Are you an introvert? Quiet, a favourite of Simon Sinek and Emma Watson may be the book to help you understand yourself if you are one or other who you think might be.
It is a 2012 non-fiction book written by Susan Cain. Cain argues that modern Western culture misunderstands and undervalues the traits and capabilities of introverted people, leading to “a colossal waste of talent, energy, and happiness”.
Emma Watson said in an interview that, “it discusses how extroverts in our society are bigged up so much, and if you’re anything other than an extrovert you’re made to think there’s something wrong with you. That’s like the story of my life.”
The book presents a history of how Western culture transformed from a culture of character to a culture of personality in which an “extrovert ideal” dominates and introversion is viewed as inferior or even pathological. Adopting scientific definitions of introversion and extroversion as preferences for different levels of stimulation, Quiet outlines the advantages and disadvantages of each temperament, emphasizing the myth of the extrovert ideal that has dominated in the West since the early twentieth century. Asserting that temperament is a core element of human identity, Cain cites research in biology, psychology, neuroscience and evolution to demonstrate that introversion is both common and normal, noting that many of humankind’s most creative individuals and distinguished leaders were introverts. Cain urges changes at the workplace, in schools, and in parenting; offers advice to introverts for functioning in an extrovert-dominated culture; and offers advice in communication, work, and relationships between people of differing temperament.
Simon Sinek recommends this book and says, “affirms to a good many of us who are introverts by nature that we needn’t try to be extroverts if we want to lead.”
“This book embarrassed me. It suggests that most of us undervalue introverts and, thus, effectively take a pass on about 40 percent of the population. In particular, introverts tend to be more thoughtful and deliberate,” says Tom Peters for his favourite book.