Express Yourself

Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
--Dr. Seuss

Friday, November 14, 2014

Quiet-The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

I have delved deeply in this new book by Susan Cain called Quiet-The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. It was recommended to me by a dear friend and trusted colleague. I am so glad that she recommended it to me.  I have read about 50 pages or so at the Egg and I.  Yes, I went there by myself and I was quite comfortable doing so. I have never had any trouble going to places by myself.  All I need is my book, notepad, and a pen and I am good to go.  As I was drinking by third cup of morning blend coffee, I read and read and read.  I didn't hear a soul around me, but I did enjoy the smell of pumpkin waffles, directly from the kitchen.  I was seated in a single booth, near the kitchen.  In addition to devouring my usual Colorado Jack Scramble, I also felt a deep connection to the many examples of introvertism. After taking the introvert quiz, which I answered mostly yesses to, I settled down and saw myself in so many situations mentioned in the book.  For example, the author mentioned that many introverts have no problem in posting to blogs and shedding their souls via the digital universe. That would be me in this blog and in other places. Introverts like to think things out before speaking. That would be me.  Someone mentioned to me the other day that looked as if I was not into a meeting. I told that person that I was thinking and engaged.  I had to exonerate myself by mentioning that I thought it quite rude to jump into the fray and interrupt others.  I do not like to talk just for the sake of talking and I do not want to interrupt the dominant ones.  If I have something to say, I will say it. I won't, however, say something just to fill the air.  WE HAVE ENOUGH AIR POLLUTION to deal with, right?  I am not also into what can be perceived to be tooting my horn too much.  I detest people who toot their horn and seem to be showing off a bit too much.  No, I am not into that.  The sad thing about tooting your own horn and being aggressive is that this seems to be the way that you get attention and, need I say, be heard.  That is sad because there are others, and we are probably introverts, who aren't being heard because there is no space to share.  What is the harm in not being heard?  Well, according to this book, introverts are thoughtful and methodical people who listen and consider others before they speak. Yes, you know us the quiet ones that people don't seem to notice? Well, if more people knew more about introverts, then more would know that many wonderful and thoughtful ideas come, not only from the extroverts, but from mild mannered people who take the time to think and be introspective. The first and loudest ideas aren't always the best ones. It takes time to simmer and then well to be shared. Most times, the ideas are scattered like buck shot on a hunting spree. If more people understood the strengths of us introverts, then they would take our ideas more into consideration. If the conditions were better suited to both types, then the great ideas could be had.  They would take our ideas and invite us to share, not in a kamikaze, haphazard way, but in thoughtful and inviting situations.

Quiet explains that, for the most part, society and organizations are drawn to the extroverts. The culture thrives on these personalities.  Introverts, however, tend to be better leaders and thinkers.  People are drawn to charismatic individuals that go only so deep.  People who take initiative, do better with introverted leaders.  Many people in history were introverts including Rosa Parks, Ghandi and Albert Einstein.  Quiet leaders like Bill Gates and others do very well with people and organizations. For me, this is self-assuring.  I cannot wait to go further with this book. I am an introvert, darn it, and proud to say so. I think it will be great to share my strengths with the people. For so long I have tried to fall into the other world, but never felt comfortable doing so.  Now, I can be me and it is more than okay.  More posts later.


  1. Maureen,
    Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with me. I enjoyed our discussion on the importance of owning our introvertness. Although we are capable of mixing and mingling when necessary, we are simply better learners, workers, leaders and friends when given the time and space to be alone with our own thoughts and feelings. You shared, " People who take initiative, do better with introverted leaders". I wonder why? Is it because we can silently trust that we are getting the job done without being told what to do step by step? This just makes me think.

  2. Thanks for the comment. As per your last wondering, I think that leaders who are introverts have characteristics that appeal to people who are doers. I know from personal experience that these types of leaders listen very well and then allow you to do your thing. I think it is because of their reflective nature to think things through and to questions with the what if scenario allows them to free up and believe in the people they are leading. I know that I work better with introverts because they let you do your thing, ask questions to help your thinking and then add their ideas too. It is freeing.