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Book Review: “Quiet” by Susan Cain

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop TalkingQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great read. It taught me a lot about myself and has given me a new lens through which to view others.

It’s fascinating how each person has their own unique way of communicating. I often forget that, and communicate as if the other person is experiencing the same world as I am. In reality, each of the 7.8 billion people on the planet experiences their own unique world, shaped by their values, their experiences and a bunch of other stuff. People are so darn complex!

This book has helped me accept and begin to nurture parts of myself that I had previously neglected. I had many “aha!”-moments in the book where I could understand why I think and act the way I do, or understand others better too.

Whenever I read a book, it becomes a part of me. My experience of the world changes for a week or two as I wear the lens of the book. I’m a very analytical and observant person. I’m always trying to figure out where I stand in social situations. I often label people, in an attempt to “figure them out”. This gives me a temporary sense of security. But what you don’t realise is you miss out so many opportunities to connect with people, and you limit yourself to experiencing others in only one dimension.

This book was a breath of fresh air, as it has given me a new way to look at people: as extroverts or introverts. It seems like such a trivial difference, but this has impacted me greatly. I’m able to let go of my rigid concepts of people and see them in a new light. Perhaps it’s a consequence of a more personal change, seeing myself in a new light.

I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders from reading Quiet. It’s OK that I’m more sensitive than most, and it’s not a weakness, as long as I’m aware of it, and don’t define myself by it. My sensitivity is what allows me to be deeply moved by art. It’s why I can feel every cell of my body come alive when a song deeply resonates with me. It’s what helps me put my heart into the songs I write. I’ve often felt I’m weak for my sensitivity, but Quiet has helped me understand it as a precious gift, and I can now work on appreciating and developing that side of myself.

It has also helped me understand people who aren’t as sensitive, and the gifts that they have, which I can appreciate too.

It’s liberating to not have to see people as “good” or “bad”, or to have them figured out. More than anything, Quiet has breathed into me a new curiosity about people. I want to listen to others, and learn from them.

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