|Cat hair is the bane of my life.|
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
by Susan Cain – available here
I remember first spotting this book in the airport a few years ago not long after I’d first been introduced to the term introversion through one of the many personality tests floating about on the internet. According to this test, and just about every single test I’ve taken since as well as real life social experiences, I’ve got some very strong introvert tendencies – which doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.
Annoyingly, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding introverts and they can often be passed off as shy or rude. Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking sets out to bust these myths, whilst also highlighting the true strengths of introversion that are quite often overlooked. Whilst it’s increasingly difficult to speak from each and every person’s stance on the Introvert/Extrovert spectrum Cain does her best to investigate the “Extrovert Ideal” and the impact this has on our daily lives, no matter what our own personality type.
I genuinely thought I’d love this book, and I did really enjoy it, but I found it quite heavy going at times. It was full of very sweeping generalisations as well as a lot of repetition, which in a way emphasises her point, but on the whole it made me feel like the book could have been a lot more succinct. I struggled to understand the supposed evidence for her points and it felt considerably more like an argument based on personal anecdotes as opposed to the all inclusive, all knowing account of introversion that it seemed to be guised as.
I can’t say that it wasn’t interesting, and it did help me understand my own personality a lot more, but ultimately it just didn’t grip me in the way I had hoped it would. I think I’d recommend it to anyone who struggles to understand how introversion works, as it does clear a few common misconceptions and highlight the fact that it is much more of a spectrum as opposed to two defined camps.
It encouraged a lot of self reflection, which isn’t always a bad thing, but at times it did make me feel like I was in the wrong for needing time to recharge after social interaction, which appears to be the opposite of what it actually intended to do. All in all, it was a mixed bag. An interesting read and it explained a lot of my habits, but nothing ground breaking and it didn’t induce some sort of life changing epiphany for me.
Next month, we’re going back to fiction with a hint of romance to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Mhairi McFarlane is one of my favourite authors, and despite having read It’s Not Me, It’s You once before I’m excited to read it all over again for our February #SassyBooks! You can find out more about #SassyBooks here and if you’re taking part be sure to join our Facebook group so we can all keep in touch.
Check out the other #SassyBooks reviews over on the hashtag here!