Sunday, April 14, 2013


Well, I've discovered another book about what has become one of
my favorite subjects--Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in
a World That Can't Stop Talking. Cain, an introverted motivational
speaker, shows that the world loses a lot by undervaluing us. This
book covers many fascinating facets: how we came to see extroverts as
ideal, the role of temprement, is extrovertism idealized in all
cultures, and how introverts and extroverts can get along better.
One of my favorite chapters is, "The Rise of the Mighty Likeable
Fellow." It starts with the story of how Dale Carnagie went from
fearful pig farmer's son to dynamic public speaker. His metamorphasis
parallels a transition that was going on in America in the same time
period: a shift from a culture of character based on ethics and
integrity to a culture of personality based on charisma and image
management. The advice in self help books became all about
cultivating outer charm instead of inner virtue. Methinks this could
be at the root of a lot of the problems in today's world. Cain sees
it as the cause of much anxiety. Manners and integrity are traits
just about all of us can acquire; charisma and magnetism are a lot
more elusive.
Another of my favorite chapters discusses connections between
introvertism and sensitivity. We're keen observers. We're
empathetic. We feel guilt over transgressions. We're not very fond
of sports and celebrity small talk. We're often the ones who, "move a
conversation to a deeper level, only to find out we are the only ones
there." That last line surely resonated with my life experience.
If you are an introvert or love or merely want to understand
one, this book is a great source. The blending of anecdote and
research makes it a really fun and informative read.
On a personal note, sadly the towns of Veazie and Glenburn have voted
to withdraw from RSU 26 as of July 1. :P As probably the only
introvert on a Veazie only school committee I will have to find ways
to maximize my quiet power.
A great big shout out goes out to my fellow introverts and those who
get us.
Julia Emily Hathaway

Sent from my iPod

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