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Jocelyn (The Reading World)

I love to read and can get very attached to my opinions, but recently I've been learning not to completely lose my head when people disagree with me, so feel safe to argue with me whenever you wish ;) 


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

Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan  Cain

Reading this was like the best part of reading the Internet. A bunch of disparate, outcast-ish voices coming together for the common cause of relating their experience. Of course, this is more than just anecdotes. I loved how meticulously Cain moves from issue to issue, question to question, so almost nothing is left unanswered or unexplored. We know that extroverts and introverts are a thing. How does free will come into play? Nature versus nurture? How do pseudo-extroverts (introverts who put on a mask of extroversion to survive in society) manage to wing their acts? To what extent can we consciously mold our personalities and to what extent are they inflexibly innate? Is the social emphasis placed on extroversion universal across all cultures? How did the Extrovert Ideal emerge historically?

And most importantly (to me), what survival advantages have introversion conferred on the people who call themselves so that allowed it to pass the test of evolution?

Yes, that last question is very important to my ego. Although if I'm being honest, I wish introversion wasn't so much celebrated as it's understood. That we can't choose who we are, but given the right circumstances, we can all thrive to the best of our potentials.

If there's one thing this book didn't do for me, though it's not necessarily Cain's fault, it's that I still don't understand a thing more about extroversion. Living in a community of extroverted classmates, friends, and family members, I know enough about the patterns of extroversion to get through the day. But I don't--can't--empathize with them. I don't get the partying, the tendency to skate from activity to activity, the love of socializing, the breathtaking ease with which my extroverted peers "participate" in class. And most of all I DEFINITELY do not get the small talk. Oh, the small talk. *gag* Surely introverts can find a way around that someday?

Ok, aside from that unintended little rant, I think this is a lovely and well-researched book.