Rise of the Introverts: Courtesy of CBS News

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CBS1 Rise of the Introverts: Courtesy of CBS NewsOh, the irony of being an introvert on book tour! Yesterday I gave TWENTY-ONE interviews, starting at 6:45 a.m. and concluding at 10 p.m. Today wasn’t much different.

This is not an ideal scenario for someone who dislikes the spotlight. But for now, I’m in a state of awe and delight. The QUIET Revolution appears to be taking hold! Media organizations all over the world are reporting on the “Rise of the Introverts,” as CBS This Morning colorfully put it. The response to QUIET, the book, has been nothing short of miraculous. Huge thanks to all of you for helping to make this happen!

Here’s a small taste of what’s been going on in media-land:

CBS Author Talk: Video and a partial transcript of my interview with anchorman and self-described introvert Jeff Glor about Quiet.

CBS This Morning - Rise of the Introvert: Video of my round table discussion with Charlie Rose, Gayle King, and Jeff Glor.

Scientific AmericanThe Power of Introverts: A Manifesto for Quiet Brilliance: Gareth Cook interviews me about QUIET and the fallacy of groupwork.

Time.com – My article on the powers of introverted children.

‘O’ MagazineSecrets of a Super Successful Introvert: How to (Quietly) Get Your Way:  My article explaining how everyone, even extroverts, can benefit from tapping into their soft-spoken side.

Toronto Globe and Mail - Giving Introverts Permission to be Themselves: Article describing QUIET.

USA TodayTime for Introverts to Get Some Appreciation: A Review of QUIET by USA Today’s Sharon Jayson, including an introversion quiz.

People Magazine – Review of QUIET.

This media round-up is in lieu of my usual “What to Read This Weekend” post. Hope you enjoy it — as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Have a wonderful weekend. Me, I’m planning to get plenty of rest for the week ahead. I’ll be speaking at Microsoft, Google, the Women’s Media Group, and many more…


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  1. Luna on 28.01.2012 at 09:59 (Reply)

    Congratulations. Though I am sure this is all very tiring and you go to sleep at night dreaming of alone time and time with your children and husband, this as you are well aware, will make your book an even greater success. Good luck with everything.

  2. Emily on 28.01.2012 at 10:38 (Reply)

    Wow! Congratulations on your book making such a huge splash! Thank you for all that you’re doing for us fellow introverts. I think you are helping to lead a cultural shift that will benefit all of us – introverts and extroverts alike.

  3. Sue on 28.01.2012 at 11:10 (Reply)

    I preordered your book for my kindle, and received it on the 24th. I have been reading it at every free moment since then. I love it. This, along with some other supporting events and readings, has been an invitation to me to accept myself as I am, and see the strength in my quiet and introspective ways. To say ‘thank you’ does not seem like enough, but thank you for helping me to relax and enjoy myself. :)
    I am excited to hear of the response from the media. This is a much needed message in our fast moving, extroverted world.

  4. [...] you heard the talk about a revolution?  The quiet revolution?  Susan Cain, author of Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, has compiled a list of some of the recent media talk about introverts.  I have not read [...]

  5. Mary on 28.01.2012 at 15:18 (Reply)

    I received my copy of your pre-ordered book yesterday. I am so excited to see and read this long awaited declaration of the great value of introverts and quiet! I am sure all the interviews and excitement are rewarding after all your work. But do take care of yourself and set aside time for your Quiet!

    You have a real mission and millions of us thank you for speaking out. We now can feel encouraged to share truly who we are.

  6. kim hubbard on 28.01.2012 at 16:01 (Reply)

    From one disliker of the spotlight to another– don’t forget People magazine…

    1. Susan Cain on 28.01.2012 at 16:05 (Reply)

      Ha! I wanted to put People in but couldn’t find the link for the life of me, nor could my tech guy! Would you mind sending? THANK YOU.

  7. Amy on 28.01.2012 at 17:38 (Reply)

    I was watching the CBS interviews. I really liked what you said about focusing on your strengths as an introvert. I just ordered a copy of the book on Amazon. I can’t wait to read it!

  8. Dirk D. Anderson on 28.01.2012 at 18:23 (Reply)

    I hope this does start some sort of trend. While I would expect the noise levels to be considerable while walking down a city street. The frequency of distractions in places where this was once deemed inappropriate is rising exponentially. Restaurants, Trains, University Libraries, Churches…you name it. All these unwanted distractions add up to level that I believe does have a deleterious effect on society, at least it does on me. In many cases I pay a fee or Taxes and believe I have a right to be reasonably accommodated. With today’s Technology individuals can be on the clock, conducting business and ruin the day of others who just want to enjoy a meal and the scenery while held in an enclosed environment such as the Amtrak Train (it’s happened, all the way from San Luis Obispo to San Diego). It’s no joke.

