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Quiet: Somebody Does Understand!
Introverts are People, Too!
Susan Cain offers comfort to those introverted souls among us who had to endure efforts by teachers and parents to "fix" them. Cain is an introvert who has managed to succeed in fields widely considered to be the domain of extroverts, such as law and public speaking. In Quiet she advocates (at times loudly) for a world in which introverts and extroverts can understand each other and appreciate each other.
This book has been thoroughly researched and well written. In eleven chapters and a generous section of end notes, the author discusses the psychology and biology of temperament. Beyond the theory, however, she offers practical advice for both introverts and extroverts. Quiet even gives advice for structuring offices and classrooms to avoid an environment that can intimidate or overwhelm introverts. If you have been the victim of an "open office" or a "collaborative learning" environment, you are not alone!
Introversion is not a disorder; It is an alternate way some people perceive, think, and work. Susan Cain understands how a large proportion of programmers, engineers, writers, and other thinkers dislike having to go on corporate retreats, talk about their feelings in front of a group of mere acquaintances, or engage in "team-building exercises" when they would rather be alone in an office creating a program, book, or machine. Managers and educators need to read this book to make sure they are structuring work spaces in a way that makes every individual more productive.
She includes real life stories about children and adults, business people, rabbis, and ministers. The reader may find somebody with whom they identify in these stories of pain and of triumph. For a quiet person, Cain is a strong voice for her introverted brothers and sisters.