Thursday, April 18, 2013


I just finished reading Susan Cain's book titled Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. It's a delightful read, and I couldn't help thinking that in so much of what she said she was perfectly describing me.

Early in the book she provides a test which will reveal whether the reader is more of an introvert or an extrovert. You can take it yourself here:
Identify whether the following statements about you are true or false:
  1. I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities.
  2. I often prefer to express myself in writing.
  3. I enjoy solitude.
  4. I seem to care less than my peers about wealth, fame, and status (and popularity).
  5. I dislike small talk but I enjoy talking more deeply about topics that matter to me.
  6. I'm told that I'm a good listener.
  7. I'm not a big risk taker.
  8. I enjoy work that allows me to "dive in" with few interruptions.
  9. I prefer to celebrate birthdays quietly and on a small scale with only a few friends or family members.
  10. I'm sometimes described as "soft-spoken" or "mellow."
  11. I prefer not to show or discuss my work with others until I'm finished.
  12. I dislike conflict.
  13. I work best on my own.
  14. I tend to think before I speak.
  15. I feel "drained" after I being in a social setting, even if I've enjoyed myself.
  16. I often let calls go through to voice mail.
  17. If I had to choose, I'd prefer a weekend with nothing to do to one with many activities scheduled.
  18. I don't enjoy multitasking.
  19. I can concentrate easily.
  20. I prefer lectures to seminars in classroom situations.
The more of these that are true about you the more likely you are to be an introvert. If a roughly equal number are true as are false then you are likely an "ambivert," and, of course, if the statements are in your case mostly false then you're probably an extrovert.

There's nothing wrong with being any of these, but Cain is herself an introvert and her book is about introversion and the struggles that introverts sometimes have in a culture that seems to reward extroverts. She offers a lot of interesting insights on this and related themes.

If you're an introvert you'll certainly learn a lot about yourself from reading her book.