  9. Greg Dent on 28.01.2012 at 21:43 (Reply)

    All this response shouldn’t really come as a surprise. You’ve been laying the groundwork for at least seven years. It’s been a glorious thing to behold over the past six months or so that I’ve been following your blog, the reviews, and the byline articles leading to this peak.

    The very idea that somebody could generate a revolution of introverts just blows my mind. The idea that somebody could sustain seven years of mainly solitary effort pursuing that idea may be even more mind-blowing. And yet you did and you did. Just totally amazing and awesome! Only an introvert. Only you. Congratulations. I am just flat-out thrilled for you — and, in a different way, for the rest of us introverts and for the world we live in.

    (Not to mention the book itself. While awaiting my Amazon copy I stopped at B&N and read the opening story of the 1955 Quiet revolution. It was exquisite. I can’t wait.)

  10. Jon Nuelle on 28.01.2012 at 23:37 (Reply)

    I just finished my (preordered) copy of “Quiet” tonight. It has been a fine companion on evenings this week. Many happy graces to you for putting such a thorough (and thoroughly humane) book into our world! It has been a long time since I reflected so productively about myself in the past, present, and future tenses. Non-fiction of this quality pays off for readers in the very best currency: increased satisfaction and happiness. And I think many will be paid handsomely.

    Thanks for following your path!

    1. Herschel Everett on 02.02.2012 at 01:38 (Reply)

      The book was shipped today so I can’t wait to read it too. I have a aunt that was real shy stayed to herself. Never married, was too scared to go outside. When she was working it would take her 5 buses to get to her Insurance job. I didn’t know what she did their but I bet her job was back office work, filing.

      My daughter was the same way until I hired her to help with my home business. Showing that she could make it in this world. She had a hard time figuring me out. She didn’t understand why I was quite until that day in the summer 2008. I was outside doing some painting on our fence. She came out to see and asked if she could help. I said, sure grab a paint brush. The next morning she opens the blinds and saw me again planting wild flowers. She didn’t under stand why I was scattering wild flower seeds in no order. I told her that I wanted to be surprised in 6 weeks. I said these are wild flowers they grow everywhere. Now every spring we get a big surprise because different flowers come up at different times and years. Its was like a bell went off in your mind. She got it.

      That Christmas I was really down because my business wasn’t doing good. I had to layoff my daughter earlier in the year, it was Christmas Day. She gave me the best gift ever. It was called “My Dad taught me how” I cried like a baby. We connected for the first time. Currently my daughter is living on her own going to NCSU majoring in Sociology she wants to start her on practice back near us helping people with metal disorders. Please pass this forward to parents with kids with metal issues.

      “Parents NEVER give up on your kids.”

      My Dad Taught Me How

      It hadn’t occurred to me that I never really knew my dad until I actually took the time to get to know him. I used to think that growing up in someone’s life meant you automatically knew everything about them, but I guess what they saw say about adolescence is true– The world of adolescence is a world all on it’s own, and anyone and everyone who goes there could pretty much care less about anything on the outside.

      My dad is the shyest person I know. He gave me his shyness, and he taught me how to be anxious in social situations and stubborn-butted about it. He also taught me how to keep most of my anger and sadness to myself until I couldn’t take it any more. Needless to say, I used to not like him so much for these things. Luckily, I discovered that our similarities, no matter what they entailed, made me want to know him more. Maybe if I learned more about my father and how he deals with these things in life than I could learn how to deal better too. Or, better yet, we could challenge each other.

      My dad cares a lot about the outside world. He’ll commit to go to church every Sunday with my mom and brother, even if he disagrees with how something. When asked ‘why’ he’d say that it’s because you shouldn’t leave a place just because you disagree with it. My dad makes so much sense. I never knew that my dad could make so such sense! All my life I remember him being so painfully quiet. After years of battling the horrors of the adolescent world, I grew enough patience to really see him. And that’s when my dad taught me that in order to get some answers I must start asking the right questions.

      This summer in 2008, I saw him working outside on the lawn. There must have been at least a gallon of sweat coming from his face because of the Texas heat. Mostly he works out in the yard as his work out and to get away from everything. His recent projects in the last two years have been planting the wild flower seeds that I bought from the store after I started my dating spree.

