I finished Quiet a month ago and I can't get it out of my head. It is in many ways an important book — so persuasive and timely and heartfelt it should inevitably effect change in schools and offices. It's also a genius idea to write a book that tells introverts — a vast proportion of the reading public — how awesome and undervalued we are.
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I'm thrilled to discover that some of the personality traits I had found shameful are actually indicators that I'm amazing. It's a Female Eunuch for anxious nerds. I'm not surprised it shot straight to the top of the New York Times bestsellers list.
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- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain – review.
Cain says we're "especially empathic". We think in an "unusually complex fashion".
We prefer discussing "values and morality" to small talk about the weather. The introvert child is an "orchid — who wilts easily", is prone to "depression, anxiety and shyness, but under the right conditions can grow strong and magnificent". When I get to this part I think: We are like orchids! With good parenting we can become "exceedingly kind, conscientious and successful at the things that matter to us".
by Robert Rabbin
Then I feel embarrassed that I derived pleasure from being compared to an orchid and I realise that sometimes Cain succumbs to the kind of narcissistic rhetoric she eschews in extroverts. The way forward, she argues, is to create offices that have open-plan bits for the extroverts and nooks and crannies where the quiet people can be quiet. A bit like the Pixar offices. In this she reminds me of the similarly measured Jonathan Safran Foer , whose anti-meat lectures climax in a suggestion that we should try if possible to eat one or two vegetarian meals a week.
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- Radical Wisdom: Living from Silence While Rocking the World (Unabridged);
Give me this kind of considered good sense over showy radical polemicism any day. But sometimes her brilliant ideas aren't written quite so brilliantly. Her book can be a bit of a slog, not always a page turner. I wish she'd spent a bit more time adventuring and a bit less time analysing and philosophising and citing vast armies of psychologists.
I love feeling her pain when she journeys out of her comfort zone to "life coaching" conventions.
But those adventures vanish as the book wears on, and it starts to drag a little, especially during the many chapters about how brain scans seem to demonstrate neurological differences between extroverts and introverts. I don't know why popular psychology books feel so compelled these days to cite endless fMRI studies. As any neurologist will tell you, we still have very little idea about why certain bits of our brains light up under various circumstances. And there's a bigger nagging thought I couldn't shake throughout the book.
It began during the preface, in which Cain prints an "Are You an Introvert? She lists 20 statements. Robert leads us in another direction, where we can expand our worldview to allow greater understanding, wisdom, and effectiveness to reveal itself. It seems we are always one step behind the life we truly want to live. We often swing between two seemingly opposite poles of experience: Beyond both is magical living, pointed to by such signs as serendipity, synchronicity, transcendence, grace, intuition.
How can we can neutralize habitual, conditioned patterns of knowledge and perception? In this compelling new audiobook, John Mace describes the revolutionary Mace Energy Method, a powerful tool for emotional healing. Based on years of research and study, this simple but extraordinarily effective therapy will help you to locate and dis-create unknowingly created negative identities that prevent you from attaining your goals.
Free with day Trial Membership details Membership details A day free trial and your first audiobook is free After trial, get 1 credit each month good for any audiobook. Publisher's Summary Radical Wisdom: Living from Silence While Rocking the World It seems we are always one step behind the life we truly want to live. More from the same Author: