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The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking

By Susan Cain
  • Read in 16 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 11 key ideas
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Quiet by Susan Cain

Quiet (2012) focuses on the strengths and needs of both introverts and extroverts. These blinks describe the situations in which both personality types feel comfortable and the ways in which each can use the potential of their personality to the fullest.

Key idea 1 of 11

Extroverts tend to like noise and need stimuli, whereas introverts mostly prefer to be alone and think.

How can you measure or define someone’s personality? One way is to figure out where a person falls on the introvert-extrovert spectrum.

Extroverts are sociable and outgoing. They like to interact with others whenever they get the chance. They enjoy being in the spotlight and going out frequently; they need to be surrounded by people. For them, social status is directly indicated by social connections, so they want as many acquaintances, Facebook friends and followers on Twitter as possible.

In search of success, extroverts are prone to exuberance and euphoria. They need acknowledgement from the people around them and strive for quick successes. If, for example, they lose money on the stock market, they then invest even more money to try to quickly turn this loss into a win.

Introverts, in contrast, prefer to be in calm situations and like to think long and hard about the mistakes they have made. If they have lost money speculating on the stock market, they’ll probably stop and take time to analyze the market again before investing more.

The introvert’s tendency to meditate on experiences and sensory stimuli enables her to effectively undertake and complete artistic and intellectual projects. Introverts are able to yield profits on the stock market in times of crisis and, throughout history, have produced some of our cultural milestones like Schindler’s List and the theory of relativity.

Introverts can do such things because they enjoy spending time quietly by themselves, or with small groups of people, and find it easy to talk about personal and social problems. While extroverts tend to have many superficial acquaintances, introverts prefer fewer, albeit deeper, friendships.

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