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Showing 1-10 of 2,898 reviews(5 star, Verified Purchases). See all 5,180 reviews
on November 10, 2014
I believe this book saved my life. I'm not prone to melodrama, or to such excessively long reviews, but this is true, and so important to me, I have to say it. I've been working for years in an extremely busy law office. It's been growing harder and harder throughout the years for me to handle this job. Two months ago my boss fired my coworker, and I've since had to take on two people's work plus train multiple new people (as the first two didn't stay), all with constant, all day long interruptions, high-intensity demands, and a high level of multitasking. This has happened many times before, and while it was dreadful, I managed, but for some reason this time I just couldn't handle it. My entire life has been on hold since this started, I get home from work too exhausted to do anything except veg out for a couple hours and go to bed, and even weekends aren't much better. I was taking terrible care of myself and my life was falling apart. I did, in fact, feel like I was killing myself with this lifestyle, but I simply did not have the energy to fix any of it, or for that matter have any idea how to fix it.

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.
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on December 30, 2015
Susan Cain takes us on an honest, revealing and well-researched journey through arguably the most important factor of the healthy human psyche: the introvert-extrovert continuum.
Her honest writing is what I feel engages the reader and allows them to trust her. It is a refreshing approach as opposed to mindlessly shoving research results under readers' noses.
The depth of research is shown in the wide range of studies consulted and this also imbues an air of trust to the shared space between writer and reader.
Her presentation of these results is what I truly feel is the greatest strength of all in this book. It invites the reader (be they an introvert/extrovert or ambivert) on a true journey of discovery that would be a different experience for each 'type'. For the introvert, a shining beacon drawing them to the idea that there is NOTHING WRONG with being an introvert; for the other 'types' a revelation on how introverts prefer to live their lives without even a hint of a condescending attitude - simply an offering of a different perspective.
Truly invaluable information for all parties at any stage of life, and a must-read for anyone who is interested in discovering more about their own psyche, as well as those of the people around them.
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on October 4, 2016
This book totally changed my life! I talk a lot and with big gestures. I am loud and don't mind taking up space and I enjoy public speaking. I had so many reasons to just assume that I was an extrovert and most of my friends are extroverts too. I often felt really bad for wanting so much time on my own, for not wanting to socialize and for not enjoying to hang out in big groups. I thought I was too shy or that something was wrong with me. I'm in my forties now and I can honestly say that it wasn't until I came across this book that I realized that I am actually an introvert! It was a real shock, but suddenly everything made sense to me. It was such a relief! Thank you so much, Susan, for sticking up for all of us and for explaining in such a beautiful way what it means to be an introvert.
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on August 10, 2015
An amazing book that speaks insightfully into how we view personality differences. At moments when I thought the author was being a little heavy handed on extroversion and sounded too pro-introvert, she always managed to bring it back and balance out her argument. Regardless of whether someone is an introvert or extrovert, this book offers well articulated insight into how we view ourselves and our peers. Seriously, a wonderful read for anyone who loves communication and how people fumble with it. I honestly believe that this book could help many people find a way to avoid resorting to anger or frustration and become more patient.
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on February 21, 2014
I am not a professional...anything. I am normal person. With normal dreams. Normal life, in a way. I was born a everyone else that has and will read this book. BUT....YOU ARE SEVERELY BLESSED if you have had this book enter your life. I am the youngest of 5 children. The only boy as well. I was conditioned to be in the lime light. talk talk talk talk....perform perform the center of attention....and i would just NOT SHUT UP!!!! As i got older...I was still stuck on being the center of attention. Shoving my foot in my mouth at every opportunity. I have a lot of friends..but they were just, "He is the guy that just talks....funny...but never shuts up." My previous girlfriend and I decided...we need a book to read. we got our books...she got a mystery book. I got "Quiet." I didn't crack the book at all. A month girl broke up this me. I got quiet. No would had ever done that to me. I cracked Susan Cain Book...and it literally....stopped me in my tracks. This book..tapped into a completely different side....that ALL PEOPLE NEED TO SEE IN THEMSELVES!!!! Sorry to make it a life story...but i am forever changed because of it. I will read this book over and over and over. Thank You Susan, for making a simple man....realize something. sorry to make it my life story...but this is something that is very important to me. The ability to shut up...can change the world.
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on December 29, 2013
I minored in Psychology back in the day. So there was no really NEW information here. I got the book because my friends were raving about it. Unless you have never read anything about psychology, skip the introduction (10 pages of Psych 101). Once into the book, the discussions and revelations are eye-opening. (And makes me REALLY GLAD that I did not go to Harvard!) I definitely wish I had read this book when I was in my late 20's/early 30's - when I was finally getting into relationships both personal and in business, and needed a better understanding of the way individual personalities affect even the simplest activities. Everyone should read this, introvert or extrovert (whichever you THINK you are!) in order to better understand the way people respond to different situations. What is "natural" and "easy" for one person could be a nightmare for the other. As a boss, employee, or significant other, we all need to better understand what is going on inside each other's heads!
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on February 20, 2015
Susan Cain’s “Quiet” is that rare book that contributes something important to our knowledge of human behavior and points the way toward better communication and understanding of our differences. As an introvert, I appreciated how she articulated the introvert’s dilemma: feeling outside the prevailing values of constant chatter and movement; group projects and decision-making; fast turnaround requirements; compulsory attendance at endless meetings; over-booked schedules; hard-driving bosses and co-workers.

