Saturday, 6 February 2016

Book Review - Quiet by Susan Cain


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

What a fascinating read!

It talks about the differences between introverts and extroverts, how we actually need both qualities throughout the population but how we focus too much on one spectrum - the extrovert.

The extroverts in our society are levelled up and are consider the ideal persona, while in a lot of cases the introvert is made out to be less than, anti-social, shy or not the ideal. It's just that people have different styles and approach matters at different speeds and angles. There's nothing wrong with that at all but society only wants one style, one approach - the extrovert style.

Our business world is set up this way - open plan offices, consistent teamwork and collaboration, the loudest get noticed more. Our schools even - group work majority of the time, group desk, constant participation required, the quiet get left behind.

Introverts are living in a world that tells them there's something wrong and negative with them, made to feel inadequate cause they work differently to others.

My report cards said the same thing my whole school life "hard-working but shy and needs to talk more". At home if I didn't want to talk, my mum would ask me "what's wrong?" or at social gatherings I was called rude for not speaking up. It's not that I didn't like people or the event or anything like that I just enjoyed observing more than participating. I've always believed there was something wrong with me that needed fixing and I would try to act and be different but it just didn't fit well. Over the last few years I've started to accept this quality of mine and have felt happier and more myself in the process.

Quiet helped me understand that's there nothing inherently wrong with being an introvert and nothing wrong with be an extrovert, we need both sides to make the coin. Yes I do need to draw on extra strength when I have/need to do extroverted things/projects but that's just how I function.

Susan delves into both the scientific and physiological research behind introversion/extroversion which is both numerous and fascinating. I found the fact that people can actually be thin/thick skinned and thin skinned can be more sensitive to circumstances, which explains why I sweat so much when I'm nervous in an uncomfortable situation even if I appear to look conformable. Also introversion/ extroversion is a trait we are born with, yes personality, nature, nurture, free will, environment and society can all influence it to a degree, but it's built with in us from day dot.

It's always good to work on extrovert skills but it's also good to honour yourself and recharge when you need to. We cannot force people to change or fit our mould but we can work on adapting and accepting each other and ourselves. Approach each person as they are, to use an analogy some people are like slow cookers and take their time to warm up to situations whereas others are like microwaves and warm up in a flash. We need both types and we need to respect and honour both, neither one is better as we need both to make the world go round.

This post isn't sponsored or anything, I just wanted to share my thoughts.

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