I just started on Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. I'm only a couple pages into Chapter 1 (but I read the introduction) and it seems like it will be an interesting book.
I'd be interested in what you make of the book after reading it.
The title of the book caught my attention as it echoed what I have often said to myself and others: "Why can't people stop from talking all the time and just allow themselves to take time to think
I was able to form some kind of idea of what the book was about from reading the introduction and excerpts at the link (thanks for providing that). Reading the book could potentially be quite self-revealing, I suppose, or it might just be a feel-good sop pandering to the self-absorbed or the insecure/uncertain who may be concerned about whether they are extrovert/introvert - "Oh dear, maybe I'm not OK?" - like (say) one being unsure as to whether one was gay. ("Oh, I so badly want to be an extrovert and be accepted!")
I have to say that, after studying psychology, pragmatically it doesn't seem to matter a toss whether I or anyone else is extrovert/introvert. It can lead to insidious labelling. I always considered myself - and still do - to be a relative introvert (prefer to read a book than see the movie version; prefer to stay at home than go out; tend to avoid attending and wasting my time in potentially unnecessary groups/parties/meetings; tend to be quiet in groups and discussions unless there is a valid and useful point that I feel needs to be made and is being overlooked, etc.) - and yet I come out strongly labelled as an ENTJ on the Myers-Briggs psychometric tests, and so heavily skewed in the "T" that two psychologists (who were testing me for vocational aptitude) separately treated me like a peculiar lab specimen and said that I was in a small group of 4% of the population tested. It seems to be related to a strong locus of internal control and the Asperger syndrome, or something.
So, regardless of what I might know myself to be, I am forever labelled as an Extrovert
by the forced dichotomy of the theoretical Myers-Briggs model, where the population distribution of introvert/extrovert is apparently around 50/50.
As a skeptic and as a student of psychology, I remind myself that psychology is arguably mostly BS - psychobabble - in a field where there seems to be little that can be scientifically proven (i.e., using scientific method) - and seems to be just lots of theory, interspersed with dollops of hokum here and there. Fortunately some of that theory has shown itself to be potentially and remarkably useful as tools for helping us to address our own character deficiencies or personality disorders under professional guidance from a psychiatrist, so that we can better cope with Life's challenges - e.g., as outlined in The Road Less Travelled
, by M. Scott Peck.
Anything that can help you to change yourself and grow arguably can't be all bad, but it could be a double-edged sword - like a divorce, which might generate developmental dissonance for one person, or destructive dissonance for another.
So my suggestion would be to disregard the unproven (yet apparently "well-researched"!
) premise of the book that the world is made up of introverts/extroverts and that this is somehow very important, and avoid reading oneself as a self-deduced introvert/extrovert into
the book. Take it with a pinch of salt, and then get an arguably more important and entirely rational perspective by reading I'm OK, You're OK
by the late Thomas Harris, who was a Navy psychiatrist and a professor at the University of Arkansas. He practiced psychiatry in Sacramento, California and directed the Transactional Analysis Association.
I'm OK, You're OK by Thomas Anthony Harris is one of the best selling self-help books ever published. It is a practical guide to Transactional Analysis as a method for solving problems in life. From its first publication during 1969, the popularity of I'm OK, You're OK gradually increased until, during 1972, its name made the New York Times Best Seller list and remained there for almost two years. It is estimated by the publisher to have sold over 15 million copies to date and to have been translated into over a dozen languages. - I'm OK, You're OK
was required reading for my studies, since when the theory has been extensively developed in greater detail by academics. Not only did it give me a good grounding in the theory of TA (transactional analysis), but also, when I applied it to myself and my interactions with others, it transformed my outlook on life (for the better). I still use it (TA), and I have taught it to my 13½ y/o daughter, who readily grasped the concepts. It's not complicated, and it can be amazingly effective.
I have even explained the TA theory to others who have been having difficulty in coping with their social interrelationships (e.g., in marriage), and watched in awe as comprehension dawns, the lights come on, and they go off and fix up their own problems.
"Thank you so much for telling me about and showing me that book", as one recently-wed boss of mine said, when I explained that a recurring pointless argumentative dialogue she described having with her new husband fitted the definition of a script
in TA theory, and was potentially damaging to the relationship and was avoidable.