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Book review Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Book Review - Quiet - the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking

I was introduced to this book via Dr Libby’s email newsletter (Dr Libby is a fave women’s health thought-leader and educator of mine).    In her email, Dr Libby introduced her readers to an excerpt from Susan Cain’s book Quiet. It immediately resonated with me and before long I was signing up to Susan’s Kindred Newsletter and purchasing her book!  Arriving in time for the Christmas/January holidays, diving into the pages was perfect for re-nourishment as 2022 came to a close and the hope of new beginnings arrived. 

This isn’t a usual book review!  Instead, I would like to invite you to read the self-reflections that the pages within this book offered me.   There are many passages, stories, thoughts and quotes within that had me thinking someone had listened in to my self-talk!  


Table of Contents

  1. Is there something wrong with me?

  2. An opportunity for reflection and self-compassion -

    Letting go of a business experience

    You must move outside your comfort zone!

    Seeking the quiet

  3. A thoughtful and considered approach

  4. Ready to dive into the pages?


My reflections below may resonate and have you also seeking the quiet reflection space. Find yourself ready to purchase a copy of this book? I have partnered with Australian online book retailer Booktopia, and invite you to purchase a copy via my affiliate link

Is there something wrong with me? And why is my energy so depleted?

Have you ever thought that there is something wrong with you because:

  • You don’t feel the need to constantly surround yourself with people
  • That you don’t feel a burning desire to share your opinions during a group discussion
  • That your home offers you a sanctuary that you can sit in for hours
  • That loud noise shakes your energy
  • That because you are gentle you are ‘weak’?
  • Or perhaps you’ve been told you need to ask more questions in class, that you are too shy, too sensitive, that success is unachievable unless you move out of your comfort-zone, that you have to fake-it-til-you-make-it or that you simply need to be like person A to get anywhere in life.  

Not only are these thoughts completely disempowering (and draining on your energy) they don’t offer compassion or the opportunity to grow self-confidence. 

The pushing can be exhausting, and will eventually wear you out.  That’s where I found myself.


An opportunity for reflection and self-compassion

I’m quiet, reserved and gentle by nature.  You won’t see me dancing on tables, singing karaoke, bouncing around full of energy, participating in large group discussions or surrounding myself with lots of people.   Although I have found myself (plenty of times) over the last few years pretending to be the opposite of who I was.

My opportunity for self-compassion arrived sometime during 2021 after realising that the constant push to be more, seek more, be more like others, had taken its toll. I was worn out.  Recognising I was worn out created the space to ask different questions and consider what was depleting my energy (and why). 

There are many examples that I could share, only a few are below: 

Letting go of a business experience

Honestly I hadn’t felt aligned in this particular business for a very long-time (no I’m not talking about Nurture Nourish Flow).  Most of the time, I found myself in the energy of self-comparison, undertaking behaviours that I knew were not mine and not feeling seen or heard.  I started to really tune in to how I was feeling and began to feel uneasy about how it was all playing out.  During 2021 I decided to take a business-break which eventually led to closing my business membership in January 2022. 

However, it was only through a recent coaching experience and subsequent journaling session where I was able to both appreciate the opportunities provided through that business as well as reflect on how misaligned I was. And I had to take responsibility for that.   My feelings of not being good enough and trying to fit-in were the reasons why I felt so icky about the whole thing, and that I had caused this situation myself. Pretending to be someone I’m not, displaying behaviours that were not mine and not trusting in my own strengths and traits led me to the end of this adventure. I’ve now seen this as a lesson.  

You must move outside your comfort zone! 

Really? Well apparently you do if you want to be anyone, get anywhere in life or be successful. You need to keep pushing, not let the fear take hold of you, work long hours, be willing to do what others won’t do.  Oh my, I am worn out just reading that!  I’ll no-longer be pushing outside my comfort zone,  I’m quite happy here.  Instead, I’ll move more into my joy zone.  I’ve written about this before after being inspired by a quote from Collette Werden, you can read more of Colette's thoughts on the joy zone here

Seeking the quiet

The environment and situations I put myself in is key! Social media is not a great place for me.  Again it’s something that sends a message that I am not good enough.  And for the time that I was on these platforms when I did “post”, it was forced posting.   It’s a noisy place and I am not someone who needs the noise!

Similarly, social environments play a huge part in how I am feeling.  When I am in groups where opinions are flying around, where people feel the need to constantly talk, where there are lots of people or noise, I retreat.   At the time I’m not intentionally saying “go within and it’s ok to be you”, it’s an automatic response.  Often people will think there is something wrong with me or that I have nothing to say when in actual fact, and what I realised when reading this book, is that I don’t need to say anything.  There’s a big difference between needing to say something vs thinking you have to say something and just talking to feel the space. 


A thoughtful and considered approach

In her book Quiet, Susan Cain invites the reader to consider the north and south of temperament. And in doing so to be respectful of both.

For far too long I have been fearful of extroverts as I’ve seen their characteristics as weaknesses and flaws within me.This book isn’t about good vs bad, rather it’s about respect, understanding and consideration. How can we balance each other, partner our strengths with those of others, be considerate of when people simply need the time and space and so much more. 

I’m not coming to the end of this book and proudly wearing the label of introvert! Instead, I’m reflective of embracing my nature, considering how I can adapt to different situations, opening my mind to be more understanding of the people around me and knowing in my heart that I can move forward in a more grounded way. 

What I know for sure is that it’s really time for me to step into who I am.  And in doing so wrap those around me in a nurturing energy so that they can also reconnect with who they are. 

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world” ~ Mahatma Gandhi.     

 

No matter what that “gentle” away is,

 

 

If this reflection has resonated with you, you’ve read this book or you have a different take on things, please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

Are you ready to open the pages of this book and uncover your superpowers?

I have partnered with Australian online book retailer Booktopia, and invite you to purchase a copy via my affiliate link

 

 

 

References

Susan Cain website https://susancain.net/book/quiet/