Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Most of this, to be honest, is self-explanatory, but the rest is a fairly comprehensive exploration of how extroversion became a public ideal back in the 1920's, replacing the power of character with personality and the social stigma that has ever since been placed upon people who don't seem vibrant and ebullient.
It shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone that 1/3 to 1/2 of all people are introverts, but because we live in a society that places a premium on everything non-introverted, most of us have to fake it to make it, and with that comes exhaustion and misunderstanding, whether with our bosses, our intimates, or with ourselves and our own natures.
This book tells us to relax. Be ourselves. Value what you value and understand that some people aren't naturally conflict avoidant, that they like to express anger, surround themselves with a bunch of shallow social jostlers, and that we oughtn't judge our extroverted peers when they jump into decision-making strategies that sink ships and endanger the lives of everyone around them just because they couldn't be bothered to think things through before opening their damn mouths.
And please don't judge all the sheep that are impressed by the aggressive blowhards and follow on their every word because they're just so damn charismatic, either.
It's okay to think and spend some time alone from others. Really. It might just be the salvation of the world if enough of us just throw off the yoke of social expectations or the stigma a shyness and just get prepared, build up all our talents and reserves in peace, and strike when the time is perfect. We're not unobservant, after all. We just have little patience for bullshit.
And even if society has taught us to lie our asses off whenever we're expected to be gregarious and social in all those damn shallow ways that others tell us is the only way to make it in this world, don't despair. The High Social Monitoring we do is a coping mechanism that we've had to develop PRECISELY because we're considered social pariahs.
Oh, and GoodReads is a hotbed for a grass-roots introvert revolution. I don't think anyone here will have any real difficulty cultivating contacts and building their networking, because, after all, we're all discussing things that are very important to us and we're diving deep into the material, wallowing in our talents and our passions, and when we rise,
And Oh! We will Rise!
We will rise like the phoenix from the ashes of social scorn and we will scour the world of all those who would ever deny us our right to sit in silence to read our favorite book or sit in silence to write a chapter in our next brilliant novel.
We Will Overcome!
(Aside: Some interpretations of this book are mine only and should not be associated with the author.)
View all my reviews