The Power of Quiet

‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’ is Susan Cain‘s best-selling publication from 2012.

Place of Serenity | The power of QUIET Cain has sparked a huge amount of interest as she highlights the power of quiet. She focuses on fundamental aspects of all our personalities.

Are you introvert or extrovert or somewhere in-between?

Introverts & Extroverts at Work

Nicole Fallon’s blog piece, Introverts vs. Extroverts: How to Get Along at Work is excellent at showing how this is relevant to you in the workplace.

‘No one is a pure introvert or extrovert. However, every workplace has representatives of each personality type, and there are a few fundamental differences between the two that affect how they interact with their colleagues. Introverts tend to keep to themselves, preferring one-on-one conversations and solo work. Extroverts enjoy group projects, talking through their thoughts and connecting with others throughout the day. These behaviors often lead to unfair assumptions and judgments about both groups, which may cause tension within the team.’
Read on for the whole of Nicole Fallon’s piece here.

How ‘Quiet’ begins

Cain introduces her book with an account of Rosa Parks, who in 1955, was sitting in the Place of Serenity | Quiet. The Power of Introverts‘Coloured Section’ of a Montgomery, USA bus when she was asked to give up her seat to a white person.

She said no. This quiet, unassuming woman’s refusal inspired Martin Luther King to support the city-wide boycott of the buses for 381 days.

Cain is clear that the behaviour of Rosa Parks, and other leaders like Mahatma Ghandi and Mother Theresa, did not have to be loud and bold in order to make enormous difference to the world. They were quietly strong and powerful, and their nature was introvert.

In our Western society we tend to be geared towards environments that benefit extroverts rather than introverts, through open-plan work-space, brain-storming meetings and the general desire for overt expression and enthusiasm.

As an introvert, I know what this experience is like and how it can feel challenging to ‘fit in’ when what you want to do is be yourself. I also appreciate what Fallon points out: ‘Typically, extroverts see introverts as unsocial, inadequate, shy, secretive and aloof non-contributors.

Introverts describe extroverts as aggressive, egotistical, unaware, rude and socially needy. While there may be a kernel of truth to these generalizations, the tone is angry and accusatory, rather than appreciative.’

Quiet in Society

Place of Serenity | The power of introverts

I have a good understanding as a teacher, how the quietest people in my mindfulness class may not be saying as much but are fully there when it comes to their practice.

Cain’s book is a validation for any of you who have felt you don’t fit in to the gregarious, exuberant society that we live in today.

If this is something you have never considered, taking time to get to know yourself is what you learn to do in mindfulness and meditation.

Sometimes we need to give ourselves time out to clarify where we are in our lives. Quiet itself, is empowering. We sometimes forget to give ourselves enough quiet. And introverts actually need quiet in order to replenish their energy.

But whether you are introvert or extrovert, or a mixture of both, the outcome is this. Cain is making a stand for introverts and  the quiet power that introverts bring to the world. She encourages us all to look within and value ourselves and others, however different to us they may be.

Here is Susan Cain’s excellent 19 minute Ted Talk below:

If you are a parent you might also like to see Susan Cain and ‘What shall we do with the quiet kids?’

Do share your comments on Facebook or elsewhere if you have enjoyed this post. I’d also love to hear from you – introvert or extrovert?
Yvette (Introvert)

 

Mindfulness and MeditationYvette Jane – Mindfulness & Meditation Coach

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6 Comments

  1. Wendy Tomlinson on 10/12/2014 at 7:36 pm

    Mostly introvert. A lot of people who know me socially would say I was an extrovert an I do enjoy being center of attention but only for short, blasts, then I happily retreat to my introvert heaven. Love it.

    • Yvette on 10/12/2014 at 9:57 pm

      Thank you for sharing Wendy! Love the ‘introvert heaven’!

  2. Lenka on 10/12/2014 at 10:43 pm

    I’m somewhere in the middle. I love how you emphasise that we do not have to be loud and bold in order to make enormous difference to the world. It’s so easy to think otherwise in the world full of “look at me” high-achievers. I’m going to share this with some of my clients who I am sure will appreciate this as much as I do. Thanks Yvette.

    • Yvette on 11/12/2014 at 11:38 am

      Thank you Lenka. A lot of people who attend my meditation classes love hearing about it, so well worth sharing with your clients.

  3. Helen Gibbs on 13/12/2014 at 6:57 am

    Introvert. I really like this Yvette. Amazing how we find things at the right time – am working on accepting myself as I am and my strengths rather than trying to fit into something I’m not and ‘be out there’.. It’s good to be reminded of this and to remember that I’m not alone!

    • Yvette on 13/12/2014 at 9:11 am

      Yaay Helen! So pleased to hear this and thank you for sharing here. x

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