Sunday, April 15, 2012

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

My mother, Aline, is a great example of the power of introverts that Susan Cain extols in her book, Quiet. Mom is a soft-spoken, calm, thoughtful, patient, hard-working and humble woman. She is a good listener, nonjudgmental and open to new ideas. Four out of her five children are also introverts, so we thrived with her parenting style. She gave us lots of privacy and encouraged us to take initiative and to become independent individuals. Solitude and time for quiet reflection were always recognized as important in my family.

Cain looks at the reasons that introversion survived as a personality trait from an evolutionary perspective. Temperament and differences in brain chemistry are innate characteristics that affect where we lie on Jung's introversion/extroversion scale. How did extroversion become the cultural ideal in the United States? Is charisma necessary for good leadership? Why is group brainstorming ineffective from a creativity standpoint? (Brainstorming does have the benefit of making people feel closer to each other.) This book is full of fascinating stuff. You can hear and see Cain talk about some of these issues online here.

Mom and me
Mom is 75 today. We'll have a quiet celebration at a restaurant, the kind of social occasion that best suits her personality. Happy birthday, Mom! Thanks for sharing your great love of books with me. And thanks for your assurance, through example, that it's okay to be an introvert.

1 comment:

Shawna Lemay said...

thanks for this, Lindy! (from another introvert...)