Last Year i.e., 2019, I gifted myself a bundle of books waiting in my amazon shopping cart to be checked out accumulating over time by the suggestions of my friends and my reading list, on my birthday. But the year was a little busy for me and lot of books to read in such a less time and it took me an year before I got the time to pick the book, I was most excited to read. It’s not I didn’t read in the meanwhile, I bought more books than I can read and picked the ones from the back of my shelf first as it would be only fair them.
The other reason I didn’t read much books last year is because of my bad habit of binging which means, If I pick one book, I can put it down. And thus, I cannot find a continuous time frame for completing any one book. But now, I have decided to read slowly, but consistently. After all, I am not participating in any race. (Though I can, if anyone wants to challenge :P) Besides, I read fiction faster than the Non-fiction and help books, because I need to think about the things discussed in the book and takes up most of the time.
This year, I am on a streak of reading atleast 1 book a month and I selected Quiet, the power of introverts for the month of May, which I picked soon after watching the Ted talk by Susan Cain, the author of this amazing book. I
Also, this blog post will be my first ever review on any book I have read. Each time I read a book, I make few notes somewhere as I go through the chapters, writing and noting down my thoughts I had and the lessons I realize. (Since most of knowledge about comes from reading, typical introvert I believe)
If you have suggestions on improving the language of this post, please comment down below or reach out to me. I don’t have any experience writing reviews, as I don’t read many reviews. I just pick books out of recommendations and the introduction but no reviews. I don’t really believe in reviews, yet I am writing one. Kind of strange! This post can be considered more like a summary than the review, because I don’t intend to critize the book in terms of the language, structure or story in any way, though this book is one of the best researched book I have ever read. The book itself is the proof of the hardwork Susan Cain and her team put in it. The narrations of the book is smooth, the stories relatable, the research and studies supporting the stories and co-related, and the structure of the book is one of the best thing about this book. The chapters are organized in a way, that it contains every thing, an introvert can have in their mind while reading. (It doesn’t cover the role of ambivert, but I guess the introvert in ambiverts will find this book as fascinating as I did)
I wasn’t aware of the term introverts and extroverts, or any of the terms from any psychological studies. My friend, Aman asked me to take a test on MBTI personality and I came out as IxxJ. It was the first time I was introduced about these terminologies and I am grateful that I found out them. Finding about the type of personality you have can help you understand yourself better and be confident in your actions even if the people around you or the society doesn’t conform to your actions. And this is the best thing an introvert will learn reading this book. To appreciate themselves in this extrovert orientated world and how introverts try to or are forced to conform to their hopes. Which leads to burn out, mental health problems, self doubt and so on. Thus, knowing about oneself can be very helpful to understand yourself, and deciding on things accordingly, such as careers. That’s about it. Over time, I learned more about my personality type and introverts and other personality test such as OCEAN (described in book as well).
Still with me? Great, so I started reading the book, slower than my usual pace being a non-fictional and to understand everything in the book. I usally read 10 minutes, think 10 minutes and so on in a cycle and complete reading the book in 19 days.
Susan took her time writing the book, doing researching and putting them all together in a sequence that cannot be improved any further. She started working on the book in 2005 and published the book in 2012, which may seem like a long time to write a book, but after reading the book, one can appreciate the time she dedicated to the book.
Each chapter covers a different characteristic of personality types with the relevant researches and examples. Susan put all the personality and psych researches in perfect chronology, supporting the latest observation with the previous researches and co-relating several different researches, i.e., covering many questions a reader can have in their mind. The books started with how Dale Carnegie dedicated his life to be a leader in the extrovertism favored world and how the trends switched from character to personality.
The book is divided into four parts, with each parts containing one or more chapters covering related topics.
Part 1: The Extrovert Ideal
This part shares about how the world is favored for extrovert personalities and how the trends changed from weighing characters to giving personality and body language more importance. What is considered more likeable in our society and the myths revolving around the extrovert leaders. In the third chapter, it shares the one thing that most introverts cherish the most, time for themselves, a period in their busy day to be able to think freely and be creative in their own comfort bubble, which is being threatened by many corporates opting for open working spaces in office.
Part 2: Your Biology, your self?
This part covers the relation between your biological history to your present personality. It considers the question we all have, when did we become the way we are, i.e., when did we become an extrovert or an introvert, or what made us that way. Can we force ourselves to change by acting opposite of personality types and how does it affect us. Many introverts in reality tries to act as an extroverts temporarily or permanently to be one in the herd. How our personality type, affects our decision making skills, the choices we make, the risks we take and how can we combine the traits of both personalities to achieve the best.
Part 3: Do all cultures have an Extrovert Idea?
This part covers cultures and how different cultures favored one personality types and suppressed other. It justifies the reason why some people feel more productive and comfortable in one group, while diffident and conservative in other. It covers the relation between demographies and personality types and supports the findings with relevant researches and case studies.
Part 4: How to Love, How to work?
By now, reader must have grasped the nature of their personality and must have realized about their personality. Readers by now (I had), might relived few moments of their life based on the case studies and learned why they made those choice and acted that way. But what now after learning all about ourself? After knowing all the pros and cons that comes inherently with your personality, what should we do? It’s easy, we balance them out by complementing each other.
It is true, to function well, we need the positive traits of both personality types and everyone needs to develop traits for both but it is easier said than done.
This part covers, how an introvert can function well in the society without compromizing their true self. How can one act, and become extrovert if needed without loosing their sanity, and being burned out. It also covers case studies on how to cater to the needs of different personality type as a partner, friend and a parent.
This book covers a variety of questions an introvert can have in their mind and to empower them by helping them realize that they are different than the others and not that rare. Even if an introvert is feeling odd in a group, they will start to appreciate that fact in themself after reading this book.
If you are an introvert, this book is a must read, but if you are an extrovert, I suggest you to read it more in order to understand your introvert friends and understanding their needs of less stimulating environments. The world can’t function with only one type of personality and requires both type to cordinate together.
This book doesn’t cover the concept of ambivert, but I am sure that the book covers case studies that help ambiverts appreciate both of their personality types, mixed together. News flash: I am an ambivert (45% extrovert or pseudo extrovert, based on the OCEAN test I took few months back)
I wanted to cover many technical concepts in this blog post as well, such as the researches shared in the book, case studies, timeline and the personality tests described but that will be irrelevant to this post and will update those details with a new post when I will return back to this book for a second spin.
My review on Good Reads:
If you are an introvert or even trying to understand why you are the way you are, this book is one of the most researched book on the topic. If you are an introvert or an pseudo extrovert, this book is must read and may even be better than those self help books you are reading to improve yourself.
Until then, Stay learning!