“Quiet” by Susan Cain - Book Highlights


This was the book that has actually inspired me for the whole Quiet concept. My whole life I thought that being an introvert is a problem, something I have to get rid of in order to become a decent part of the society. Reading “Quiet” was revolutionary for me, it offers a completely different point of view on being an introvert in a world that excessively and misguidedly respects extroverts. We make them our bosses and our political leaders. We foolishly admire their self-help books, such as “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. We introverts attempt to emulate extroverts, and the stress of not being "true to ourselves" can make us physically and mentally ill.

When I finished “Quiet” I couldn’t get it out of my head for months, I started seeing introverts, beautiful, creative, interesting introverts all around me. I started rejecting party invitations without feeling guilt. I even quit my job and became freelancer, knowing that there’s no better place for me to work that my own home. It’s not that I’ve locked myself in forever, it’s actually quite the opposite, as this deeper understanding of my nature helped me realize that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me and it gave me confidence. I was afraid of talking to more than 2 people at once, and now I’m giving yoga classes to strangers 5 times a week!

If you’re somehow reading this post (meaning you’re probably an introvert yourself) and you haven’t yet read this book, go to your nearest bookstore now and buy it! It’ll change your life forever. Meanwhile, I thought it would be interesting to share some insights from it here. If you have read it too, please share your favourite quotes or thoughts, what have you extracted from this book.


Introverts 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.
— Susan Cain

There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.

..I also believe that introversion is my greatest strength. I have such a strong inner life that I’m never bored and only occasionally lonely. No matter what mayhem is happening around me, I know I can always turn inward.
— Susan Cain

The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk. Use your natural powers - of persistence, concentration, and insight - to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems. make art, think deeply.
— Susan Cain

Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful; introversion is not.
— Susan Cain

If you’re thinking in more complicated ways, then talking about weather or where you went for the holidays is not quite as interesting as talking about values of morality.

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

Anyone can be a great negotiator and in fact it often pays to be quiet and gracious, to listen more than talk, and to have an instinct for harmony rather than conflict. With this style, you can take aggressive positions without inflaming your counterpart’s ego. And by listening, you can learn what’s truly motivating the person you’re negotiating with and come up with creative solutions that satisfy both parties.

Introverts like people they meet in friendly contexts; extroverts prefer those they compete with.

Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again.
— Anaïs Nin

Remember the dangers of the New Groupthink. If it’s creativity you’re after, ask your employees to solve problems alone before sharing their ideas. If you want the wisdom of the crowd, gather it electronically, or in writing, and make sure people can’t see each other’s ideas until everyone’s had a chance to contribute.

If you have talented and motivated people, they should be encouraged to work alone when creativity or efficiency is the highest priority.
— Adrian Furnham

Those who know do not speak.
Those who speak do not know.
— Lao Zi, The Way of Lao Zi