Our world prizes extroverts -- but Susan Cain makes a case for the quiet and contemplative.
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 new 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 >>
"I prefer listening to talking, reading to socializing … I like to think before I speak (softly)."Susan Cain
“There's zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”
“Solitude matters, and for some people it is the air that they breathe.”
“Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Gandhi — all these peopled described themselves as quiet and soft-spoken and even shy. And they all took the spotlight, even though every bone in their bodies was telling them not to.”
“[Introverts,] the world needs you and it needs the things you carry. So I wish you the best of all possible journeys and the courage to speak softly.”