Book Reviews · Lifestyle

Introvert and Proud? Quiet Power by Susan Cain – Book Review

Quiet Power - Susan Cain

I don’t really like the word introvert, I often hear it said in relation to the words shy, reserved or timid – words which have plagued my existence since I was a pre-teen. Over time I’ve learned to disguise this part of myself when necessary, so depending on where you meet me I might seem like an extrovert. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like doing things that lean more on that side, it’s just that more often than not, my extroversion has its limits. For example, I can attend parties where I don’t know anyone except the host, but you won’t ever catch me being the ‘life and soul’ of the party. It’s pretty weird to explain (it always has been) which is why when I saw Quiet Power on a list of ‘books you must-read’, I decided to buy it.

Just to give a brief synopsis: This book is about introverts, how they see the world and why being labelled as quiet may not be the most accurate of terms when describing said individuals.

When I began reading this book, I thought I’d be reading the biography of the author (Caine) who herself is an introvert, however after a brief introduction about her beginnings and where she finds herself in the present day, the book along with a few more antidotes about her life includes a combination of many stories and experiences about other introverts and how they manoeuvre their introversion in their day to day lives. While these stories were both interesting and necessary (to an extent), the book, as a result of this felt less personal – I was unable to entirely connect to the narrative because it switched from story to story so frequently. Though I understand the purpose is to make the reader (who is likely to be an introvert) feel like they’re not alone. I would have much preferred the author to elaborate more on her own personal experiences and how she went from a textbook introvert to being able to give speeches and give TED Talks in front of thousands of people, which is as an introvert myself both remarkable and inspiring.

What this book is good at doing is encouraging the reader to embrace being an introvert, it also helps parents and particularly teachers put themselves in the shoes of introverts. It’s no secret that the classroom environment favours the extrovert, i.e. being called upon to answer questions, group work, presentations, reading in class etc. all of which can be terrifying for an introvert. Caine offers great suggestions throughout which adhere to both introverts and extroverts and how the two complement each other, especially in regards to team work. Moreover, as a person who enjoys facts, Caine also includes a number of studies which help put words to the feelings and the actions of the introverted mind.

I enjoyed reading Quiet Power, it was well written and well researched but I would have benefited a lot more from this book if I had read it as a teenager or when I first began university. Nonetheless, whether you’re a parent, sibling, teacher, friend or like me, has accepted and embraced most of their introvert-ness, Quiet Power offers a variety of perspectives, approaches and ideas that anyone who picks up this book will be able to relate to.

3.8 /5
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