Book Review — Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking

Shraddha Shrestha
Feb 26, 2019 · 6 min read
Photo by Stink Pickle on Unsplash

A silent, soft, sweet, and timid young woman spoke a single word that changed the course of events in American history. She softly said one word that created ripples across America.

This woman was Rosa Parks. And the word was “NO”.

When she said “NO” upon the bus driver’s insistence on leaving her seat for a white passenger, one of the greatest revolutions of the world began.

Rosa Parks was an introvert, who with her quiet power and soft strength shook the world. Also, with Martin Luther King Jr.(an extrovert orator) fueling the spark she lighted, America saw a brighter tomorrow.

“Quiet” is a book for all the Rosa Parks — so that they can understand the very traits that make them introverts (their softness, sensitivities, timidness) are their superpowers. So that they can realize, how they can be exceptional and achieve beyond their wildest dreams because of their introversion, and not despite it.

“Quiet” is a book also for all the Martin Luther Kings, who can learn and team up with Rosa Parks of the world, to create a better self and a better society.

On a surface level, what looks like a book about introversion, Quiet is a groundbreaking revelation in the world of personality understanding.

This masterpiece talks about introverts and introversion from multiple dimensions. It sheds a whole new light on both personality types (extroversion and introversion). It teaches us how the very intricate characters that make introverts who they are can help them become exceptionally brilliant and urges all personality types to learn from certain traits of introverts for their own benefit.

The author Susan Cain has wrapped up this book with some of the most intriguing surprises that would blow your mind as you read them. And if I have to describe the entire book in just a few sentences, I would definitely say that this book is a blueprint. A blueprint for introverts to enhance their capabilities and succeed better in this tough world. A blueprint for extroverts to improve their interpersonal skills, learn from introverts and better themselves by adopting few traits of introverts.

What works in the book? (Strengths of the Book)

Content development

I can praise the way the content is developed in this book for days and weeks and months perhaps. It’s brilliant. When you reach the first few pages of the book and the last few pages you will be thrilled at how wonderfully the author has woven the entire pieces of her content to make her point(s).

“A barber lathers a man before he shaves him” — said Dale Carnegie, and Susan Cain has done exactly that. She primes our mind at the beginning of every chapter before pursuing the main focal point of that chapter. And its done with such simplicity and grace, that you will have a great experience going through the content.

Stories at the beginning of each chapter slowly build the premise for the primary content of that chapter throughout the book. And I personally was amazed at how convincingly the author makes us climb the ladders of content development, bit by bit, page by page.

For this strength of content development, it will not only be a great experience reading the book, but many insights can be garnered to learn writing skills too.

Convincing and abundant researches

Researches, experiments, real-life examples, facts, statistics — a sum of all these have been used by the writer to support the points she makes. Each chapter, each point is fueled with researches in a quiet heavy number.

But the presence of researches is not the highlight here. The way she makes a point while building her content around the research is the cherry on top.

Does not deal with just “what” but also the “hows”

Books motivate us, tell us what we are doing right, give us wise words about where we are going wrong and all that. But the real utility of a book comes when we know what we can make of the knowledge. As it is mentioned in Quiet — knowledge should sometimes be appreciated for its own sake instead of being used as a blueprint of action. True. But all the while it becomes worthwhile to at least know about the significance and impact the knowledge can have in our lives.

My point here is, it is great learning about personality types, what makes introverts so exceptional, what can we learn from introverts, and everything else. But to know how all the knowledge can be used to enhance our lives would be a winning moment for most. Susan Cain has taken care of this for us by dedicating her last few chapters just explaining in the most perfect way possible — “how” can we use this newly formed knowledge of introversion and introvert’s superpower to nourish our lives, our relationships, our capabilities.

What does not work in the book?

Only one aspect of the book that might not work for most people is the heaviness of the content. The book is so rich in terms of the content, researches, experiments, examples, and explanations that at times you may find it very difficult to continue reading the book.

The great content development style and impeccable storytelling tactics of the writer is a great boost to continue reading. Yet, when you go on reading, the wide variety of topics and issues that this book has tried to wrap up in between its pages makes things a bit too tiring for you.

This drawback of the book won’t be applicable to voracious readers though. But to those who are beginners in reading, or read only once in a while, reading Quiet might be a huge undertaking.

Is this book only useful for introverts?

I am not an introvert. Yet, I loved this book. And how could I not! It was a revolution on its own. It made me think hard. It makes me curious. It shed a whole new light to everything I knew about personalities. It helped me create a powerful change in terms of interpersonal relationships.

At the end of this book, I am sure if I were a true blue introvert, I would have experienced a great deal of boost in my self-esteem. Because all throughout an introvert’s life, he/she gets taunted for being silent, sensitive, thoughtful, lost in own’s world, soft. Introverts are always encouraged to be more extroverted. Talk more. Go out more. Make more friends. Socialize better. Don’t be so quiet all the time. These statements are heard by introverts throughout their lives and are always phrased as criticisms, but never as compliments. Now suddenly, someone has written a book that provides tons of proof why introverts are cool just they are. So, of course, as an introvert, I would be proud. As an introvert, I would learn to use my introversion in my favor, excel exceptionally by stepping on the ladders of my introversion.

But if you are an extrovert or ambivert, you sure as well will be benefited more. Because -

  • You would know after reading the book how introverts feel, think, reason, perceive and work things out. This would greatly nourish your relationships with the other personality type.
  • At work, at home and in social situations, you would learn to listen and pay attention to introverts for raising the standard of your professional decisions, personal preferences, and social scenarios. (According to the book, as introverts are naturally very observant and better decision makers, so you with the knowledge of this book can take help from the introverts to enjoy better personal and professional decisions.)
  • With “Quiet”, you have a handbook that explains how some of the great characteristics of introverts can help them become exceptional. The book even describes the process of how other personality types can learn from those characteristics. And these are not the features that you would have to be born with. You can learn them over time. Imagine how kick-ass you would be if while enjoying the positive characteristics of your own personality style, you can even learn and integrate that of the other style.

So, yes, the book is as useful for an average extrovert, as it is for an introvert.

Final Thoughts

I loved reading Quiet. Both the time. After a few months, would probably read it for the third, and fourth time. The reason? It cracked my mind up. It introduced me to the knowledge that was beyond my wildest imagination. And if you want to roll on the floor thinking what the hell did I just read, then please, please pick this book!

Shraddha Shrestha

Written by

I write like a maniac, and read like one !

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