I am an introvert. This book convinced me that the word is not synonymous to loser.
Introversion is a kids’ thing, isn’t it? We mostly hear of it when parents say something like oh, I’m sorry that my child never speaks out in class, but you know, (s)he’s an introvert. But some people never outgrow it. There are those who, in the rare case of voicing their opinion on a meeting, end up red and shaking like a clockwork beetroot. Those who prefer a one-to-one conversation about the meaning of life to huge and noisy get-togethers. Those who spend their weekends alone, listening to music, scribbling in their diaries, reading a book, or, well, writing a blog. These grown-ups are called introverts, too. There are also less polite names, but we all know them.
In her bestselling book, Cain explains that these quiet individuals aren’t necessarily stupid or antisocial, just highly reactive. Other people often make them feel overstimulated. After a day out, they need some downtime to recover. They may not party as hard and have as many Facebook friends as extraverts, but they have time to read more books and plan more revolutions. Quiet mentions quite a bunch of great people, who changed the world despite, or even thanks to, being rather withdrawn. Who wouldn’t like to be in the (silent) company of Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Bill Gates, J.K. Rowling, Eleanor Roosevelt and Anastazja Oppenheim? (Well, the last one isn’t in the book yet, but will definitely be included in future editions.)
By the way, the book also enlightened me on the causes of my dislike of TV (too many sounds! too many pictures!), on why a cup of black tea after lunchtime keeps me awake all night, and why a single bottle of cider can make me dance to Alicia Keys playing a private gig in my head. High reactivity, you see.
All in all, Quiet is a recommendable feel-good book for all loners and weirdos. Especially if they’re recovering from a depression caused by reading How to Win Friends and Influence People.