Zy Marquiez
April 17, 2019

Quiet – The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain is masterful read into the inner workings of reflective introverts that populate society.

Quite methodically, Susan Cain delves into the paradigm that has been glossed over in the “Culture Of Personality”.

On this, Cain begins the book outlining the fact that we as a society have transitioned from a Culture Of Character to a Culture of Personality, which created myriad problems which society still faces today.

The book even elucidates that the world personality was not part of our vocabulary until the 18th century and that “the idea of “having a good personality” was not widespread until the twentieth.”  This goes to show that the notion of ‘personality’ is quite modern.

Moreover, throughout the book the author also enumerates countless examples of research and studies that have taken place which show the notable differences between introverts and extroverts.

Beyond that, Cain has also touched upon the evolution of culture where personality is concerned.

Describing this shift, Cain has noted that the Culture of Personality has become so ever present, that even the school system has been tailored to fit the Culture of Personality rather than the Culture of Character.

This type of social engineering has done a great disservice to many individuals, because as the book mentions, between a third to a half of all people are introverts, and yet school is not only geared to push the personality paradigm, but people that are introverts get steamrolled by the system due to people thinking there’s something “wrong” with just wanting to do work by themselves, or perhaps in a less noisy environment that fosters greater inner growth for such individuals.

Another noteworthy concern is that Cain shows a few examples where parents thought something was seriously “wrong” with a particular children, when that was just their nature.

The ironic part is that introverts, in many facets, outdo extroverts due to their inherent nature.  That’s not something that you will hear the modern media, that pushes the Culture of Personality, expound upon.  It’s not that introverts are inherently smarter than extroverts, its that the mindful application of their intellectual faculties nets much more consistent, and much greater benefits by their inherent nature.

Conversely, Cain mentions how “we perceive talkers as smarter than quiet types – even though grade-point averages and SAT intelligence scores reveal this perception to be inaccurate.”

Additionally, Cain also covers the interesting topic of the “Bus to Abilene,” which shows people’s penchant for following others who carry out actions – any actions.  These circumstances are the staple of extroverts by and large.

The author also sifts through the topic of The New Groupthink, which is given a cursory glance.

Homing in a different perspective, Cain carefully shows her concerns for the system, which is constantly giving precedence for group work – “team work” – all at the expense of the individual, as it claims that ‘creativity and intellectual achievement’ only come via teamwork.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The author covers facts that tackle this rather incisively.

This has taken place because America has wholly shifted en masse unfortunately to teachings that reflect the business community, rather than what’s best for the individual and culture as a whole. 

Another example of how introverts shine is how top performers are often the ones that have the solitude that they require that isn’t available in many working environments.  When freedom of interruption is available, these individuals perform significantly better through deliberate practice than in environments where excessive stimulation takes place, which hinders productivity and learning.

As a significant side note, the idea of Deliberate Practice, in fact, is covered saliently in Talent Is Overrated – What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else, by Geoff Colvin.  It is a crucial concept to keep in mind if self-directed learning and growth are goals you have in mind, or if you happen to homeschool your children as well.

Another way to put it, Deliberate Practice is not only when individuals identify critical tasks to be carried out, but when individuals push beyond comfort and traditional boundaries to raise their performance level through careful and mindful application of their mental faculties, whilst monitoring their progress and adjusting accordingly in order to be able to achieve what needs to be done at the highest levels, which undoubtedly helps lead to compound growth.

This not only requires deep motivation, but can lead to incredible mastery in a variety of areas in life.

Just as so, Cain also covers how many extroverts were behind what took place in the 2009 economic downturn, and how introverts wouldn’t have been as careless with money.  Cain also covers how people tend to link velocity of speech with knowledge, but how that is a big mistake.

Group brainstorming electronically is also delved into, as well as the fear of public humiliation and how large of a role that plays in interactions between introverts and extroverts, how important temperament is, as well as the intricate subject of highly reactive children.  Also the topic of pseudo-extroverts is also touched upon.  This is a critical consideration, because many individuals who seem rather extroverted, are in fact incredibly introverted.

If you’re a teacher, a leader, a manager, or any person that wants to learn about the inner workings of how introverts and extroverts interact on a daily basis, and how to take advantage of each of their strengths, then this book is definitely for you.  I would go one step further and say that if you really want to understand modern culture, this book is a must-have given that we live in what is becoming a Culture of Personality rather than a Culture of Character.

Suggested Reading:

Talent Is Overrated – What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everyone Else by Geoff Colvin

Compound Growth by Darren Hardy

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

Social Engineering 101

About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.