Book Review: Quiet by Susan Cain

As an extrovert I wondered if this book would simply extol the virtues of the quieter persuasion and end up making me feel bad about myself. It did nothing of the sort! I gained so much insight and empathy for how introverts are raised and pushed by parents and society to be other than they are. I had no idea! I was also surprised that introverts may make up as little as a third of our population. I work in library science, a traditionally introverted field, and am a hobbyist writer, another predominantly introverted field! I thought surely introverts must outnumber extroverts ten to one. We are certainly fewer and farther between in my personal experience than in the lawyering and business worlds that Cain describes. But I think I must’ve also had a unique upbringing being raised by a handicapable introvert. I was taught to use my voice to make sure everyone got a chance to be heard. To use my social prowess to check in with individuals one on one and make each person as comfortable as possible. I am so grateful to have been made aware at a young age that this world takes all kinds and that just because a person is quiet doesn’t mean anything negative about their personality, value, or the quality of their ideas. To Cain I would say thank you so much for the insight you provide to those of us who have not experienced growing up introverted in our extroverted American society and thank you again for the invaluable validation you provide for introverts everywhere to be so affirmed. I want to share this book with everyone I know, introverted and extroverted alike. Beautiful, timely, insightful, and much needed.

Jobe, The Rainbows Herself