An Inward Look: ‘Quiet’ Book Review

PHOTO COURTESY | QUIET REVOLUTION
‘Quiet’ looks at how our society operates with our personality types.

Think about any group encounter you have had in the first few weeks of school. Think about trading exciting stories about your extravagant vacation. “No way you saw an elk” stuff is being said and the next thing you know you hear, “I worked all summer.”

As you slowly move on from that person, you realize that they don’t follow it up with anything meaningful. It seems so different from the played-up stories your other friend’s like to share.

What we have just seen though is the stark difference between your extroverted friends and your introverted friends.

“Quiet” by Susan Cain is a scientific look at our society and how it operates with our given personality types.

Following the birth of modern psychology, Cain introduces us to many theories as to why introverts and extroverts act the way they do.

Cain shows us the positivity that many often overlook about being introverted: the orchestrated way an introvert speaks and thinks; the importance of being able to focus attention on work for long times; and the importance of friendships and relationships with introverts.

Though Cain shows us how we can and should appreciate introversion, she makes it clear that our society values extroversion, and we don’t have to look too far to notice this.

Group work, round tables, bloody classrooms set up so that group work is inevitable. Sound familiar fellow STEM majors?

For those who truly despise group work and would rather work alone, you seem to be out of luck. Cain argues that this is unfair and really missing the mark on productivity.

Cain states that the best work comes from inward thinking and critiquing one’s own ideas. Instead though, group work encourages people to talk loud to be heard and does not value the well thought out plan.

I myself always thought that I had just not found the right study friends. Through this book though, I have discovered something crazy: I myself am an introvert.

This conclusion is not rare. According to Cain, there is a large population of introverts living like extroverts to reap the benefits that society grants those who talk more frequently.

Cain offers help for those who need these accommodations, mostly quiet distraction free work spaces. From asking your boss to consider you working from home, to perhaps you setting up a regimen of alone time in your day.

After reading this book, I have found myself recommending it to many people. During this time of our lives we are learning so much about ourselves. An inward look is necessary.

I have found that quiet time is an important part of my day now. I understand my needs better now. Learning to appreciate that side of yourself is something everyone should do. Because everyone can truly find peace in their own quiet time.

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