The Power of Quiet

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Sometimes you need a book to tell you something that you really should already know. That's what happened to me with Quiet.

Actually I had to run into the book twice before I fully acknowledged its message to me. I first found Quiet at my friend's house. I was sitting on the couch, and the book spoke to me from the coffee table. (With a title like Quiet, you would think it would whisper, but it actually called quite loudly to me.) My friend had a few things to do before we could go out. I picked up the book. I opened it up at a random place and began to read. Then I started to laugh that hard belly laugh that happens when you encounter stories from members of your tribe.

In Quiet, Susan Cain spells out the differences between extroverts and introverts and explains how our culture is geared towards rewarding people who are outgoing and sociable, extroverts by nature. She tells stories of introverts who have figured out how to happily live in an environment that is often not built for them. She gives strategies for how to flourish in personal and professional relationships. She advises parents on how to advocate for their introverted children.

But somehow after that, I forgot about Quiet, and I signed up to go to a writing retreat where I would be away from home and around people for an extended period of time. Let's just say it did not go well. And when I limped back to my palatial fortress, frayed to my last nerve, one of my few coherent thoughts was, “I need to get on Kindle, and I need to buy Quiet. I need to read it from beginning to end. I need to own it now to forever remind of me of the kind of person I am.”

You've probably already heard of Quiet. You've probably read it, too. It's a popular book, and I'm so happy that Susan Cain wrote it. But in case you missed it, I wanted to bring it up because so many creative people are introverts. We require regular solitude. We need to constantly negotiate a way to navigate the waters of “normal life.” If we fail to heed our inner barometers, we're miserable and can be seen as crazy. I know all about it. That's why Quiet is one of my favorite books.

You can quietly find this book here.