Cain does a great job of showing how the current ideal of extroversion became dominant. She shows how the development of the culture of personality and charismatic leadership was tied to the expansion of American business and advertising in the early 20th century. She covers the role psychologists played in reinforcing the dominant, extroverted type and defining withdrawn, more contemplative youth and adults as flawed, almost deviant. She offers many examples of introverted people who have made great contributions to society through their quiet reasoning or example, among them Rosa Parks, Steven Spielberg, Eleanor Roosevelt (in contrast to her extrovert husband, Franklin), Albert Einstein, Warren Buffett, Steve Wozniak, and many other writers, scientists and business leaders.

There’s a great chapter about Asian Americans coping with America’s extrovert ideal. The stereotype of Asian Americans as deferential, studious and whip-smart is not completely false. It is rooted in cultures that value modesty, sensitivity to others and quiet study. It can be a challenge for young Asians to adapt to the aggressiveness and party culture that dominates American student life. In the end, Cain offers some ways that extroverts and introverts can communicate better. One chapter focuses on how couples with different personality types can negotiate successful relationships. I found much more rewarding a chapter that describes ways that teachers can identify introverted children and create assignments and incentives that appeal to their learning styles. I wish it was required reading for all teachers – It would help so many kids!
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on September 3, 2015
Growing up I was always ashamed of being an introvert as it was hard to find friends and get along with others. I was and still am the shy one who doesn't talk a lot. This book was recommended to me by my Psychology professor, and I am so grateful that I read it. After reading this book, it has made me embrace being an introvert and that its's okay to be one. There are numerous examples and studies the author talks about which is really interesting. It's a great read for not only introverts, but extroverts as well so they can get to know us better. I highly recommend this book to anyone who's interested in the topic of in personality theories.
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on June 21, 2017
An excellent analysis of factors relating to introverted and extroverted personalities. Useful to educators, business leader, and parents in learning how to enhance and empower introverts, and make the most of their strengths. Well researched and well written.
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on November 23, 2016
This book was very insightful to me because I am somewhat of an introvert. I have a daughter who was struggling to meet people and make friends in college and I was talking with my brother about her troubles. He recommended this book to me so I read it. The author thoroughly researched this topic and provided many examples that I could relate to. I walked away with a much better understanding of the differences between extroverts and introverts. I also realized that it is OK to be quiet and a thinker. Thank you for bringing to light this topic and helping me to understand myself and my daughter better.
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