Monday, June 27, 2016

A Book Called Quiet...Being A Powerful Introvert!

(This is not a paid post. No free book or remuneration was received. All writing/opinions are my own.)

Sharing A Favorite Book

Well, here I am doing what I love to do most....reading a book. Want to know what it's about? 

The title kind of gives you a hint. It's about being quiet. Wait a minute....what????  Why would someone need to read a book about being quiet?!  Well...there's more to the title than just quiet. The full title is, "Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking."  This book, by Susan Cain, gives information about what it means and doesn't mean to be introverted, gives a history of how extroversion became the "ideal" in our society and talks about how to exist more healthfully in this world if you are an introvert. It's an interesting read (I'm actually re-reading as I've had the book for awhile) and because of my interest in introversion (since I am one) I wanted to share the book with very awesome readers! I've done a previous post on introversion before. If you missed that first one, you can catch up here

Susan divides the book into four sections with three or four chapters complimenting each section. The four sections are:

Part One: The Extrovert Ideal
Part Two: Your Biology, Your Self?
Part Three: Do All Cultures Have An Extrovert Ideal?
Part Four: How To Love, How To Work

I really enjoyed this book the first time I read it and am enjoying the re-read even more as I am gleaning information that I missed the first time. It's that kind of book...the more you read it, the more you learn. 

For instance, did you know that we wouldn't have many ideas, books, musical pieces and technological advances if it weren't for introverts? Things like Chopin's nocturnes, Newton's theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of relativity, Larry Page's Google or the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. These folks were (are) introverts! Kind of puts a new perspective on those of us who like to have lots of quiet time for....let's say.....thinking??

Cain is quick to point out (and rightly so in my opinion) that whether someone is extroverted or introverted, they can achieve and be successful. It's not a judgement on someone's personality. But, the book helps to explain why, in our society, so much emphasis is placed on being outgoing, working at high speed, multi-tasking, being a fantastic public speaker, working in groups rather than alone...all traits that speak more to being an extrovert rather than an introvert. And yet, she points out, both personalities have strengths and can be leaders in their own right. 

I find myself often in the pages of this book. And, yes, it is affirming to my introverted personality. The author even talks about how introverted personalities are viewed not only in workplace situations but in other group type situations, such as church. I was amazed at how the book resonates with me. 

I began thinking about re-reading the book yesterday as I went through a hectic day that took a toll on my introverted personality. After directing the choir for two services at church the day continued with a reception after church in the fellowship hall. It was an emotional morning as we were saying good-bye to our assistant pastor who is leaving, after six years, to be senior pastor at another church. There were lots of people, many speeches and lots of tears. Overdrive for an introvert! 

As often happens on these hectic days, we were also invited to a graduation party for the son of a friend. The morning had started extremely early and all I really wanted to do was to take a nap after getting home from the church reception. All of the people and emotion had drained me and I desperately needed time to myself. But, this was not possible as we had to get ready and be off to the party. Now, I am not anti-social and I like a good party as much as the next person. And the people at the party were kind and friendly folks! But, I really didn't know most of the people at this party and making "small talk" is definitely not my forte. To put it mildly, I was way out of my comfort zone....and spent the afternoon feeling awkward and out of place. Yes, my feelings were most likely exacerbated because of the high emotional toll from earlier in the day, but, even so, the party exhausted me. It was with a sigh of relief that I arrived home late in the day, finally took my nap and guessed it....curled up with a good book! As with most introverts, having times of quiet and/or engaging in quiet pursuits is how an introvert recharges their batteries. And, boy oh boy,  did my batteries ever need recharging!!

So think about this for a moment....I felt uncomfortable sharing discussion yesterday at the party with a group of 15-20 people who were right there with me in a room....and yet, here I am today, the self proclaimed introvert, sharing my feelings and thoughts with....oh...people all around the world on the Internet? What??!!

Susan Cain speaks to this when she discusses that introverts are more likely than extroverts to express intimate facts about themselves online because they feel that they can express their real selves online more easily than in group situations and welcome the chance to communicate digitally. Now....I don't intend to give out all of the intimate details of my life online....but I do understand the comfort level of sharing with others via a blog. It is definitely easier to express myself through writing. And reading this book about introversion helps me to understand myself, including my blogging self, more and more!

Can you identify? Hope you'll take a moment to share. And, if the book interests is the Amazon link, although I am sure it is also available through many other vendors. (This is not a paid post, I'm just sharing the book because I find it interesting!)

Until Next Time,

*Be sure to check out the final installment in the "Between the Lines" series over at Katherines Corner tomorrow (Tuesday).

Linking with:
Katherines Corner Thursday Favorites Grammietime2


Karen said...

I can identify in a big way! I will have to get a copy of this book. Being an introvert, and reading your description of the activities at church and then off to a party where you didn't know many people, I could honestly feel how that felt! I worked for a company for 20 years where it was my job (as an introvert remember) to meet often with vendors of our products, take them to lunch and out to dinner, I've been invited to homes when traveling out of town for business and boy do I have stories! I learned through necessity the art of small talk, and never felt comfortable doing it. Talk about 'crash and burn' after some of those work days!! Like you, I do enjoy occasional parties, but it sure helps to know the participants (more than one or two!) In my heart of hearts, my favorite activities are solitary pursuits, reading being at the top of the list. Reading outside is just that much better! So let's hear it for introverts! We DO have a lot to offer! : )

Sharon said...

Thank you for your blog post on introversion. As an introvert, there have been many times that I've felt misunderstood. This book was affirming for me too, and helped me to understand myself better. It's been a while since I finished the book, but after seeing your post, I am inspired to re-read the book as well.

Debbie Styles Life said...

Wow, Karen, it sounds like you can identify with me! We introverts have to stick together! Do you still have to meet and greet in the job you hold now? I have improved over the years with small talk, but I'm always better at it with folks I know.

Debbie Styles Life said...

I know you will enjoy the book a second time, Sharon! I'm glad my post inspired you to re-read.

Anonymous said...

No Debbie, in my current job there is no entertaining. I work in a cancer center, big switch from my last job. I find it much easier to talk with patients and visitors, find it more sincere and I enjoy it. I read your previous post on introverts and saw in that the reason why I so often felt exhausted after a day at work! Quite an eye opener!

Debbie Styles Life said...

Oh,yes, I am always drained by the time I finish a day of teaching so I completely understand your exhaustion, Karen. What a meaningful job you have, working in a cancer center. You are a special lady to do that!

Ginger Wroot said...

I've had this book on my Amazon wish list for a while, and your review of the book makes me even more eager to read it. I like to think of myself as an extrovert, but I feel pretty sure that I'm actually an introvert. Interacting for extended times with people, even my closest family whom I love dearly, can drain me emotionally and physically...I am most content immersing myself in work worth doing while in solitude. Thanks for a great book review! --Ginger

Debbie Styles Life said...

I think you will enjoy the book, Ginger. Let me know what you think about it if you decide to get it.