Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Summary

  1. We live in a society which idealizes extroverts but many of us are true introverts and many innovations and much progress is due to introverts. This personality trait is one of the most influential in your life, influencing your friend group, spouse, career, hobbies and more.
Key Takeaways
  1. Introverts – need less external stimulation to function well, work more slowly and deliberately and like focusing on one task at a time, prefer to devote social energies to close friends, family and colleagues, listen more than they talk
  2. Introversion different from shyness. Shy people are uncomfortable around people where introverts are often socially adept but prefer less stimulation
  3. Knowing where you fall in the introvert/extrovert spectrum is important
  4. Asking questions one of the best tools you can use to get to know people and gain their trust. Very important in negotiations too
  5. Praising of extrovert started in booming 1920s when American salesman were needed to sell everything from Ford Model T’s to everyday items in JC Penney, best shown by Dale Carnegie. America transformed from a culture of character to a culture of personality
  6. People have a tendency to follow those who take action, any action
  7. Peter Drucker has found that there are dozens of different personality traits which comprise high performers but charisma tends not to be one of them. Charismatic people often have higher salaries but not necessarily better performance. Many of the best leaders are better described as modest, reserved, humble, gracious, understated
  8. Introverts are uniquely good at leading proactive people
  9. Serious studying or practicing alone is where the greatest progress is made
  10. Introverts and extroverts seek different levels of stimulation. Important to know where you stand so that you can work in your sweet spot as much as possible
  11. Introverts tend to be more analytical and empathic
  12. Extroverts can be characterized by their higher need for external rewards (status, money, sex, etc.)
  13. Must balance action with reflection
  14. Speaks about the differences between Eastern and Western cultures and how the different values of group vs individual focus affects personalities
  15. Strong power beats you up, soft power wins you over
  16. 3 steps to determine core beliefs / loves – what did you love doing as a child?; pay attention to what you volunteer for; pay attention to what you envy
  17. Introverts and extroverts are differently social. Small group of close friends with a need for respites of solitude vs larger group of friends and dislike of solitude
  18. Introverts recharge alone or with a close friend or two whereas extroverts gain energy through interacting with others
  19. Couples who have one member as an introvert and the other as an extrovert need to be aware of which personality they have, how they need to relax, how they deal with issues, how they enjoy personalizing and balance it with their partner’s needs
  20. Venting in fact does not serve as catharsis but actually adds fuel to the fire
  21. Shy people are not less agreeable and don’t have less capacity for intimacy, they simply can’t handle as much novelty
  22. People stop learning and being productive when they feel emotionally threatened
  23. A lot of good recommendations on how to raise confident introverted children
What I got out of it
  1. Pretty good book on the powers of being an introvert and just because society tends to lionize extroverts, it doesn’t mean you should change your personality to gain that praise.