Reconciling the Quiet Introvert with the Loud-Mouth Extrovert

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In 2012, Susan Cain published a book about introverts and titled it Quiet. Thus we may assume the following:

  • Introverts are quiet.
  • Introverts do not often lead.
  • Introverts will not talk in front of large groups.
  • Introverts only want to be alone. 

Wrong.

Consider for a moment that introversion is the linking trait between prominent former presidents Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon. Their lives significantly contradict the above Introvert Criteria.

The misconceptions about introverts are astounding in our culture today. Recently, Jeb Bush, a 2016 Presidential Candidate, openly announced his introversion and how he believes that having this trait will help him politically. He claimed that because of it he is a better leader.

Cain was not wrong when she titled her book. In fact, she has a profound subtitle that challenges our typical assumptions about introvertsQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

In her book, Cain dives into the depths of culture, education, and biology and explores how they impact whether someone is considered an extrovert or an introvert. She does not shy away from the truth—that we live in a world where extroversion has become “the cultural ideal.” She introduces us to a variety of studies that suggest actual biological reason for why introverts prefer the things that they do. She even offers insights into how to be a happy introvert in our world’s extroverted cultural ideal.

The quantity and quality of research Cain did for this book is unbelievable. I highly recommend this book.

Introverts truly do have power, just as Bush was realizing about himself. In the wake of grand campaigns, like the current 2016 presidential campaign, it is easy to be drawn toward the candidates making the most noise. But, thanks to Bush and Cain, let us never forget the power of introverts in a world, or campaign, that just cannot be quiet.

-Megan W

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