Today, a grey and red spotted moth got trapped in a gap between the glass and the mesh section of my window frame.
I tried to help but there’s no way I can without breaking the glass or cutting open the mesh. I sit down and wonder where the moth must have entered from. Then, I notice a slight opening outside, near the upper edge of the window. I feel relieved because there’s hope for the moth to escape. All it needs to do now is find its way, go back to the opening, and fly away. But sadly, all it seems to do is walk farther away from the opening, or fly and hit itself against the glass pane, and fall down. Sigh!
While I watch this little moth try helplessly, I get reminded of the story of The King and the Spider. I sit by the window and narrate this story to the moth of how the spider never gives up and continues trying until it succeeds. Just to give the moth some company and a few words of inspiration. Slowly, the moth starts moving towards the center of the frame. It gets closer to the edge but again suddenly decides to fly straight towards the glass. Another fall! “Now, why would you do that? Stop flying and go towards the corner where you entered from.”, I say but the little one does not listen to me.
Thankfully, it gets up again and continues walking. It walks multiple times over the same path, starts flying, and falls down. Poor thing continues trying, sometimes it is super close to the opening but it mindlessly walks away or flies only to fall back down again. Now, I am not sure about the moth but I give up. I cannot watch the moth struggle to find a way out of its own trap.
Sometimes, we create these kind of traps for ourselves in our lives due to bad decisions or sometimes unfortunate circumstances make us feel trapped with no way out. What’s important is that the moth did not give up even when the end was near, it did not stop trying. I guess when we stop trying, we stop being alive. So, let’s hold on to dear life.
QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, written by Susan Cain is a book about introverts. It is a wonderful guide for all the introverts who face self-doubt and find it difficult to live up to the challenging demands of a society that is dominated by extroverts. This book, Quiet, inspires introverts and teaches us to embrace ourselves.
So, who are Introverts? Introverts are quiet, reserved, prefer listening over talking, enjoy conversations with a small group of friends, and feel comfortable being alone.
This book is not just for introverts, it also needs to be read by extroverts. In fact, this book is for everyone. The society sometimes fails to appreciate the innovative and creative minds of the silents ones. As a community, we need to understand the personality traits of introverts and know why introverts behave the way they do. It helps in changing the perspective of people on how they need to regard introverts.
What Can You Expect from this Book?
This book discusses the temperament of introverts and shares success stories of famous introverted personalities. Revolutionary leaders such as, Mahatma Gandhi and Rosa Parks, though shy, brought a change to the world in their own way.
“Eleanor, Al Gore, Warren Buffet, Gandhi, and Rosa Parks – achieved what they did not in spite of but because of their introversion”
It talks about the society which has adopted the extroverted ideals in schools, colleges, and workspaces. The enthusiastic, expressive, and confident students are considered to be smarter, attractive, and interesting to be around. Whereas, the shy, skinny, and quiet ones are regarded as slow and bland.
“There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”
So, to negate this myth, the author cites examples of some of the legends such as, W.B. Yeats, Chopin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Warren Buffet, and J.K. Rowling, who though quiet, have made a powerful impact with their intellectual creativity. Imagine living in a world without them!
“So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multi-tasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way.”
At workplaces – group thinking, team activities, and collaborated methods of working are not always effective. Susan Cain proves this point with her research and statistics by elaborating that majority of the people are most productive and brilliant when they are working alone.
She also talks about how different cultures in the world have different ideals. The Western culture is prominently extroverted where being talkative, athletic and vivacious is considered ideal. But, the Asian culture is more on the introverted side. It discourages students from talking in class and encourages reading, listening, and writing. In this part of the world, introverts are admired for being contemplative and reflective.
“It was no coincidence that the 1920s and the 1930s, Americans became obsessed with movie stars. Who better than a matinee idol to model personal magnetism?”
The society needs both introverts and extroverts. Extroverts can continue doing what they do best and introverts don’t have to change themselves to fit in. They just need to accept themselves for who they are.
Also, it does not mean that introverts are not suited to be in a field of work that requires them to be more outgoing. What is important is that introverts need to get the adequate amount of downtime to unwind.
“Proust called these moments of unity between writer and reader “that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.”
Introverts need to recharge themselves and this can happen only when they get to savor their solitude.
“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.”
In the book, the author also talks about how introverts and extroverts are often drawn towards each other, be it friendship, a romantic relationship, or at work. This is why, the book is vitally important for both personalities to understand each other.
Quiet, is also great for parenting. Introverted kids need to be encouraged and accepted for who they are, instead of pushing them towards becoming someone else.
Now, I am going to take some time to appreciate the title of this book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. This hit me in the right spot and was the sole reason why I decided to read this book. I am an introvert and I really needed someone to tell me that’s it’s okay to be me. Well, introversion is not a choice isn’t it, we are just made this way!
Most introverts will agree that they are tired of answering the question,
“Why are you so quiet?”
Probably, people asked me this because they were just curious. But, it is not necessary for people to always be loud and talkative.
I remember my teachers writing remarks in my report card, “Good in studies, but quiet.”
Every time people asked me this question, I would go deeper into my shell. I started feeling that there was something wrong with me, why can’t I have conversations easily with random people? Why am I not good with small talk?
Earlier, I was not sure about myself to give them an answer to this question with confidence. Maybe now I can or maybe I will continue holding myself back, but what’s more important is that, now I am a lot of more comfortable in my own skin.
This question does not bother me anymore. In fact, I am glad that I come under the “quiet” category. Yes, I am reserved and I feel lost in large groups but I love one-on-one conversations with like-minded people and you will have my total undivided attention.
I am extremely thankful to Susan Cain for writing this book and for helping me and thousands of people out there in understanding themselves, or their introverted partners, family members, and friends.
“You are told that you’re “in your head too much”, a phrase that’s often deployed against quiet and cerebral. Of course, there’s another word for such people: Thinkers.”
At least one-third people that we know are introverted according to Susan Cain. Reading this book will give you a unique insight and perspective on how thinking minds work and hence I consider this book to be a must-read for everyone!
PS: Apologies for getting too carried away while writing the review of this book and peppering it with personal anecdotes!