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Reading in 2013: Quiet

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain was my second non-fiction read for 2013.

A hugely popular book last year, this examines both our cultural bias towards extroversion as well as the physiological commonalities shared by "introverts."

I found it encouraging and validating, as a self-professing introvert - albeit one who often functions as an extrovert. WHICH is a thing this book discusses. On many pages, I found myself wanting to shout, "THIS IS ME!" to whomever was closest at the moment, or to compile all the anecdotes and walk around handing them out to those whose lives most intersect with my own.

There is a chapter on introversion & Asian culture, which tends to value it more highly than our North American culture does, and another chapter on parenting introverted children... (for those to whom either is applicable, I highly recommend these chapters)

I am not keen to be prescriptive in how we label ourselves, and I think this book explores the complexity of introversion & extroversion in a way that gives space for the uniqueness of each person; there is no "true introvert" or "true extrovert," as we are multi-faceted people whose personalities are more complex than one label. That said, I think this read has a lot to offer in terms of understanding the inherent differences between people (the science of our brains is quite fascinating) and learning to create room to thrive in business and relationships. I'd recommend it to anyone - regardless of where you fall on the spectrum.


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