how I can interact with extroverts and still enjoy my own activities. I'm proud to be an introvert!
Top reviews from other countries
There was a lot I didn't know before reading this book. For example, the author explains the neurological differences between intro and extroverts - extroverts relying on the well-known neurotransmitter dopamine, and introverts relying on the lesser-known acetrycholine. She also explains that there are structural differences in our brains and that introverts use their frontal lobes more than extroverts, a logical explanation for our careful planning and "think before you speak" attitude. The author also highlights bias in studies that have been designed to "prove" that extroverts are happier. She points out that the studies (presumably designed by extroverts) only asked questions such as "I like to be with others" and "I'm fun to be with" rather than how introverts would define happiness - "I'm comfortable in my own skin", "I'm free to pursue my own path".
I gave the book four, rather than five stars because I didn't really find the "advice" part useful. She does give some useful advice, such as polite excuses for avoiding company, but I found other bits patronising such as in the "Introvert Survival Kit" at the end of the book, where she instructs us to carry umbarellas "in case the sun bothers you" and a colourful ski headband "in case the wind hurts your ears". I'm an academic, not a hitchhiker!
Other than my last criticism, the book was very well-written. Much recommended!
I suppose the big problem we introverts have in life is not so much that extroverts just don't get us, but even if you explain it in really, really simple words, they are just not that interested.
The most useful section for me was the chapter that showed the very different ways in which the brains of introverts and extroverts work. Yes it's true, our brains actually are wired up differently and have different chemistry. The diagrams that showed which parts of the brain are used by the 2 types clearly show that extroverts don't really use their thinking, planning, learning and reasoning parts a lot, so my reaction to that was "YES!!!!! That proves they really aren't as intelligent!!!". After I had done my typical introverted mulling process on this, I realized that an extrovert reading that would only focus on the slower/longer brain pathway of introverts and think "YES!!!! that proves they really are slower and therefore stupider!!!"Hmmmmm Guess who would have the last word?
I liked the sections that showed how the 2 types can misunderstand each other and find each other irritating. As this book is really only focusing on this one aspect of personality typing, it is a little simplistic. There is a reference to the difference between right-brain and left-brain thinkers, that gives a little more depth, so there is a sense in which not all introverts are the same, but for me the book was generally a bit too simplistic. The author is a therapist with many years experience and she gives a lot of tips on how to manage situations where conflicting styles and needs can cause problems between the 2 types. I found this (latter) end of the book less and less interesting and eventually abandoned it. She focuses so much on the fact that introverts are made tired by over-stimulating activities,and gives tips on how to conserve your energy and pace yourself that in the end I began to feel that Introversion IS indeed a kind of disability. This is not how I experience my own introversion at all. On any psychometric testing system I come out as 100% introverted and a right brain thinker too. But I do not have low energy, I can talk and think fast, I enjoy being physically active, as long as it is in a way that suits my nature, (so no high-adrenalin or competitive activities). It is not that my energy is any less than that of an extrovert, I just use it for different things.
There is one small section where the author talks about dealing with disappointment that you can't do as much as the extroverts around you. Like- why would I be disappointed if I can't go bungee-jumping or to 3 parties in one weekend? I'd be disappointed if I had to waste my time at things like that when I could be writing or going for long walks or meditating and praying, or having 'real' conversations with other introverted friends instead of that time-wasting chitchat. The only disappointment you have to deal with is that of the extroverts around you.
If readers are interested in this subject then the books of Dorothy Rowe, another psychologist based in UK who has written extensively on how key this basic difference of temperament is to dealing with mental health problems are really worth reading. She defines it as a different way of experiencing reality rather than to do with where you draw your energy from, so there is less emphasis on being tired and slow. I also found The Highly Sensitive Person had advice about how to keep your energy going in over-stimulating situations that did not make it feel so much a disability.
I still think this book is a good one for those who are new to this whole area and need to be told they are normal, and I am intending to give it to a young friend who needs to learn how to deal with his highly extroverted partner.
Five out of five marks. An ideal reading companion to the marriage guidance councillor and employee assistance provider as an aid to conflict resolution.
On the other hand, the author seems to confuse Introversion with the NF (Idealist/catalyst) temperament at times, and some of what is written wouldn’t apply at all to – for instance – ISFP or ISTP Introverts.
I’d say five stars for the first half, which looked at Introversion in general, but only three for the second half, where the discussion was more about the INFP personality type – interesting though it was, but confusing to anyone who doesn’t know about the Myers-Briggs/Jungian types. So four overall.
Recommended to Extraverts who are struggling to understand their Introverted colleagues or loved ones.