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How Pursuing a Quest Can Bring Purpose to Your Life

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 12.03.09 PMTwelve 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.


Do You Want to Join the Quiet Revolution?

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.15.17 AM

Remember when I said I was launching a Quiet Revolution? My startup is in full swing, and we’ve got a number of interesting jobs we’re looking to fill. Here’s one! 


How to Overcome the Fear of ‘Putting Yourself Out There’

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.


What are your greatest character strengths? Take this quiz to find out:


Here’s a great tool for assessing your strengths — and then creating a life that draws on them:


My 2014 TED Talk | Announcing the Quiet Revolution

Click this banner to read the full transcript of my 2014 TED Talk!  ~ Susan Click this banner to read the full transcript of my 2014 TED Talk! ~ Susan


It’s @TIME For A Quiet Revolution! | #TIMEIdeas #QuietRev



Should you ‘fake it til you make it’?


Should Office Culture Change To Accommodate Introverts?



The American obsession with class participation, from a non-American perspective

The American obsession with class participation, from a non-American perspective:


Celebrated Mathematician Forgets Shyness When Focused Upon Passion


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.


Gandhi Explains Why Restraint Was His Greatest Asset


Excerpt from “Quiet” | Chapter: “Soft Power

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.”


Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.

Excerpt from “Quiet” | Chapter: “Wonderland”

“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Stay home on New Year’s Eve if that’s what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story. Make a deal with yourself that you’ll attend a set number of social events in exchange for not feeling guilty when you beg off.”


Is Your ‘Quiet’ Child Available For a Quick Phone Call?

Image source: Shutterstock.comHi 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


Regina Dugan On the Importance of Quiet to the Creative Process

Regina Dugan, former Director of DARPA (and deliverer of one of my favorite TED talks), on the importance of quiet to the creative process:


Order an Autographed Copy of ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’

Happy Holidays, friends! I’d love to personalize and autograph a copy of QUIET for you or to give as a gift.


Paul Graham Explains Why Meetings Thwart the Flow of Creativity

Managers, take note!


Between these Lines

Image source: Shutterstock

Dear Readers,

I hope you enjoy this poem by the gifted Amber Rens (who is only 17! though you’d never guess it from her words.)


Virginia Woolf On Quiet and Coffee Cups


30 Days After You Die So, Too, Will Everyone You Love

Image source: Shutterstock

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:


Why ‘success, like happiness, cannot be pursued.’

Insightful post from Jonathan Fields on the right and wrong reasons for dreaming of becoming a writer/actor/fill in the blank…

Here’s a sneak peek:


How Your Facebook Posts Reflect Your Personality Style

Wow. This is an incredible study of personality styles, based on the language that people with different personality traits use in their Facebook posts.


The Power of Quiet Connectors

Stop “networking” and start searching for kindred spirits! Robyn Scott, owner of a company called “Intros” and author of “The Power of Quiet Connectors“, says that the best connectors are private, modest, and low-key.


An Autistic Boy Confronts the Social Expectations of His Teen Years

Typically sensitive NY Times essay from the lovely Priscilla Gilman, on her autistic son confronting social expectations of the teen years:


How I Quit My Job & Became a Writer

Here are five counter-intuitive pieces of advice, drawn from my own experience.


STUDY: Sad Songs Say So Much (Even More Than You Think)

Olimpia Zagnoli

As a minor key kind of gal, I often wonder: 

Why does sad music make me feel so happy?


How to Transcend Political Difference: Make Everyone Sit Still

red-blue-chairsIn this season of government shutdown, it’s worth thinking about the mystery of political polarity. How intractable is it, really?


Are You an Introvert or Extrovert? Take the Quiet Quiz to Find Out

Are you an introvert, extrovert, or do you fall somewhere in between? To find out, click the graphic below to take my "Quiet Quiz", an informal 12 question quiz, adapted from my book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. It's based on characteristics of introversion commonly accepted by contemporary researchers. I [...]


Louis CK on the Happiness of Melancholy

I find it funny that Louis mentions crying in his car after hearing Bruce Springsteen’s “Jungleland”. The SAME EXACT THING happened to me last week when I heard “I Came For You” on my car radio.

Here’s Louis CK on the happiness of melancholy:


QUIET: The Missing Chapter | By Karen Catlin

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.”

