In an extroverted world, what happens to those of us who “roar” on the inside?
For example, at first glance you might think that I’m an extrovert. My portfolio of experience is certainly “loud.” (On a whim, I flew to Paris to study, and a year later I took up a position with the French Ministry of Education to develop English curricula in France. Then I left the comfort of what would have been a secure career in academia to pursue entrepreneurialism, becoming a certified Yoga Instructor and starting my own health coaching business.)
But truth be told, I’m as introverted as they come.
I love solitude. Crowds exhaust me. I enjoy being alone. Actually, I thrive on being alone.
I can count all my friends on my fingers. And, I choose to keep my circle small.
I’m a listener and an observer. From Grades 1 through 12, I always sat at the front, whether in the classroom or on the bus.
At a Tony Robbin’s Conference back in 2019, you can bet I was sitting down while everyone else was dancing and chanting.
Was I too quiet to change the world or follow my dreams? No. However, our society can make us introverts feel out of place.
Reading Susan Cain’s Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids normalized so much of what I thought was wrong with me. It’s material that I believe should be taught to all children at an early age.
I also believe teachers will benefit tremendously from reading this book.
Quiet Power is an incredibly insightful, accessible and inspiring read, no matter what age or stage of life you’re in. I guarantee that if you're an introvert, you will find yourself within these pages. You may even shed a tear.
In our society, 30-50 percent of the population is introverted. Is this surprising? No, not really. But it's common knowledge that society prefers and rewards extroverted personalities. Cain writes that introverts may feel pressure to play a part in this extroverted world in order to feel a sense of self-agency and belonging.
From education to the board room to the walls of a Tony Robbin's conference, it can sometimes feel that all the woes of the world fall onto shy, anti-social, solitary introverts. This is far from the truth.
Historically speaking, without introverts, an endless list of innovations (Apple, Google) and activism (Gandhi, Rosa Parks, and Eleanor Roosevelt) would never have seen the light of day.
If there’s one truth everyone can take away from this book, it is this: Being introverted has nothing to do with shyness. It simply means that you look inward for answers, whereas extroverts look outward.
Filled with personal stories, charming comics, and practical guidance, Quiet Power is a resource for both introverted kids and adults too. It's the book I wish I had read when I was in elementary school. It can be so hurtful to not be accepted as a kid, whether by your peers, teachers, or society.
This is an empowering and worthwhile read for all of us, especially introverts.
We're not broken. If anything, we're pretty extraordinary.
Read Quiet Power.