      The sun came down from the sky and drew me out from my room in bare feet to ask my dad if he needed any help, and that’s when he said “ Get some work gloves on. “ I looked down into the bucket of brown colored paint and I picked up a brush. That’ afternoon my dad taught me how to protect the wooden backyard fence.

      The next day I felt energized. I raised the blinds to let the light in and I see my dad working outside once again. I go out without breathing a word and I wait to see what he’ll do next. “Come and look what I’ve done here” he says, and I smile at his inclusion of me. I go to him and tells me in excitement about all the changes he’s made to the yard.

      My dad has always been strange about the yard, but it’s only been noticeable recently. It’s far from bland, far from abandoned, and far from the cookie-cutter stuff. ’What’s left?’ one might wonder. Well, wild flowers around the stop sign is what is what’s left. Wildflowers around the lamp post, and rocks in between the growing wild flowers at the corners of the sidewalk. Nothing is even. Nothing is balanced. Everything is skewed.

      Automatically I feel the need to correct everything and carefully put it in it’s perfect place where it should’ be. Instead , I ask him what he thinks our neighbors must think of these wildflowers growing from the stop sign. He says “They don’t call ’em wild flowers for nothing, you know” and after a second I giggle in amusement. That afternoon, my dad taught me to love everything that’s out of place.

      It has taken twenty-two years of being under the same roof for me to get to know this silent man that I know as my dad. I now appreciate his silence because I know he’s either enjoying the day or thinking up something magnificent and all I have to do is listen and he’ll tell me all about it. My mind is now open to seeing the beauty in what others might think is ‘out of place’. I now get to know how it feels to be a wild flower, because my dad taught me how.

  11. kim hubbard on 29.01.2012 at 11:02 (Reply)

    Something I’m wondering: Do studies correlate high-reactivity in kids with picky eating? It would make sense. And if so, should finicky eaters be pushed to try new foods?

    1. Canaan on 29.01.2012 at 18:53 (Reply)

      Hi Kim, this is purely anectodal, but i definitely have noticed that correlation, I’d love to hear from someone who understands that dynamic in this space. In my experience, the new foods thing is extremely difficult even if done in a low-to-no-pressure and endlessly patient manner. I do believe that it’s important not to let the understandable frustration this can create “into the room” at all; pressure will only backfire imo. One thing I have noticed is these kids often are more ready to DRINK than chew and I know some pediatricians aren’t in love with the idea, but sometimes a super nutritious smoothy with all fresh ingredients (no powders etc) can help get the nutrients flowing. My sense is often kids grow out of this trait but it can take a long long time.

    2. absence of alternatives on 31.01.2012 at 22:09 (Reply)

      This is such a great question/observation. My youngest is super picky: he only likes white food: bread, pasta, rice, (and only white pizza when he’s little). He does not even need salt on his pasta. Food was not allowed to touch each other; thank goodness that’s over. Texture however is still a big thing to him.

      1. Canaan on 01.02.2012 at 11:18 (Reply)

        Interesting! how old was he when he started to grow out if it? what changed? did he himself start to get curious about other foods or did you nudge him? How did you ensure he was getting nutrients beyond the white food?! would you say he’s on the ‘Quieter’ side? what do you think is the connection? If anyone else on this board has thoughts, this is a vexing one!!

  12. Christine on 29.01.2012 at 11:16 (Reply)

    Hi Susan, I just discovered you and your book. A few years ago I read The Introvert Advantage from Marti Olsen Laney and it was such an eye opener on who I am. I did her test, which revealed that I am an introvert….big time! From her book and my definition of introvert vs. an extrovert, is the way we re-energize. Extroverts need to get out there in the world to get re-energized whereas introverts like myself need to withdraw from the world to re-energize and take some time out to process information. Congratulations on the book. I can’t wait to get my copy.

  13. Christine on 29.01.2012 at 12:49 (Reply)

    Susan, forgot 2 things….you are doing amazing work but as introverts, we know how much energy it takes us to “get out there”, so I am sending you lots of energy! I also love your Manifesto. Great quotes.

  14. James Brown,CLU retired on 29.01.2012 at 13:50 (Reply)

    Thank you for justifying my personality that I have regretted and been ashamed for so long. Come to think of it, I was successful in a profession that is populated by gregracious individuals, won a high medal in combat as a night fighter pilot, and on a perfect vacation my desire is to sit by myself and read. Yes, I am a portrait painter. Who woulda thought?

  15. Terry on 29.01.2012 at 13:58 (Reply)

    Susan, thanks so much for writing this book. Selling it is almost a mandate for booksellers like me. It gives introverts everywhere the validation we have been longing for. It’s the “Please Understand Me” of its time. I know you promote “Quiet” at the expense of your own personal comfort and sanity. Please know how much we appreciate it.

