The Book Club

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Written by: Susan Cain

Quiet carries a lot of weight, backed by a tremendous amount of research that touches on several topics. As soon as you open the book, a manifesto for introverts stares at you. Reading through them, one stood out the most.

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

My life is surrounded by extroverts. It forces you to become unsure of yourself and questions whether you belong or fit in. After reading this book, I’ve begun practicing to see myself in a different light. It takes hard work, waking up every morning and battling the voices in my head that tell me that I’m not worth it.

My voice quivers and stutters when I talk to someone I know or don’t know. My heart beats at a pace that is concerning. And I forget to breathe. I doubt my strength and intellect because I don’t talk the same way other people talk, I don’t look like the way other people look, and I don’t have the personality that gravitates people. So, the one person inside of me screams to give up, but the other person whispers to not give up. This is the battle, choosing which voice to listen to.

One of my favorite chapters was the last chapter, aptly titled “On Cobblers and Generals: How to Cultivate Quiet Kids in a World That Can’t Hear Them.” This was the chapter that had the most impact on my reading experience, as this was exactly the kind of material that I needed to know when I was a child. Look, I get it, parents have a tough job to do. But when the differences of temperaments are compared and devalued based on someone else’s perspective and what they think is right or wrong, that is when we suffer.

The child that lives within me, hasn’t broken out. It’s stuck in the world of extroverts and I don’t know how to nurture that introverted self to become something of value. Not valued by other people, but something that I value. It’s through this book that I’ve learned that I’ve truly lost myself in the hands of other peoples gregarious ways.

“The wind howls, but the mountain remains still.”

-Japanese Proverb

It’s the wind of other people that I’ve lost myself within. I’ve become intertwined by the seductive nature of following instead being firmly planted in the ground. The mountain within was neglected and was no longer a safe place to grow an orchid. I’ve planted seeds in the minds of others and now my roots are scattered and confused. It’s through this book, that I’ve learned the importance of reevaluating my past and nurturing the mistakes and allowing them to regrow with beauty, not pain.

I’ll end this off, with an excerpt from the book that spoke to the nerd within: “We know from myths and fairy tales that there are many different kinds of powers in this world. One child is given a light saber, another a wizard’s education. The trick is not to amass all the different kinds of available power, but to use well the kind you’ve been granted. Introverts are offered keys to private gardens full of riches. To possess such a key is to tumble like Alice down her rabbit hole. She didn’t choose to go to Wonderland – but she made it an adventure that was fresh and fantastic and very much her own.” – Susan Cain

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