Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking Paperback – August 14, 2013
|New from||Used from|
Books with Buzz
Discover the latest buzz-worthy books, from mysteries and romance to humor and nonfiction. Explore more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Marvellous. The most important book published for a decade -- Lynne Truss * Sunday Telegraph * Quiet is a very timely book, and Cain's central thesis is fresh and important. Maybe the extrovert ideal is no longer as powerful as it was; perhaps it is time we all stopped to listen to the still, small voice of calm -- Daisy Goodwin * The Sunday Times * Susan Cain's Quiet has sparked a quiet revolution. In our booming culture, hers is a still, small voice that punches above its weight. Perhaps rather than sitting back and asking people to speak up, managers and company leaders might lean forward and listen -- Megan Walsh * The Times * I can't get Quiet out of my head. It is an important book - so persuasive and timely and heartfelt it should inevitably effect change in schools and offices -- Jon Ronson * The Guardian * A startling, important, and readable page-turner * Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth *
About the Author
Susan Cain is the author of the Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can't Stop Talking, which has sold over 2 million copies and been translated into more than 30 languages. Since her 2012 TED talk was posted online it has been viewed over 17 million times. Her writing on introversion and shyness has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, Oprah magazine and Psychology Today. Cain has spoken at the Royal Society of Arts, Microsoft and Google, and has appeared on the BBC, CBS and NPR. Her work has been featured on the cover of Time, in the Daily Mail, the FT, the Atlantic, GQ, Grazia, the New Yorker, Wired, Fast Company, Fortune, Forbes, USA Today, the Washington Post, CNN and Slate.com. She is an honours graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School. She lives in the Hudson River Valley with her husband and two sons. www.thepowerofintroverts.com
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I blamed myself - there must be something `wrong with me' because I can't handle the job. I wanted to leave, but thought, if I can't handle this job, how am I going to handle a new job? It'll probably be more of the same. I thought I was just getting soft because I was getting older (I'm in my late 40s).
I've always known I was introverted, but I didn't realize just what all that entailed - I thought it mostly meant `shy' or that I didn't like social settings.
This book taught me more about myself than I've ever known. It read like my biography. Almost every page had a new insight into why I think and feel the way I do. Throughout the book I saw my very own self described in new and empowering ways.
I learned that the job situation I'm currently in - the non-stop deadline demands, interruptions, never being able to work quietly or alone no matter how difficult a project was, phones ringing incessantly, people in my face all day long, etc. - especially when it's work that I actually don't care anything about personally - those are the exact circumstances that trip every one of a strong introvert's triggers. And I was subjecting myself to it 40 hours a week, for months.
It's no wonder I was so miserable and completely exhausted all the time. And as enlightening as it was to learn how many of the traits I've beat myself up for over the years are just a product of my introverted temperament (being highly sensitive, shutting down when subjected to stimulation overload, preferring to think a thing through before I speak - something I never get to do at work, as if it takes me more than 5 seconds to say something, I get interrupted and cut off), the most important thing I got from this book is that it's okay to be myself, it's okay to feel the way I do. There is not something `wrong with me' that I have to `fix.' I am not weak or a failure because I don't feel or behave like my extremely extroverted boss (who thrives in high-energy crisis mode, and is bored unless he's doing 10 things at once - and expects the rest of us to keep up).
And far from it being an age-related `going soft,' what's probably in fact going on is that as I get older, it is becoming increasingly vital to me to be truer to myself.
I also found the information on the history of the "rise of the Culture of Personality" completely fascinating, it really gave me a new insight as to just exactly how we 'grew' this tendency to value extroversion over introversion. It makes so much more sense now.
This book gave me the courage I needed to start taking the steps to fix my work situation. Not only the courage, but the `permission' and the understanding - because I now know there isn't something wrong with me, but instead this is what I need to do to be my best self, and stop killing myself with stress. That I probably can find a place of value in the world by being myself, not trying to force myself to be something I'm not. I know I will meet resistance from my boss (I'd love for him to read this book, but unfortunately I know he won't), and I know I won't instantly fix everything in one day, and that I'll probably always need to be able to stretch myself a bit to do things that are not ideal for me ... but this book taught me that there are ways to make that work, too, if you understand and honor the need for recharging around such tasks, instead of trying to force yourself to do them 8 hours a day with no break. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, in either direction. Basically, I'm not out of the woods yet, but I now see the path out, and I have hope.
I think every introvert should read this book, because it will help you understand why you are who you are, and why that's a beautiful thing, not a character flaw. And I think everyone who knows an introvert should read this book, and quit trying to "fix us."
Which means pretty much the entire country (or world) should read this book. The wealth of information and insights in this book cannot be overstated - especially if you are an introverted type of person who has always felt there was something not quite right about you, or that you somehow needed to change to fit in or succeed. This book will give you back yourself, and in my case, my life. Thank you, Susan Cain, from the bottom of my heart (which is finally beating at a more normal speed because I'm not panicked about going to work for the first time in months).
