Susan Cain has hit the nail on the head. There is a difference between being shy and being introverted, and her 2012 award-winning book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” explores the often overlooked world of the more reserved among us. It is well-researched, engrossing, and has the ability to change the way you see yourself and your peers.
The book approaches the topic from multiple angles, from how extroversion became a cultural ideal in the United States, introversion in the professional world, and how introverts and extroverts can communicate more effectively. One of its biggest strengths is that it intersperses drier portions with stories and anecdotes, making it more personal and relatable.
The heart of her argument — that we don’t value introverts enough and that we lose something in doing so — is an argument that can resonate with those who may prefer solo activities or one-on-one conversation as opposed to group activities. It is not just dry research to toss aside but an accessible account of the introverted life.
Whether you’re a self-professed introvert, a gregarious extrovert, or somewhere in between, “Quiet” will open your eyes to a group of people who may not talk as much but still have plenty to say.
Goldin is a member of the class of 2013.