Ever meet someone who just... gets you?
There are so many people you talk to every day, without realising it, passing them off as not good enough – I mean, they're just not compatible with you. They don't get you. And you wouldn't get them either.
But sometimes, you meet someone who gets you, and it feels as if everything stops, and all the bad stuff gets a bit lighter. All the stuff that worried you before, the stuff that kept you from being your best, it all fizzles away and stops mattering. Because someone gets you, things feel a little bit better, and you wonder if that was the root of the problem all along.
Ever felt that way about a book? I hadn't, until I read Quiet. I feel as if it was written specifically for me, to me, like a personal letter straight from the author. Her name is Susan Cain, and this is the book that helped me realise that being quiet is OK – that being myself is OK.
"We like to think we value individuality, but all too often we admire one type of individual – the kind who's comfortable 'putting himself out there'."
The book isn't a dig at extroverts, neither is it praising introverts – it's a discussion about what both types of people are, but not in the most black and white sense. You can be an ambivert, too, you know. And we can be an introvert in some situations, and extroverts in others. It's different for everyone.
The science behind our sensitive nature is explored, too. That's what I found really interesting, and created a good balance of theory, opinion and fact in this thought provoking book that formed the basis of my dissertation in my final year of university.
"Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quiet for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again." Anaïs Nin
I do feel as if this is a topic dismissed in society today. Almost everyone I have spoken to about it has brushed it off as some nonsensical theory that doesn't matter. But it does matter. Understanding personality types might be a step towards living in a more harmonised society, where quiet people aren't seen as strange or abnormal, and personal specifications in jobs don't require outgoing personalities.
I can't recommend this book enough. If you're not sure about reading non-fiction, Quiet is a great place to start. With anecdotes from Cain's life interspersed throughout the book, it's as enjoyable as reading a work of fiction. You can find out more about Quiet here, and here.