Quiet is mainly about introverts in a world of extroversion. Cain argues, chapter by chapter, that our society has increasingly catered to extroversion and in the process has devalued the power of introverts. One of the book's best features is the research that went into it. Cain saturated the pages of Quiet with study after study about how introverts and extroverts interpret, interact with, and impact the world in very different ways.
Reading this book was tremendously helpful for me as an extrovert in understanding myself, but also in understanding introverts. I found myself observing conversations with introverts and becoming more aware of how they interact with me. I adjusted to these conversations and was impressed with how it positively impacted the depth of our dialogue and connection as a result. Quiet helped me gain patience and confidence in my conversations with introverts, but more importantly it humbled me. All of a sudden I found myself learning from them and seeing the value of quiet in my own communication patterns.
My only qualm with this book is Cain's references to evolution throughout the book. Quiet does not claim to be a Christian book, although it does contain many biblical references describing characters' personalities. As a Christian, however, the evolution references definitely felt out of place and unwarranted, adding no value to the subject matter. I found myself wanting to skip over those brief sections and make my own applications from a biblical worldview. This gave me a greater appreciation for the complexities of personality, and drew me deeper into worship of God for having created these complexities to reflect Himself. Despite this qualm, I highly recommend Quiet and will likely read it again and again myself.
I received this book from WaterBrook Multnomah as part of their Blogging for Books program in exchange for my unbiased review.
You can visit the author's website, The Power of Introverts, and take an informal Introvert/Extrovert Quiz.
Susan Cain gave a TED talk (which just surpassed 4 million views as of the date of this writing) that summarizes the book fairly well. You can watch it here:
*Susan Cain chose to use the layperson spelling for introversion and extroversion, rather than the clinical spellings, as they are more recognizable. As such, I decided to comply with this review as well.