Do you dislike aggression? Enjoy solitude? Are you a good listener? Work best on your own? Think before you speak? You, my friend, could be an introvert.
In a world that glorifies the go-get-em, up-and-at-em, hard bargaining, out-going, people-person attitudes, introversion can make even the most well-adjusted feel just a little out of step with the rest of humanity. But Susan Cain in Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking contends that without introverts society would be decidedly worse off. It is precisely because of their introspective nature that discovery and creativity flourish among introverts. Think of Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Larry Page and J. K. Rowling—all examples of introverts in her book.
More than just a pep talk for the quiet Cain explains how and why introverts matter. She gives ideas and examples of how introverts can mesh in a culture that values gregariousness over gentleness. And she writes on how introverts and extroverts can peacefully coexist in the workplace and on the home front.
Not sure where you fall on the introvert/extrovert scale? You can take a condensed personality inventory at NPR.org and read an interview with the author. No matter where on the introversion/extroversion spectrum you find yourself Quiet validates your place in the world.