Our world prizes extroverts — but Susan Cain makes a case for the quiet and contemplative.

Why you should listen

Susan Cain is a former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant -- and a self-described introvert. At least one-third of the people we know are introverts, notes Cain in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Although our culture undervalues them dramatically, introverts have made some of the great contributions to society – from Chopin's nocturnes to the invention of the personal computer to Gandhi’s transformative leadership. Cain argues that we design our schools, workplaces, and religious institutions for extroverts, and that this bias creates a waste of talent, energy, and happiness. Based on intensive research in psychology and neurobiology and on prolific interviews, she also explains why introverts are capable of great love and great achievement, not in spite of their temperaments -- but because of them.

How did Susan write her talk (in a week)? Watch this interview >>

What others say

“I prefer listening to talking, reading to socializing … I like to think before I speak (softly).” — Susan Cain

Susan Cain’s TED talk

Susan Cain on the TED Blog
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Your Turn

Poll: How introverted are you? The TED community answers

July 14, 2014

In her TED Talk “The Power of Introverts,” Susan Cain illuminates the many subtle ways our culture favors extroversion and gives some great ideas for how introverts can better shine at school, at work and in everyday life. This talk certainly struck a nerve — it’s been viewed more than 8 million times since it was posted […]

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Offices designed for introverts? Susan Cain announces lots of news to make quiet folks happy

March 20, 2014

Susan Cain is planning a Quiet Revolution. In her classic talk from TED2012, she spoke up for introverts, pointing out the many ways our culture encourages extroversion. “I wasn’t prepared for the intensity and voracity of response to these ideas,” Cain tells the TED Blog two years later. “There’s an enormous hunger for recognition, understanding and […]

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