For Mother’s day my mum asked me to buy her some new books. I searched the shelves for books I thought would interest her and among them was Quiet by Susan Cain.
I was drawn by the white writing on a white background plus the simple blurb that states: “For far too long, those who are naturally quiet, serious or sensitive have been over looked. The loudest have taken over – even if they have nothing to say.
“It’s time for everyone to listen. It’s time to harness the power of introverts. It’s time for Quiet.”
After my mum made her way through the book she passed it on to me – and I am fascinated.
The book explores the place of both the introvert and the extrovert in society and more than this it highlights the importance of the introvert when it seems like the extroverts have taken over.
Introverts are people that have traits of sensitivity, seriousness and shyness while the extroverts are more or less the opposite.
Cain argues that we now live in the ‘Extrovert Ideal’ and that the introverts living in society can be compared to a woman in a man’s world.
The book is interesting from start to finish and will have you questioning many things about yourself and society from the first page.
However it is very much an ‘academic text’ not exactly a book you can just switch your brain off and enjoy so I maybe would not recommend it for a bedtime read.
I am aware many of you will not read the book but if you are curious about whether you are more of an introvert or an extrovert here is the quiz from the book to help you work it out. Answer either true or false to the follow questions, the more you answer true the more inverted you probably are:
- I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities.
- I often prefer to express myself in writing.
- I enjoy solitude.
- I seem to care less than my peers about wealth, fame and status.
- I dislike small talk, but I enjoy talking in depth about topics that matter to me.
- People tell me that I’m a good listener.
- I’m not a big risk taker.
- I enjoy work that allows me to “dive in” with few interruptions.
- I like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, with only one or two close friends or family members.
- People describe me as “soft spoken” or “mellow”
- I prefer not to show or discuss my work with others until it’s finished.
- I dislike conflict.
- I do my best work on my own.
- I tend to think before I speak.
- I feel drained after being out and about, even if I’ve enjoyed myself.
- I often let calls go through to voice mail.
- If I have to choose I’d prefer a weekend with nothing to do than one with too many things scheduled.
- I don’t enjoy multitasking.
- I can concentrate easily.
- In classroom situations, I prefer lectures to seminars.