“Quiet” Reflection #3 (Chapter 6–7)

Cain packs Chapter 6 full of information, stories and ideas, all united by the recurring and underlying theme of balance. Initially, she uses the pairing of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt to show how Franklin’s outgoing and political nature is only complimented by Eleanor’s compassionate and empathetic ways. Although the two individuals are of extensive contrast, they are able to work together to build a whole stronger than its parts. Cain also includes her own story of the time she attends a camp specially designed for those with highly-sensitive personality types. As her narrative progresses, she explains that she has a newfound appreciation for the synchrony between extroverts and introverts, rather than a desire for a world made of only the latter. Chapter 6 additionally contains a more scientific view of the need for balance. By studying pumpkinseed fish, David Sloan Wilson is able to see the same low- and high-reactive traits and behavioral patterns that are visible in humans. This chapter strategically provides a mix of personal and scientific support to Cain’s claim that a balance between extroversion and introversion is essential. Also, Cain utilizes both large- and small-scale forms of support at the same time. By explaining the match between Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Cain is showing how balance is beneficial on a small scale; whereas the explanation of the evolutionary scientific study was of a much larger view, an entire population of organisms. Cain diversifies her types of supporting details to help strengthen her claim.

The theme of balance continues within Chapter 7 as Cain tells the stories of the 2008 United States stock market crash. The preliminary cause of the stock market’s crashing can be attributed to the lack of introverts holding authority and capital within the market, thus being overrun by presumptuous and confident extroverts. The extroverts exuded assurance and conviction when addressing clients, while behind the curtain they lacked judgement. Since clients preferred to send money to someone who is seemingly sure of their advice and counseling, introverts did not prosper despite their more thought-out and planned decisions. After this pattern continuing, the strong majority of leaders within the stock market were extroverts who thrived off risky decisions and chased unlikely payouts. Although introverts were and are commonly overlooked and underestimated, their presence could’ve likely saved the stock market from its crashing. If more introverts had held authority prior to the crash, more attention would’ve been drawn to the hazardous moves being made. Cain includes this anecdote to provide another real-world application for introverted traits, and just another demonstration of how crucial balance is within society and systems.