  16. Wendi Gordon on 29.01.2012 at 18:53 (Reply)

    Congratulations. I can only imagine how draining it must be to do that many interviews, but what a dream to get that much publicity! I would gladly sacrifice some alone time temporarily if Timeless Truths for Troubled Times (the book of meditations I recently wrote) generated that level of interest! I wish you much success, and it sounds like your book is definitely one I need to read.

  17. Jane on 29.01.2012 at 20:00 (Reply)

    I am so happy for you and your success! Thank you for inspiring a revolution and being a catalyst to changing how the world views introverts! I totally understand what you mean that though it is an irony for an introvert to be on tour and interviewing, you are elated and excited to be doing this. I have noticed that too in me. There are phases and times even in an introvert’s life when there is so much going on, either a milestone, accomplishment, or event– that one naturally becomes gregarious because there is so much excitement. I’ve noticed this happens when you start a new job, or in my case, during my engagement period, or when I used to go on group trips. Enjoy and have a fun tour!

  18. christopher on 30.01.2012 at 12:19 (Reply)

    That’s simply awesome. But, this Harvard article has something that introvert should look into…
    http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/01/the_introverts_guide_to_networ.html?cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-weekly_hotlist-_-hotlist013012&referral=00202&utm_source=newsletter_weekly_hotlist&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=hotlist013012

    Just wanted to hear what is your take on this…

  19. Herschel Everett on 30.01.2012 at 15:50 (Reply)

    Just finished reading the writeup in the Dallas Morning News 1-29-2012. Very interesting in knowing if anyone has mention a learning disability “dyslexia” for why someone is a introvert.

    My wife of 33 years is a extrovert more of a people’s person outgoing or right brain person. As a kid, teen, I was very shy person in public and left brain, detail person.

    I started my own business in 2003 selling to people all over the world but looking back if it wasn’t for Bill Gates I got a new lease on life. Now I have both worlds I get to create ideas on what to sell or what will work in my business and doing customer service issues, production, shipping and tracking and accounting detail work too.

    My wife started working from home in 2005 and we decided to homeschool our son. Our son is in Community College now and is doing well. I can’t wait to read your book to get more insight.

  20. Claudine Gueh on 30.01.2012 at 22:54 (Reply)

    Congratulations! Introverts, young and grown, all need to be heard just as clearly.

  21. Adam on 31.01.2012 at 04:52 (Reply)

    I just heard about your book tonight. Where have I been you may ask. Well, being an intovert, of course. I can’t wait to rush out and get it. As a former extrovert turned to the “dark side”, I have unleashed some hidden talents and have really learned a lot about who I really am. I’ve learned that it takes less energy to just be yourself, than to run around trying to be seen and trying to please others. I am looking forward to reading “Quiet” and best of karma to ya!

  22. David Schuman on 31.01.2012 at 09:54 (Reply)

    Thank you so much for addressing this subject. Best wishes for the book.

  23. [...] Susan Cain, author of “Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking” [...]

  24. Michael Brown on 31.01.2012 at 11:47 (Reply)

    Hi Susan

    Great stuff! You have done what I try and do for others which is to poke me on the arm as I may well have fallen asleep at the wheel on this, having been running team development activities of various sorts for 15 years!

    You inspired me to Blog about it: http://www.reallearningforachange.com

    Thanks!

  25. Lori on 31.01.2012 at 12:03 (Reply)

    Ugh, networking! I’ve worked with people who were selected from a group of candidates based on their merits, and I’ve worked with people who were hired or kept on because they played golf with the boss. Do I need to say which method almost always turns into a disaster?

    When hiring, I always put the candidates through tests relevant to the job. It weeds out the people who impress the partners with their interviewing skills, but don’t know jack about administrative work.

  26. Elisabeth on 31.01.2012 at 15:24 (Reply)

    Susan, we’ve already met on Twitter. I read your book in German in the summer last year, and it has left a huge impression on me. I am planning to buy a copy of the English original now too.

    The book really has changed how I see myself. Spending time with myself no longer feels wrong. All introverts, including me, over time develop strategies for coping with their situation because society doesn’t accept them as they are. I hate thinking back to a private discussion where my PE teacher thought it was her job to find out what was wrong with me because I was quiet, and do something about it. The sad thing is at this age you tend to believe what adults tell you. As a child I was called “shy” too, but I have in the meantime learnt, to some extent, to be a pretend-extrovert, in situations where this is necessary.

