5 03 2016


When I first came across Susan Cain’s TED talk on the power of introverts, it struck me as a little defensive. I’ve always been comfortable with my introversion and have never felt any qualms about it. Maybe because the culture I grew up in didn’t show any undue favoritism towards extroverts. Or so I think. ūüėõ

Susan Cain’s thoroughly researched book “Quiet” addresses the prevalent notion that extraversion is superior to introversion.¬† In many Western cultures Extroversion is highly valued and consequently Introversion is looked down upon. This is not quite true for Asian cultures, which perceive Introversion to be a more desirable trait.

The book discusses how today’s schools and workplaces are being built only for extroverts¬†focusing more¬†on¬†group work ¬†and seamless interaction/communication, leaving the introverts baffled, uncomfortable, out of place, and thereby very unproductive. The author calls for more balanced design of classroom and office work spaces, given the fact that introverts often make up 30-50¬†percent¬†of the pool. The “extroversion ideal” also adversely¬†affects the self-esteem of the introverts.

I never considered even the possibility of the opportunities lost because of my tendency to be reserved. Nor did I have any notion of how I could leverage my deep and quiet nature to the best in different aspects of my life. “Quiet” offered me a context to ponder over these thoughts. Introversion is¬† characterized by both nature and nurture. Learning the physiological aspect of it not only helps introverts to understand and accept themselves better and also to adopt some tips/techniques to get over their natural inclinations and occasionally play an “extroverted” role, as demanded by circumstances.

Susan Cain emphasizes that introverts have quiet power in them and are invaluable part of the society, who contribute as much, and in many cases, much more than extroverts to the success and well-being of the world.

It’s well-written, enlightening, and deeply engaging.




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