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patfrench

Stop Making Sense

I read anything that's nailed down, or even just moving slowly. Cereal boxes, candy wrappers, all genres, etc., and I don't always have much time for arbitrary distinctions like literary fiction vs. genre fiction.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan  Cain I had a long, lovely review written for this one, but the computer stopped computing. Bah.

Anyway, this book could not be more relevant to my interests, speaking as somebody who's at the extreme end of the "I" scale. I'd been enjoying Cain's blog posts over at Psychology Today, and I was excited to hear she'd written a book.

There's so much to love here: the engaging writing, the solid research reporting, the illustrative examples, the listings of references works and additional readings. But what really earns the fifth star for me is the fact that she doesn't frame introversion as a defect, a problem, an abnormality to overcome. We simply have a different way of being, despite the best efforts of misguided people to paint us as antisocial, arrogant, shy, dull, and any number of other projected negative characteristics.

In fact, I'm wondering whether this might be a bit of a "preaching to the choir" situation--we introverts already know the value of solitude, reflection, focusing alone on a problem, and letting each person talk. The trick is getting it across to the societal infrastructure at large: schools (group work), companies (team projects; cube farms; open bullpens), and even home designers (open floor plans). As another GR reviewer said, "Introverts living in the Extrovert Ideal are like women living in a man's world." It's ill-fitting at best and downright hostile in some cases.

I recommend this book to introverts everywhere, people who think they might be introverts, and sympathetic/curious extroverts.