Quiet by Susan Cain – A Cheat Sheet for #JDBOOKCLUB

Hello! How quickly has March flown by! This month’s book was Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

It was another non-fiction book this month and I thought it had a lot of the same themes running through it. This month’s cheat sheet is a little bit different, I am going to give you the questions in advance along with relevant information from the book.

Quiet by Susan Cain

Also there is this TED talk that’s 19 minutes which basically summarises the book!

The chats are on Tuesday 28th at 7pm on Facebook or Thursday 9pm on Twitter.

  1. What is your Myers- Briggs personality and do you agree with it?

Myers Briggs is a personality test that suggests there are only 16 Personality types in the world. I am INTJ, which is quite rare, especially for females. You can read about the test and my results and find out how to complete the test on my previous post!

It would be great for you to complete the test in advance of the chat so you can add into the discussion.


“It’s not that I’m so smart,” said Einstein, who was a consummate introvert. “It’s that I stay with problems longer.”


2. Do you feel like you relate to what Susan Cain was saying about Introverts/ Extroverts?

Susan Cain talks about how 2/3s of Adults are Introverts, which is quite a surprising figure. She makes the point that many Introverts are acting like extroverts as that seems to be the norm. This is the case in different situations such as in the workplace, going for interviews, at parties etc. She says that Introverts are more likely to spend time with smaller groups for friends, are more creative, are good listeners and hate small talk. She also talks about how some extroverts act more introverted at times too.


“Bill Gates is never going to be Bill Clinton no matter how he polishes his social skills. And Bill Clinton can never be Bill Gates no matter how long he spends with a computer.”


3. Do you find yourself ‘faking it’?

In Quiet, Cain discusses many experiments and times when people and even animals have ‘faked’ extrovertism in order to conform. This can be from young children all the way through life. I want to know if you have ever faked it? Do you fake your personality on a regular basis?


“It’s about accommodating oneself to situational norms, rather than “grinding down everything to one’s own needs and concerns”


4. Do you ever push yourself too far?

Do you ever finding yourself too far out of your comfort zone that you are making yourself ill or panicked? What do you do? I know so many offices and schools are moving to group work and collaborative learning or collegiate working. Cain and the research found in ‘Quiet’ suggests this is counter productive – do you agree?


“People who tend to [suppress their negative emotions] regularly,” concludes Grob, “might start to see the world in a more negative light.”


5. Where do your strengths lie?

Everyone has different strengths. Interestingly Cain says that introverts are more likely to share their thoughts and feelings online or in a piece of writing that extroverts are. So where do you think your personality strengths lie?


“Extroverts are better than introverts at handling information overload. Introverts’ reflectiveness uses up a lot of cognitive capacity”

“When a political struggle occurred on the committee, Gandhi had firm opinions, but was too scared to voice them. He wrote his thoughts down, intending to read them at a meeting. But in the end he was too cowed to do that”

“They said he was weak, that he should have stood up for his beliefs. But Gandhi felt that he had learned “to appreciate the beauty of compromise”

“Restraint, Gandhi believed, was one of his greatest assets”


6. What is the lasting message from the book?

What will you take away from the book/ TED talk? I know being a teacher I have taken way a new way of thinking and engaging pupils. I find myself on lots of report cards writing ‘should engage in discussions more’ but now I think just because someone doesn’t speak doesn’t mean they are not engaged.

Cain asks you to re-evaluate your life based on a simple question –

“First, think back to what you loved to do when you were a child. How did you answer the question of what you wanted to be when you grew up?”  

She argues that when you are younger you have the passion and the creativity to know what you aspire to be. You may still not want to be a firefighter- but you want to be someone that cares for others, that rescues people, that takes risks perhaps.

“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.”

So there we go there’s the questions for this month’s book club. Next month we are going to read a fiction book. I want to do a book that is coming out on film so we can discuss it later when the film comes out. Our short list is detailed. Hope to see you at a chat or answer the questions in the comments to start a discussion. Also Vote for next months books in the comments!


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