5 September 2016

Quiet by Susan Cain | Book Review

I have been wanting to read a non-fiction psychology book for a while now so when I discovered Quiet, I knew I had to give it a read. I also wanted to have some further reading on psychology to add to my personal statement as I know how valuable that can be to show your genuine enthusiasm for a subject.

So I set off on my summer holiday this year in hopes of reading this book before I went back to school in the autumn.

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

Cain starts the book with the simple story of how Rosa Parks became to be such a huge part of the Civil Rights Movement in America and this immediately gripped me to find out that someone who is known worldwide was an introvert. Throughout the book, we discover a huge number of famous faces who are all introverts.

I think this is a great way to give us some reassurance that there are successful people out there who are introverts because when you live in your own little world so much of the time you end up not always realising that there really are other people just like you. Discovering this helps us to accept ourselves and embrace our personalities.

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's that I stay with problems longer" - Albert Einstein

One of the introverts mentioned is, of course, Albert Einstein. This quote really stood out to me because it shows us that really everyone has the potential to become something "special", but so many people just aren't determined enough and don't put in the time to the one thing that they are so passionate about. Being an introvert automatically gives you the opportunity to be able to stick with your problems and hobbies for longer because you prefer the lower stimulation of being alone.

All manner of topics are mentioned which contribute to our personality and to the term introversion, including ideas like buzz, sensitivity, reactivity, groupthink, flow, soft power, Free Trait Theory, collectivist and individualist cultures and reward or threat orientation.

These parts really interested me because it shows the depth and complexity of one seemingly simple personality trait. I loved how Cain went into real depth on each topic and quoted studies, books, scientists and celebrities to give an insight into how each section worked.

"In a gentle way, you can shake the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

Some of my favourite theories which appeared in the book included Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's theory of flow, Professor Ni's theory of soft power or quiet persistence and Professor Brian Little's Free Trait Theory of personality.

I also really enjoyed the sections where Cain told some of her own story about her experience of Harvard Law School and how she realised she wanted a career change. I liked learning about how to identify my own core personal projects which I think is going to be really useful for finding out who I want to be and what I want to do with my life because that can take ages to figure out.

As someone who really enjoys personality psychology, I found the parts on how psychologists view personality, the traits involved and the arguments between the different psychologists really intriguing.

I feel like this book has given me the power to accept my quiet nature and my own unique personality traits and to be able to try to use them to my advantage so that I will be able to live the happy and fulfilled life which works for me. It can be really difficult to accept who you are and figure out how you fit into the grand scheme of things so this book is a sure way for you to begin to figure things out for yourself.

I would highly recommend this book for any introvert to find out more about yourself and come to accept who you are more easily. Also, anyone who is interested in personality psychology because it talks about the many different aspects of introversion and our personalities.

You need to be able to cope with a non-fiction science-based information packed book or have some real passion for the subject to be able to reach the end of this book, but I think it is well worth the read.

Has anyone here read Quiet?