March 29, 2016
Quiet – The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain is absolute fascinating read into the inner workings of the reflective introverts that populate society.
This book by Susan Cain delves into the paradigm that has been glossed over in the “Culture Of Personality”.
Cain begins the book outlining the fact that we as a society have transitioned from a Culture Of Character to a Culture of Personality, which thus left us facing myriad issues from which society still faces today.
The book even elucidates that the world personality was not part of our vocabulary until the 18th century and that “the idea of “having a good personality” was not widespread until the twentieth.” This goes to show that this notion is quite modern indeed.
Throughout the entirety of the book the author also enumerates countless examples of research and studies that have taken place which shows the notable differences between introverts and extroverts. Its quite intriguing considering how wrong western culture has been about introverts over the last many decades, if not longer.
Even the school system has been tailored to fit the ‘culture of personality’ rather than the ‘culture of virtue’. That has done a great disservice to many folks, because as the book mentions between a third to a half of all people are introverts, and yet school is not only geared to push the personality paradigm, but people that are introverts get run over by the system due to people thinking there’s something “wrong” with just wanting to do work by yourself, or perhaps in a less noisy environment that fosters greater inner growth for such individuals.
In fact, the book names a few examples where parents, or people, thought something was “wrong” with a particular individual, when that was just their nature. Not only that, but introverts, in many facets, outdo extroverts due to their nature. It’s not that there are inherently smarter than them, its that their process is more efficient in many ways.
Ironically enough, Cain mentions how “we perceive talkers as smarter than quiet types – even though grade-point averages and SAT intelligence scores reveal this perception to be inaccurate.”
Cain also covers the interesting topic of the “Bus to Abilene,” which shows people’s penchant for following others who carry out actions – any actions.
The author also covers the topic of The New Groupthink.
Within her thoughts, she gives her concerns for the system, which is constantly giving precedence for group work – “team work” – all at the expense of the individual, as it claims that ‘creativity and intellectual achievement’ only come via teamwork. Nothing could be further from the truth. The author covers facts that tackle this rather incisively.
This has taken place because America has wholly shifted en masse unfortunately to teachings that reflect the business community, rather than what’s best for the individual. What’s worse, Common Core will only further these agendas in order to make sure everyone’s ready to help corporations make even more profits at the expense of true learning. Let’s digress however.
Another example of how introverts shine is how top performers are often the ones that have the solitude that they require that isn’t available in many working environments. When freedom of interruption is available, these people overwhelmingly perform better than in environments where excessive stimulation takes place, which hinders production/learning.
Other notions examined are the one of Deliberate Practice, which can only be accomplished by being alone. This is when not only are tasks identified by individuals that are needed to be done, but when individuals push to raise their performance whilst monitoring their progress and adjusting accordingly in order to be able to achieve what needs to be done.
This not only requires deep motivation, but can lead to incredible mastery of subjects. It does, however, require a great commitment in many cases if one wants to achieve true expertise.
The book also covers how many extroverts were behind what took place in the 2009 economic downturn, and how introverts wouldn’t have been as careless with money. It also covers how people tend to link velocity of speech with knowledge, but how that is a big mistake.
Group brainstorming electronically is also delved into, as well as the fear of public humiliation and how large of a role that plays a role in interactions between introverts and extroverts, how important temperament is, as well as the intricate subject of highly reactive children. Also the topic of pseudo-extroverts is also covered. This is important, because many people who seem rather extroverted, are in fact incredibly introverted.
If you’re a teacher, a leader, a manager, or any person that needs to know the inner workings of how introverts and extroverts interact on a daily basis, and how to take advantage of each of their strengthen, then this book is definitely for you.