Quiet by Susan Cain
After reading a book like Quiet, I wonder, how do you become who you are? Becoming yourself is a process. It comprises of hours and hours spent in deep silence and contemplation; figuring out YOUR “being-ness” of becoming. Every realization, every insight into oneself is like a thunderbolt - it evokes the most terrifying and beautiful truths and ties them together at the core. Perhaps this is one of the greatest and invariably the loneliest of journeys for a person.
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So when you read a book like Quiet, you’re not only mapping your journey, you’re embracing it. Susan Cain delves into the meaning of introversion and how society has characterized it as an imperfection; a deficiency that needs to be cured. The scales of the world are always in favor of extroversion. The world demands noise and quantifiable strengths. The louder that noise of the world gets, the more distant you become from your true nature. Debunking the fairy tale of cliched “self-improvement” models, Susan Cain explores the emotional and creative value of being an introvert. How solitude is a catalyst for innovation. And practicing introspective thinking, empathy, and compassion is more conducive to creating an authentic self than illusive gregariousness. The structure of the book is quite comprehensive and organized. Her ideas are backed by studies, statistics, facts, and most persuasively, famous people. So it is an eye-opener for someone who regards others as being either introverted or extroverted to an extent that it subconsciously shapes one’s entire life and how they communicate with others. From my personal reading experience, though the book fully embraces the introvert’s journey, it is strategically written to convince and engage the reader. While this is in no way the book’s drawback, it is something that I find unpleasant, and oftentimes a bit dragging, in self-help books.