Reflection on Quiet #4

As I read this section, I was surprised how some cultures are made up of introversion. In The United States, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal, but the Asian countries, are mostly introverted. A research psychologist, Robert McCrae published a map of the world proving this, because it is based on personality traits. The map is shaded dark for extroversion and light for introversion to reveal that clearly, Asia is introverted and Europe is extroverted. As I read on, the author went more into depth on how these traits affect education and motivation. Susan Cain speaks with multiple high school students from Cupertino, like Mike Wei who reports, “we put so much emphasis on education,” referring to Asians in general, “ socializing is not a big part of our selves.”

“Words are potentially dangerous weapons that reveal things better left unsaid. They hurt people; they can get their speaker into trouble.” This is one of my favorite quotes that Susan Cain wrote because it shows that even though extroverts may talk more and speak up, it is not always for the best. When I started my job as a hostess, I was always hearing about how quiet I was and everyone would make a big deal when I did talk. This was a normal thing for me, getting used to a new surrounding and new people, I mostly observed and listened, doing as I was told. We recently hired a new waitress that was always harassing me for tables and laughing obnoxiously loud, it made me wonder how she could be so comfortable on her first day. The longer she worked, the more people made comments on their dislike for her and I thought to myself, “this is why I am so reserved. So people can get to know me before I become too comfortable.” Although, being quiet is not always the best either.

“People who don’t talk are seen as weak or lacking,” said Mike Wei, the high school senior Cain interviewed. He came to this conclusion when a professor made a joke about how ‘loud’ he was that day. I feel a similar way after work when the waitresses boss me around, because they can and I am quiet so I will not say anything about it. Growing up, I have tried to avoid conflict at all costs. I have strong beliefs and I am passionate about them, but being an introvert I have trouble expressing my beliefs and standing up for myself without being shut down. I hope that people will recognize that introverts are not any less of people because they are not loud.

A part of growing up is accepting not only everyone else’s differences, but your own. My biggest challenge has been accepting my quiet traits. The author takes the reader through Tiffany Liao’s story. She started as a, “baby-faced seventeen-year-old on her way to college,” but ended up as a, “worldly and sophisticated college senior.” She believes her quiet traits had helped her become editor-in-chief and discover her dream of becoming a journalist. I aspire to not let my introversion hold me back and be able to embrace it.

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