    I live abroad, so I get away with all that fairly easily because people here usually think it’s the language that I don’t master (although I know my English is not that bad; it’s just that I can express myself much better in writing). Well, that’s fine with me, at least they’ve got an explanation then. Introversion doesn’t count as an explanation for being how you are, as suggested by your book.

    As for my work life, I’m basically invisible because I operate online. It is one of the great triumphs in my life that I have managed to build up a successful translation business, which I run from home, in which – I know, any chatterbox’s nightmare – I don’t talk 99 % of the time. It is one of the things that I love about my job. There are lots of people out there who don’t know (or wouldn’t think that I was capable of it) that I run this business.

    In my job I do communicate a lot, and I’m on the phone sometimes too, but communication mostly happens via e-mail and on internet forums. This suits me perfectly because I wouldn’t be able to contribute to discussions if they were happening in a room packed full of people. And when I‘m working, I experience “flow”, the phenomenon that is discussed in psychology a lot nowadays where people engaged in productive activity actually enjoy what they are doing.

    I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently and come to the conclusion that I am glad I became a translator. Let me take up something that you mention in your book: I don’t envy, e.g., my friends who have become teachers, despite the high status they enjoy in German society, their excellent pensions etc. Instead I envy those who have built up successful translation businesses, who can write well, think up clever, great-sounding slogans etc. Those are the people that I envy.

    I have also started to notice more introverts around me, which is fascinating. It is good to know that I am not alone and good to know it is nothing to worry about.

    Thank you for championing the cause of introverts.

  27. Isherwood Wildwalker on 31.01.2012 at 18:25 (Reply)

    Thank You for speaking up and out! My facebook feed is buzzing about this book, and I am heading down to my small, locally owned book seller to purchase (or have them order)

    Isherwood Wildwalker

  28. absence of alternatives on 31.01.2012 at 21:20 (Reply)

    I am waiting to receive my Kindle so I can get your book on it. I am so excited when I saw the book because I have been ranting about the bias against introverts for a long time. I am one of the those pretend extroverts being “working while female” and it exhausts me. I feel I cannot be myself in real life and instead I have been building my own community on the Internet and I have come together as a person that’s true to myself because of the interactions and engagements here. One thing I do want to point out and would love to know whether I am the only person bothered by this: the Time magazine cover showing “The Power of Shyness” when its cover story is about introversion. Once again, misconception that introverts are (necessarily) shy propagated by a widely-read publication. I did not know what to do, so I started the Facebook page called “Introverts are not shy”. Just to make myself feel better about it…

    1. Absence of Alternatives on 02.02.2012 at 00:38 (Reply)

      Got the book today and am loving it. What you wrote:

      “Introversion—along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness—is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.” And your take on the Extrovert Ideal is right on. I have been busy sharing these paragraphs online. Someone asked me whether I truly believe that things will change. My response to him was that at the very least, this will help the introverts amongst us, to stop that little voice inside you that agrees with everybody else saying something is wrong with you. And I do believe this, for parents raising introvert children to come across your book or any other interview/article/sound bite/news/tv talk show inspired by this discussion, you are doing something very important for those children.

  29. Kristy on 16.02.2012 at 23:36 (Reply)

    I happened on your book by chance and it has really helped me to understand myself and my life story. I am an introvert (I now realize), but was also home-schooled and raised with very little social contact outside of my family and one best friend. When I left for college it was such a struggle just to be around so many people all the time. And now, 10 years later, I do a pretty good job of acting at least somewhat extroverted. But it always feels like such an effort and I can’t wait to get back home and just unwind.

    I thought that my being reserved was purely an effect of how I was raised and thought I might undo it if I just put myself out there enough and “practiced” socializing. I thought I was being weird and mal-adjusted if I just wanted to be alone sometimes. It’s a relief to know that there are so many others that feel the same and I’m not “broken.” I’m crying now just to think of all the wasted time and worry, and anger at my parents for their crazy decisions in raising me when in a large part this is just who I am (although I’m sure all the isolation didn’t help). I feel like I don’t have to be so embarrassed about my quiet tendencies anymore, I can just think- “hey, I’m an introvert, along with at least 1/3 of the population. That’s not so unusual.” I won’t ever be the life of a dinner party, but I do have so many good qualities to offer.

    Thanks Susan for dedicating your time to this book. I hope it reaches far.

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Quiet: The Book

- Wall Street Journal

Wow!
Best Nonfiction Book of 2012

QUIET has been voted the best nonfiction book of 2012
by Goodreads.com

Manifesto

1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.

2. Our culture rightly admires risk-takers, but we need our “heed-takers” more than ever.

3. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.

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