Simplicity of a subject depends on how well researched it is.Quiet is one such thoroughly researched book.In fact I was surprised to see the acknowledgement and notes section at the end of the book.It is a sizable part in itself.
The book throws visible light on the vast spectrum of human personalities.We see people as introverts and extroverts but do you know that an introvert need not be shy or a hermit or misanthrope always ? The book tells me that there are four quadrants to personality types : calm extroverts, anxious extroverts, calm introverts and anxious introverts. If this leaves you confused ,think Barbra Streisand as shy extrovert ( larger than life persona with paralyzing stage fear ) Author thinks Bill Gates is a calm introvert ( keeps to himself but unfazed by others' opinions )
Do you think fixed personality traits exist? If not, when should you act more extroverted than you really are?These are some points to ponder and the book goes on to explain with examples about the special situations in which being an extrovert may prove beneficial.Psychologist Mischel admits that personality traits exist but they may occur in patterns.For example, some people may be aggressive with peers and subordinates but docile with authority or even vice-versa.
Extroversion may be the cultural ideal but you can not ignore the quiet guy sitting in the corner ,observing the happenings and making mental notes.He may not 'look' like a leader but may actually ' be' the leader.Yes,it has been proved that there is something called as a soft power which requires sustained attention. Introverts are capable of giving sustained attention .The roots of this trait lie in the culture rather than conditioning of Asian and Asian American students ,says a study in the USA. Their success is attributed to this 'soft power'.
They are generally quiet but then ,conviction is conviction,at whatever decibel it is expressed !
This book celebrates the power of Quiet .It highlights the value of silence and solitude. After reading this book I have a new found respect for the people who live in their head.
My take -Excellent read.
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