This book by Susan Cain really resonated with me as I am an introvert (well-disguised at times, but an introvert). My belief that I am an introvert was reinforced with the results of the short questionnaire contained on pages 13 and 14.
The book is divided into four parts: The Extrovert Ideal; Your Biology, Your Self?; Do All Cultures Have An Extrovert Ideal; and How To Love, How To Work. These sections are well researched and supported with numerous examples and notes. The author writes in a style that is easy to read and understand. The end of the book contains additional material that includes a reader’s guide, recommended reading list, and resources for readers.
I really connected with this book as I read each chapter and it helped me to better understand myself and why I react to various stimulation as I do and also how I have adapted to be seen as more of an extrovert than I really am.
I can turn it on (being extroverted) when I need to, but then I really need time to decompress afterwards in order to maintain my equilibrium and sense of self-worth. If I don’t get the opportunity to decompress, I can really feel the stress level increase which impacts everything I do.
I can be a social person, but I prefer interacting in a one to one or small group setting so I am able to better focus on what others are communicating. I prefer watching a baseball game on television (often with the sound muted) as I don’t need the announcers telling me what is happening or the chaos, noise, and music at the ball park. I want to watch and enjoy the game. I don’t need all of the other hoopla.
If you are uncertain as whether or not to read this book, I would recommend that you listen to Susan’s Ted Talk on YouTube on the subject.
I strongly recommend this book for anyone in a leadership position so that you better understand yourself or the near 50% of the people that you are leading. I also recommend this book for those of you who suspect that you are an introvert or that your spouse or child is an introvert. It also presents some very interesting reading for those in the education system.