What-is & Wanted vs. Unwanted: Quiet: The Power of Introverts

I’m facilitating a book club tonight for Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

As you can probably guess from the title, the book examines introversion and makes a compelling case we live in a world that undervalues introverts.

We live with a value system that I call the Extrovert Ideal—the omnipresent belief that the ideal self is gregarious, alpha, and comfortable in the spotlight.” —Susan Cain

The book explores how extroversion became the culture ideal in the 20th century when the Culture of Personality overtook the Culture of Character. Dale Carnegie, the Harvard Business School, Tony Robbins, and an evangelical megachurch all play a role in illustrating this evolution.

I found myself agreeing with Susan’s premise—it’s hard not to because the book is so well researched.

But I did wonder about this: Research suggests 1/3 of people we know are introverts, but that many are pretending to be extroverts because it’s the cultural ideal.

What do you think—are some introverts faking being extroverts?

P.S. Check out Susan’s thought-provoking TED Talk where makes a case for the quiet and contemplative.