In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as author Susan Cain argues, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.
Susan Cain is a former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant — and a self-described introvert. At least one-third of the people we know are introverts, notes Cain in her new book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Although our culture undervalues them dramatically, introverts have made some of the great contributions to society: Chopin's nocturnes, the invention of the personal computer, to Gandhi's transformative leadership. Cain argues that schools, workplaces and religious institutions are designed for extroverts, and that this bias creates a waste of talent, energy and happiness.