Twelve years ago, I walked into a cafe, laptop in hand, to begin a grand adventure.
My adventure did not involve swords, dragons or golden cups; it didn’t require me to hike the Appalachian trail or steer a boat solo across the world. All I had to do was sip a cappuccino and tap away at my keyboard.
In honor of Arianna Huffington’s marvelous book THRIVE, I want to write about a very specific aspect of well-being: freedom from fear of sharing one’s ideas.
The American obsession with class participation, from a non-American perspective:
Yitang Zhang, admittedly shy, is facing the uncomfortable glare of the spotlight after recently solving one of math’s great problems. Click through for his astounding story.
In the West, passivity is a transgression. To be “passive,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, means to be “acted upon by an external agency.” It also means to be “submissive.” Gandhi himself ultimately rejected the phrase “passive resistance,” which he associated with weakness, preferring satyagraha, the term he coined to mean “firmness in pursuit of truth.”
Hi all — My team is gathering stories for/about introverted kids for a new project. Hoping to connect with kids (between the ages of ten and fifteen) and parents who would be willing to spend a few minutes on the phone sharing their experiences
Happy Holidays, friends! I’d love to personalize and autograph a copy of QUIET for you or to give as a gift.
This is one of the most interesting ideas I’ve come across in a long time, from a New York Times piece by Samuel Scheffler:
Wow. This is an incredible study of personality styles, based on the language that people with different personality traits use in their Facebook posts.
Typically sensitive NY Times essay from the lovely Priscilla Gilman, on her autistic son confronting social expectations of the teen years:
Here are five counter-intuitive pieces of advice, drawn from my own experience.
As a minor key kind of gal, I often wonder:
Why does sad music make me feel so happy?
QUIET: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking is missing something,” says Karen Catlin, writer
of “QUIET: The Missing Chapter.”
Great question, Karen, and I love your ideas. Here they are:
I’ve never understood why everyone is so averse to aging. From what I can tell, most people get calmer and more centered with time.
So I love this video, by Anthony Cerniello, of a woman progressing from infancy to old age — in just five minutes. It’s humane and beautiful and well worth your time:
Would you like to help me curate a Quiet Revolution Pinterest Board full of ideas, insights, and stories about introverts?
What should you Pin to the Board? Here are some suggestions:
◆ Quotes about introversion
◆ Stories featuring introverts
◆ Bios of famous introverts
◆ Studies about introversion
◆ Introverts in the news
Want to help me with the Board? Simply…
Here’s a brief musing I tapped out on my phone last night while reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes: I don’t know why everyone talks about the fear of death. I love life, but I don’t fear death. What I fear is the deaths of the people I love best — because I fear the […]
It seems that the Federal Reserve has managed to offend both women and introverts as they search for a new Chairman, according to this piece by Ezra Klein:
Jane Austen, world renowned English author, had a particular talent for writing developed characters, many of them introverts. Beginning in 2016, 200 years after her novels were published, “good quiet Aunt Jane” — as described by her family and friends who understood her private, introverted nature — will be celebrated, quite publicly, on the reverse of the Bank of England's new 10-pound note.
Paul English, co-founder of Kayak, on why “no innovation happens with 10 people in a room“: “We’re known for having very small meetings, usually three people. There’s a little clicker for counting people that hangs on the main conference room door. The reason it’s there is to send a message to people that I care […]
SOCIAL LINKS Tweets about “#BizBkChat” ∽ Can’t think of a question to ask? Watch my conversation with the Founder of Actionable Books, Chris Taylor. It should inspire a question or two!