Edited 11-13-14: It worked! I'm now working half-days at the office and half-days at home, and in a few weeks will transition to working from home full time. I never imagined that could happen. It's amazing what becomes possible when you finally realize you deserve what you already knew you needed.
I gave it four stars only because it is extremely long, and I found a lot of it tedious to read. I am an excellent reader, and it has taken me most of my summer break to get through the book. I was never bored exactly, but it does have a lot of information. It requires a lot of attention while you read it. I'm so glad that I did, but this should not be approached as light reading.
In the Culture of Character, the ideal self was serious, disciplined and honorable. What counted was not so much the impression one made in public as how one behaved in private. When we embraced the Culture of Personality, Americans started to focus on how others perceived them. They became captivated by people who were bold and entertaining. - Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
I grew up around farmers who barely spoke three words strung together - they were gruff and tough - but you just knew, deep down, that you could trust them with your life, they were straight shooters, no B.S., hard-working, God-fearing folks. People shook your hand and it was the truth, it was a done deal.
In a small town, the Culture of Character still exists. Where you are not judged based on your first impression, or your most recent comments, or if you said the "right thing" or if you said anything at all. People know you. They know what you're about. They know if you are honest, or not. They know about your parents, grand parents, siblings - the good the bad and the ugly. Once you're in, you're in - for life. Who you are matters, not the "show" you put on to convince people of who you want them to think you are.
That's the Culture of Personality, this sausage maker we have all been forced into, this world that thrives on first impressions, Facebook status, resume building and a winning smile. No one knows US - the real us - because we are not allowed to be real. We are selling ourselves in every moment of everyday - whatever "role" we have created for ourselves must be maintained - at any cost. We cannot be complex, multifaceted human beings with a wide range of emotions, opinions, interests and needs. This is too difficult to regulate, control and market.
You must choose a box, usually during college, crawl inside and remain their permanently. Deviation could result in missed promotions, lost status and diminished prospects. So we all dream of "retirement," the time when we believe we can really be ourselves - do what we really want to do and stop cowering before the powers that be.
Not likely. After a lifetime of submission, freedom cannot be resurrected. Freedom must be practiced. The Culture of Personality will persist in new ways. Our craving to belong, to fit in - those needs we have incubated since preschool - remain intact, stronger than ever and drive ever onward.
"Americans found [find] themselves working no longer with neighbors but with strangers. "Citizens" morphed into "employees," facing the question of how to make a good impression on people to whom they have no civic or family ties. Americans have responded to these pressures by trying to become salesmen who could sell not only their company's latest gizmo but also themselves."
- Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
I know what you're thinking: "That's just the way it is bub, get over it already." Right you are. I am not so much longing for a return to my imagined utopia of small town U.S.A. as I am pointing out what has been lost. Americans tend to be "all in" kind of people - we do everything to the extreme - moderation and balance are not our strong suits. When a " new, latest, greatest solution" to any problem emerges, we go all in, tear down our existing structures, re-create our selves and our organizations in this "new image" wait five years, get frustrated with the lack of results and do it all over again. (Think about "school reform" which has been occurring since the very first school was established).
Our problem is that we throw everything "old" out and accept everything "new" as better. We throw out many good ideas, practices and people in the process. The Culture of Personality is shallow, temporary, insecure and trendy. We need to "get rich quick" because we expect to be thrown out on our butts as soon as we get too "old," start to wrinkle or lose our "network of connections" to retirement.
Who we are ceases to matter - who we appear to be is the driver of our destiny. Social media, anyone? This becomes a 24/7 responsibility, to decorate our box to attract others, never showing our real selves for fear of rejection.
So yes, I do miss being "known." I miss knowing others - being able to dismiss a comment or act because I know the person at the core and could put every other interaction into that context. When people become "connections" they stop being people. People are complex. They fail. They screw up. They say inappropriate things. They age. None of which is allowed in the Culture of Personality, where your value is on what you can do, for me, today - yesterday is dead and gone.
Unfortunately, it is only in hindsight that we can see what we missed, how we screwed up and realize what we should have fought harder to preserve. As social media rages on - and we all sink deeper and deeper into the cocoons of our own design - I am desperately trying to see it before I lose it. See what? To see my life from the end, to value what will matter in hindsight, not what trends, ego or insecurity tell me to value today.
In the end, what really matters?
That is the ultimate question that every individual must ask and answer for themselves. When you take your last breath - a day that will arrive despite your futile efforts against "aging" - will you update your Facebook status ("dying, just taking last breath, not what I expected, SCARED!!! BTW, where is my family?") or will you hug your spouse and children, share tears of joy and gratitude for a life well lived?
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
- Matthew 7:24-27
Is a good life lived built on a foundation of character or of personality. Which is the rock and which is the sand? I think I know.
What you would choose at your last breath is what you should do now.