46 pages 1 hour read

Susan Cain

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2012

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The Power of Introverts

The author’s main goal is to redeem introverts and showcase their talents after a century of the Extrovert Ideal in America. She explains how and why extroversion became the standard in American society and then proceeds to poke holes in the myths that have placed it above introversion. Cain cites study after study that show the advantages of introversion. She also gives examples of historical figures whose significant actions stem from their qualities as introverts.

One example of the research indicating introverts’ strengths is what has become known as the orchid hypothesis. This holds that kids who are high-reactive—that is, have an introverted nature—are sometimes less robust than low-reactives, or extroverts. One writer compared extroverts to dandelions, hardy enough to live in any given environment, and introverts to orchids, prone to wilting when circumstances are less than ideal. However, when introverts are supported and nurtured properly, they can flourish above and beyond extroverts. Thus, while their strengths appear within a narrower spectrum of conditions, they have the potential to soar to great heights.

Studies have also shown that, contrary to popular belief, creativity flows more from solitary work than from collaboration.