Dear Friends, Today, a heartwarming love story from Matt and Julia Triplett — who met online via the Quiet Revolution! Hope you enjoy this as much as I did. “One night in early 2012, Matt was reading the book Quiet by Susan Cain, about the joys and struggles of being an introvert in an extroverted world. […]
I loved, loved, loved the movie “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” starring the gorgeously sensitive Emma Watson. And now HERE SHE IS in ROOKIE magazine, declaring that she’s an introvert and a reader of QUIET! Made. My. Day. Here’s the full quote from Emma: “[QUIET] discusses how extroverts in our society are bigged up so […]
Hi friends, I want to introduce you to a friend of mine, Julien Smith, who (a) wrote a famous and fantastic blogpost called The Complete Guide to Not Giving a Fuck (a must-read if, like Julien, you suffer from “caring far too much about offending people, worrying if [you’re] cool enough for them, or asking [yourself] if […]
Hi everyone. Thought you might enjoy this Q and A I did with the Daily Beast — discussing TED talks, Malcolm Gladwell, why I wrote QUIET in a Greenwich Village cafe, advice for aspiring authors, and more… What do you need to have produced/completed in order to feel that you’ve had a productive writing day? […]
Check out this social experiment, from guest blogger Katherine Wakefield — and let us know what you think and whether you’ll participate! I am starting a social experiment. Me, a stranger-danger introvert; yes, me. It happened organically today and went well. As I was checking out at the grocery store, I felt warmth and happiness […]
Not long ago, I discovered Michael Schiller’s terrific Social Introverts Facebook Fan Page. We started corresponding, and I’d love to share the note he sent me about his passion for helping introverts appreciate their own quiet perfection. ~ Susan Hello, Susan. My name is Michael Schiller, and I want you to know that you are […]
Here is “Life of Pi” star Adil Hussain, on what it’s like to work with the quietly inspirational Ang Lee. He is a silent co-musician with an added responsibility of being the conductor of the most complex orchestra. You’ll always feel that he’s only with you, co-creating; but he’s with everybody at the same time, […]
“Donovan Campbell is a decorated military officer and a young Fortune 500 executive whose lessons about leadership and teamwork came the hard way, through three combat deployments—two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.” ~RHSpeakers.com I recently had the privilege of sharing the stage with Donovan Campbell. And I was struck by his description of true […]
[View the story “My Notes From TED 2013 | @SusanCain” on Storify]
As many of you know, I’m on a whirlwind book tour for the QUIET paperback. So far I’ve visited NYC, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Kansas City, and Denver. Having now spent many evenings in succession with you, my readers, I would like to tell you about the way you transform a public space, about your […]
As you may know, I’m out on The QUIET Book Tour right now. So far I’ve been in NYC, Chicago, Boston, Denver, Kansas City, Portland, and one other stop that — for purely personal reasons — stands as my favorite appearance of all: My Politics & Prose Bookstore sponsored Q&A at the gorgeous 6th and […]
A few weeks ago, I took my husband to a concert as a surprise. He had no idea where we were going until we got to the box office. His best guess was Ethiopian food, which we’ve both been craving — and this wasn’t entirely off the mark. We spent the evening with Idan Raichel, whose […]
Last week, @TheAtlantic magazine ran a piece called “Introverted Kids Need to Learn to Speak Up at School,” by Jessica Lahey. They have graciously agreed to run my response, which includes five suggestions for how shy kids can be encouraged to speak up for themselves in the classroom. ➤ Help Shy Kids – Don’t Punish Them […]
Don’t you love that feeling when you’re so engrossed in a book that you’d rather read it than do anything else? I find this state is not so easy to come by, even for an avid reader like me. So here are some of my favorites in the page-turner category.
You probably wouldn’t expect me to kick off 2013 by recommending a book about sales, but I’ve found that pretty much everything bestselling author Dan Pink writes is funny and fascinating. So too his just-released book, TO SELL IS HUMAN: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others. This is not a book about sleazy car-dealer sales […]
Hi everyone, happy new year! One of the best side benefits of writing QUIET is having discovered a group of readers who share similar tastes and sensibilities. I’d like to take advantage of this by regularly passing on articles, books, essays, music, podcasts, etc., that have moved me or made me think. Please do the […]
I had the good fortune to meet Brene Brown last March when we both spoke at TED, and she instantly became one of my favorite people. She is warm and wise and very, very funny. (Check out her two TED talks and see what I mean.) For now, I can’t wait to read her new book, […]
IMAGE COURTESY OF FLICKR USER ROYBLUMENTHAL
Soft skills — what are they, anyway? And which ones are essential to a successful career? Dan Schawbel has the answer in his new book, Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success.
