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A paradigm-shifting book that shows how dramatically our culture has come to misunderstand and undervalue introverts and gives introverts the tools to take full advantage of their strengths.
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying and who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh's sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.
Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves. Author Susan Cain charts the rise of "the extrovert ideal" throughout the 20th century and shows how it has come to permeate our culture. She explores cutting-edge research on the biology and psychology of temperament and outlines practical skills that can benefit nearlyall of us, including how to network if you hate small talk, how to modulate your personality according to circumstance, and how to empower introverted children.
|Title: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking|
By: Susan Cain
Number of Pages: 368
Vendor: Broadway Books
Publication Date: 2013
|Dimensions: 8 X 5.19 (inches)|
Weight: 11 ounces
Stock No: WW352156
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Science and psychology is beginning to recognize that where we fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum shapes our lives every bit as profoundly as gender or race. In fact, it is the single most fundamental dimension of personality--"the north and south of temperament," as one scientist puts it. It affects who our friends and partners are and how we love, negotiate, and fight with them. It influences the careers we choose and the degree to which we succeed in them. It governs how likely we are to bet on the stock market, blush when embarrassed, exercise, commit adultery, function without sleep, go through a yellow light, solve math problems correctly when tipsy or caffeinated, and even use the phrase "what if." It is reflected in our brain pathways and neurotransmitters and reverberates through every corner of our nervous systems.
It is also the subject of Susan Cain's groundbreaking new book, Quiet, which begins by taking us on a whirlwind tour of our culture, which has become dominated by what Cain calls "the Extrovert Ethic," and then travels back in time to examine how it got that way. The Extrovert Ethic runs so deep that its hierarchies can seem inevitable--of course we prefer extroversion to introversion, of course our ideal self is sociable and dominant--but Cain reveals that it's actually the product of a very particular moment in time. She tells the surprising story of Dale Carnegie's childhood and explores the perfect storm of historical forces that changed America, around the turn of the 20th century, from a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality. Seamlessly blending first-person narrative with excursions into history and science, Cain takes us to a Tony Robbins self-help seminar, to classes at Harvard Business School, and to Sunday services at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church--all settings that illustrate how deeply our culture rewards extroversion, and how costly that can be for society as a whole.
Cain also takes us to a lab where scientists are scanning the brains of introverts and extroverts. She explores the boundaries where nature starts and nurture stops. And she uncovers the physiological reasons why some people are naturally cool and others conscientious, why there's only a hair's difference between heroes and criminals, and why it's perfectly natural for some people to enjoy homework and dislike parties. She explores the psychobiology of extroversion: how the same traits that fueled the dynamism of JFK's Camelot led to the Great Recession of 2008, as well as major military blunders throughout history. If there were more introverts in the room at decision-making time, she argues, these disasters might have been prevented. And she shows why the world will depend on the strengths of introverts in the decades to come.
In the final chapters Cain outlines practical skills that can benefit nearly all of us, including how to modulate your personality according to circumstance and how to empower introverted children. She reveals what introverts and extroverts should know about negotiating, fighting, and loving each other. And for those of us who are introverts, she offers new insights into organizing the workplace, finding work we love, spending weekends happily, negotiating business deals, unleashing our creativity, and speaking in public. Most important, we'll discover that just about any skill is within our grasp as long as we approach it from a starting place that's true to our nature.
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