quiet-susan cain

the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking

“i swore at that book and threw it against the wall”

this was ironically the book that i was reading as a functional mute. but i did go into work and dress a sweet potato in a santa costume, so all was not lost. also, i was trying to watch the artist, but had to turn it off because the soundtrack was so offensively loud. also, my computer seems to be having some blinky screen issues, and i’m listening to a lot of podcasts about blindness. a recent unfictional featured a blind person teaching other blind people to ice skate, and it was on the ice rink that i came to an epiphany that i honestly cannot remember now because of all the hullabaloo that has happened since my screen last decided to work. now, i’m distracted by ali g, but he seems to keep the screen on.

“Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.” (11)

“If you’re an introvert, find your flow by using your gifts. You have the power of persistence, the tenacity to solve complex problems, and the clear-sightedness to avoid pitfalls that trip others up. You enjoy relative freedom from the temptations of superficial prizes like money or status. Indeed, your biggest challenge may be to fully harness your strengths. You may be so busy trying to appear like a zestful, reward-sensitive extrovert that you undervalue your own talents, or feel understimated by those around you. But when you’re focused on a project that you care about, you probably feel that your energy is boundless.
So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multitasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way. It’s up to you to use that independence to good effect.” (173)

this is the best case for me being an introvert that i’ve ever read.


One thought on “quiet-susan cain

  1. in or out, baby:

    “In one experiment in which two strangers met over the phone, those who spoke more were considered more intelligent, better looking, and more likable. We also see talkers as leaders. The more a person talks, the more other group members direct their attention to him, which means that he becomes increasingly powerful as a meeting goes on. It also helps to speak fast; we rate quick talkers as more capable and appealing than slow talkers.” (51)

    “Studies have show that, indeed, introverts are more likely than extroverts to express intimate facts about themselves online that their family and friends would be surprised to read, to say that they can express the ‘real me’ online, and to spend more time in certain kinds of online discussions. They welcome the chance to communicate digitally. The same person would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinking twice. The same person who finds it difficult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and /then/ extend these relationships into the real world.” (63)

    “Even multitasking, that prized feat of modern-day office warriors, turns out to be a myth. Scientists now know that the brain is incapable of paying attention to two things at the same time. What looks like multitasking is really switching back and forth between multiple tasks, which reduces productivity and increases mistakes by up to 50 percent.” (85)

    “Or consider this trade-off: human extroverts have more sex partners than introverts do-a boon to any species wanting to reproduce itself-but they commit more adultery and divorce more frequently, which is not a good thing for the children of all those couplings. Extroverts exercise more, but introverts suffer fewer accidents and traumatic injuries. Extroverts enjoy wider networks of social support, but commit more crimes.” (148)

    “Introverts are not smarter than extroverts. According to IQ scores, the two types are equally intelligent. And on many kinds of tasks, particularly those performed under time or social pressure or involving multitasking, extroverts do better. Extroverts are better than introverts at handling information overload. Introverts’ reflectiveness uses up a lot of cognitive capacity, according to Joseph Newman. On any given task, he says, ‘if we have 100 percent cognitive capacity, an introvert may have only 75 percent on task and 25 percent off task, whereas an extrovert may have 90 percent on task.’ This is because most tasks are goal-directed. Extroverts appear to allocate most of their cognitive capacity to the goal at hand, while introverts use up capacity by monitoring how the task is going.” (168)

    “Persistence isn’t very glamorous. If genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration, then as a culture we tend to lionize the one percent. We love its flash and dazzle. But great power lies in the other ninety-nine percent.” (169)

    “I look back on my years as a Wall Street lawyer as time spent in a foreign country. It was absorbing, it was exciting, and I got to meet a lot of interesting people whom I would have never known otherwise. But I was always an expatriate.” (218)

    “These were the two gears to which she had ready access-overwhelming feelings or detached self-possession.” (230)

    “When Emily lowers her voice and flattens her affect during fights with Greg, she thinks she’s being respectful by taking the trouble not to let her negative emotions show. But Greg thinks she’s checking out or, worse, that she doesn’t give a damn. Similarly, when Greg lets his anger fly, he assumes that Emily feels, as he does, that this is a healthy and honest expression of their deeply commited relationship. But to Emily, it’s as if Greg has suddenly turned on her.” (232)

    “I believe that’s what makes someone really good at selling or consulting-the number-one thing is they’ve got to really listen well.” (240)

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