Hi everyone, Here’s the latest news from the QUIET book tour, which continues at its whirlwind pace! 1. QUIET has been on the New York Times bestseller list ever since it debuted in late January. 2. Chris Anderson, the owner of TED, recently tweeted that my TED talk “smashed” all of TED’s previous records for number of […]
I met some really incredible people at last week’s TED conference, and Rabbi David Wolpe was one of them. Here he is on the power of solitude: “When he was a child, the Seer of Lublin (later a famous Hasidic master) used to go off into the woods by himself. When his father, worried, asked him […]
One of the pieces of my recent TED talk that has attracted the most interest is the idea that the world’s major religions feature stories of seekers (Moses, Mohammed, Buddha, Jesus…) who go off, by themselves, to the wilderness, where they have revelations that they then bring back to the community. No solitude, no revelations. […]
The QUIET media blitz continues. Here are some of my latest appearances (and a couple of book reviews): NPR/All Things Considered – Quiet, Please: Unleashing ‘The Power of Introverts’: Audio and a transcript of highlights from my NPR interview. TechCrunch TV – Keen on… Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts My interview with TechCruch’s Andrew Keen. This […]
Hi everyone, For this week’s reading picks, I’m recommending two poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay. This is Edna week for no particular reason at all. I mean, it’s not her birthday or anything like that. She just had some really good poems. Here’s the first one Recuerdo: We were very tired, we were very […]
“Nothing has changed the nature of man so much as the loss of silence.” The Swiss philosopher Max Picard said that, and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd repeated it yesterday in a much-discussed column on the power of silence. She also shares this quote, which I love, from Michel Haznavicius, the director of […]
Welcome to the new and improved website! I’m very excited about it, because you can now talk to other readers of this site about any topic under the sun.
For this week’s picks, I offer you three great reads on the theme of Uncertainty: 1. UNCERTAINTY: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel for Brilliance: This is a terrific new book by my friend Jonathan Fields: thinker, writer, blogger, and mensch. Jonathan tells his own story of uncertainty — how he gave up a generous […]
Hi everyone, here are some “reading” ideas for the weekend, “reading” in quotes, because this week I offer you two speeches and one quotation: 1. “A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success“: I’ve been on an Alain de Botton kick lately. I love to listen to him speak and think on just about any topic — this […]
Hi everyone, here are this week’s reading picks: 1. Move Over, Alpha Males. Why Being a Beta May Be Better (At Least for Baboons): Fascinating piece at Time Magazine Healthland, by my friend Maia Szalavitz, on new study finding that beta baboons are healthier and suffer less stress than alphas. My favorite bit is near […]
When I was researching my upcoming book, QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, I met a scientist performing groundbreaking work on the neurobiology of social anxiety. An articulate and seemingly confident man, he confided that his interest in the subject came from his own struggles with shyness. When I asked […]
Hi everyone, For this holiday weekend, I offer you three love letters to the literary life: 1. “To England,” by Richard Brautigan. (Thanks to my father for introducing me to this poem many, many moons ago.) To England There are no postage stamps that send letters back to England three centuries ago, no postage stamps […]
As regular readers of this blog know, I am always horrified by examples of what I call “The New Groupthink” — the contemporary belief in elevating group work over individual creativity. (I believe that there’s a place for both, but that the balance in today’s schools and workplaces is currently way out of whack.) Here’s […]
What to Read This Weekend: Elizabeth Gilbert on Creativity, Wesley Yang on Paper Tigers, and Wendell Berry on Quiet
Hi everyone, Here are this week’s reading picks. 1. Elizabeth Gilbert, on nurturing creativity: OK, so this is not really something to read. It’s the author of Eat, Pray, Love (which I have never read, actually, but I plan to now) delivering a TED talk on creativity. Absolutely mesmerizing. There’s a transcript available if you […]
I’m halfway through David Brooks’ new book, “The Social Animal,” and want to pass on a few choice bits (more or less verbatim): 1. You can only discover your vocation by doing it, and seeing it if it feels right. There’s no substitute for the process of trying on different lives, and waiting to find […]
Did any of you attend the recent Books on the Nightstand Readers’ Retreat in Manchester, Vt. (now dubbed “Booktopia”)? I wish I had. The event brought together readers, authors, and editors for an early Spring weekend of casual conversations in Manchester, VT. There were several New Englandy gathering places, including a really inviting looking bookshop […]
Here’s a really interesting idea from Buddhist nun Pema Chodron: You can train yourself to cope with adversity by working with small grievances. When you get stuck with the middle seat on the airplane, for example, it’s so tempting to devolve into a blue funk of frustration. It feels good to feel aggrieved. Chodron calls […]
Introverted Leaders: Three Reasons Larry Page Will Succeed as Google CEO (As Long As He Avoids One Fatal Misstep)
Last week, Google announced that current Google CEO Eric Schmidt will step down, while co-founder Larry Page – who is often described as shy, private, and reserved – will take his place. Page’s mission: to make the company nimbler, more innovative, and more appealing to creative engineers with breakthrough ideas. Some have questioned whether the […]