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


The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

By Susan Cain

Introduction: The North and South of Temperament

P.3 “Yet today we make room for a remarkably narrow range of personality styles. We’re told that to be great is to be bold, to be happy is to be sociable. We see ourselves as a nation of extroverts-which means that we’ve lost sight of who we really are”.

P.4 “If you’re not an introvert yourself, you are surely raising, managing, married to, or coupled with one”.

P.4 “Introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are.”

P.4 “Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.”

P.5 “Introverts and extroverts differ in the level of outside stimulation that they need to function well. Introverts feel “Just right” with less stimulation, as when they sip wine with a close friend, solve a crossword puzzle, or read a book, Extroverts enjoy the extra bang that comes from activities like meeting new people, skiing slippery slopes, and cranking up the stereo.”

P.6 “A person cannot be either introverted or extroverted. A person will fall somewhere on the axis on the introvert-extrovert spectrum.”

P.6 “Introverts are not necessarily shy. Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating.”

Part 1: The Extrovert Ideal

P.28 “Harvard’s provost Paul Buck declared in the late 1940s that Harvard should reject the “sensitive, neurotic” type and the “intellectually over-stimulated” in favor of boys of the “healthy extrovert kind”.

P.28 “In 1950, Yale’s president, Alfred Whitney Griswold, declared that the ideal Yalie was not a “beetle-browned, highly specialized intellectual, but a well-rounded man.”

P.29 “According to some researchers, world travelers were more extroverted than those who stayed home – and they passed on their traits to their children and their children’s children.”

P. 73 “If you are a rare engineer who’s an inventor and also an artist, advice that might be hard to take is: Work alone, you’re going to be best able to design revolutionary products and features if you are working on your own. Not on a committee. Not on a team.”

P. 74 “The more creative people tended to be socially poised introverts. They were interpersonally skilled but “not of an especially sociable or participative temperament”.

P. 77 “Students take ownership of their education when they learn from one another.”

P. 77 “People’s respect for others is based on their verbal abilities, not their originality or insight.”

P. 77 “Cooperative learning enables skills in working as teams — skills that are in dire demand in the workplace.”

P. 94 “Our schools should teach children the skills to work with others — cooperative learning can be effective when practiced well in moderation, but also need the time and training to deliberately practice on their own.”

Part 2: Your Biology, Yourself?

P. 108 “Introversion-extroversion is only 40 to 50 percent heritable.”

P. 109 “Conversely, highly reactive children may more likely develop into artists and writers and scientists and thinkers because their aversion to novelty causes them to spend time inside the familiar — and intellectually fertile — environment of their own heads”.

P. 129 “There is no one more courageous than the person who speaks with the courage of his convictions.”

P. 144 “The elements of the embarrassment are fleeting statements the individual makes about his or her respect for the judgment of others”.

P. 144 “Embarrassment reveals how much the individual cares about the rules that bind us to one another.”

P. 145 “The type that is ‘sensitive’ or ‘reactive’ would reflect a strategy of observing carefully before acting.”

P.  158 “The introverts are much better at making a plan, staying with a plan, being disciplined.”

P. 169 “It is not that I’m so smart,” said Einstein, who was a consummate introvert. “It’s that I stay with problems longer.”

P. 173 “If you’re an introvert, find your flow by using your gifts.”

P. 173 “Introverts need to trust their guts and share their ideas as powerfully as they can.”

P. 173 “The trick for introverts is to honor their own styles instead of following themselves to be swept up by prevailing norms.”

Part 3: Do all Cultures have an Extrovert Ideal?

P. 182 “If you were Asian, you had to confirm you were smart. If you were white, you had to prove it.”

P. 190 “The point is not that one is superior to others, but that a profound difference in cultural values has a powerful impact on the personality styles favored by each culture.”

P. 191 “Each way of being — quiet and talkative, careful and audacious, inhibited and unrestrained — is characteristic of its own mighty civilization.”

P. 192 “Asians are not uncomfortable with who they are, but are uncomfortable with expressing who they are.”

P. 200 “Quiet persistence requires sustained attention; in effect restraining one’s reaction to external stimuli.”

Part 4: How to Love, How to Work

P. 209 “We are born and culturally endowed with certain personality traits — introversion, for example — but we can act out of character in the service of “core personal projects.”

P. 216 “Taking simple physical steps — like smiling — makes us feel stronger and happier, while frowning makes us feel worse.”

P. 218 “Three key steps to identify your core personal projects are: First, think back to what you loved to do when you were a child. Second, pay attention to the work you gravitate to. Finally, pay attention to what you envy.”

P. 228  “Jealously is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth.”

P. 228  “You mostly envy those who have what you desire.”

P. 231 “Introverts like people they meet in friendly contexts; extroverts prefer those they compete with.”

P. 248 “One of the best things you can do for an introverted child is work with him or her on their reaction to novelty.”

P. 248 “Introversion-extroversion levels are not correlated with either agreeableness or the enjoyment of intimacy. Introverts are just as likely as the next kid to seek other’s company, though often in smaller doses.

P. 249 “The key is to expose your child gradually to new situation and people — taking care to respect his/her limits, even when they seem extreme.”

*P. 255 “Do not think of introversion as something that needs to be cured. If an introverted child needs help with social skills, teach her or recommend training outside class, just as you’d do for a student who needs extra attention in math or reading. But celebrate these kids for who are they.”

P. 261 “Unleashing passion can transform a life, not just for the space of time that your child is in elementary or middle or high school, but way beyond.”


P. 264 “Love is essential; gregariousness is optional.”

P. 264 “Relationships make everyone happier, introverts included; but think quality over quantity.”

P. 264 “The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamp lit desk.”

P. 264 “Use your natural powers — of persistence, concentration, insight and sensitivity — to do work you love and work that matters.”

P. 264 “Figure out what you meant to contribute to the world and make sure you contribute it.” It may not be easy or comfortable to achieve, but DO IT!

P. 265 “Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.”

P. 265 “If your children are quiet, help them make peace with new situations and new people, but otherwise let them be themselves.”

P. 265 “If you’re a teacher, enjoy your gregarious and participatory students. But don’t forget to cultivate the shy, the gentle, the autonomous, the ones with single-minded enthusiasms for chemistry sets or nineteenth century art. They are the artists, engineers and thinkers of tomorrow.”

P. 265 “If you’re a manager, remember that one third to one half of your workforce is probably introverted, whether they appear that way or not. Think twice about how you design your organization’s office space.”

P. 266 “Whoever you are bare in mind that appearance is not reality.”

Priyanka Uprety