“Since over half of the population is extroverted, chances are there will be some in every group you lead. Where’s the chapter on how to thrive as an introverted leader?”

Great question, Karen, and I love your ideas. Here they are:


Watch This Woman Progress From Infancy to Old Age — In Just 5 Minutes

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:


‘Introversion’ | A comic by Luchie


Click through for a lovely comic by Luchie, titled “Introversion“.


Want to Help Me Curate the Quiet Revolution Pinterest Board?

Susan Cain | PinterestWould 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…


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Updated: Security, Health, Growth & Purpose

Abraham Maslow
In 1943 Abraham Maslow published “A Theory of Human Motivation“, proposing what he thought to be the most necessary elements humans needed in order to lead successful, healthy, happy lives.

A lot has changed in the world since 1943. So Charlie Kim, Founder and CEO at Next Jump, took it upon himself to modernize Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Here is Charlie’s version:


I don’t fear death (except when I do)

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 […]


Are Sexism — and the Extrovert Ideal — Clouding the Federal Reserve’s Search for a New Chairman?

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 & Bank of England Declare: ‘…there is no enjoyment like reading!’

Jane-Austen-ten-pound-noteJane 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.


Why “no innovation happens with 10 people in a room.”

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 […]


Join Me (@SusanCain) & @ActionableBooks for a Live Twitter Chat, Right Now! | #BizBkChat

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!


Internet Dating – Is It Brutal or Beautiful for Introverts? A Case Study w/Julia & Matt

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. […]


Emma Watson, Introvert, Truly Appreciates The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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 […]


Julien Smith’s ‘Breather’ Supplies Quiet Rooms In Noisy Cities

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 […]


‘Susan Cain: How I Write’ | @TheDailyBeast

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? […]


The ‘I See You’ Experiment

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 […]


Are You An Introvert Or Extrovert? Take The ‘Quiet Quiz’ To Find Out

Click this image to take the Quiet Quiz!


I thought I was damaged. Then I learned I’m introverted.

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 […]


Ang Lee is a sensitive, QUIET director, says ‘Life of Pi’ star Adil Hussain

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, […]


Could You Love Your Neighbor As Much As You Love Your Kids?

“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.” I recently had the privilege of sharing the stage with Donovan Campbell. And I was struck by his description of true […]


My Notes From TED 2013 | @SusanCain

[View the story “My Notes From TED 2013 | @SusanCain” on Storify]


An Ode To My Readers

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 […]


QUIET: Susan Cain, Live at Politics & Prose – (My Unedited Q&A w/Angie Kim)

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 […]


Idan Raichel, Singer-Songwriter, Keeps QUIET, Lets His Music Do The Talking

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 […]


The Atlantic: ‘Introverted Kids Need to Learn to Speak Up at School’ | My Response

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 […]


Books I Couldn’t Put Down | A List by @SusanCain

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.


To Sell is Human

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 […]


Why I Wish You a Year Full of Surprise

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 […]


“You Can Approach Life With Both Fierceness and Grace”: An Interview with Brene Brown

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, […]


23 Signs You’re Emotionally Intelligent & Destined for Success


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.


The QUIET Book Tour Continues…

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 […]


No Solitude, No Revelation

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 […]


The Alchemy of Happiness

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…

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 […]


What To Read This Weekend: Edna St. Vincent Millay

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 […]


QUIET, the One-Minute Movie, is Here!

Here’s the link; let me know what you think!


Silence is Golden (courtesy of Maureen Dowd)

  “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, Want to Chat?

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.


What To Read This Weekend: UNCERTAINTY

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 […]


Reading Ideas for the Weekend

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 […]


Reading Ideas For the Weekend

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 […]


Seven Ideas on How to Overcome Fear and Become More Creative

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 […]


What to Read This Weekend (Three Love Letters to the Literary Life)

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 […]


The New Groupthink, on Children’s TV

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 […]


How to Succeed (courtesy of David Brooks)

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 […]


A Weekend in Booktopia

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 […]


How To Achieve Inner Peace (Courtesy of Pema Chodron)

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 […]

Quiet: The Book

- Wall Street Journal

Best Nonfiction Book of 2012

QUIET has been voted the best nonfiction book of 2012


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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