Sunday, May 6, 2012

Book Review: Quiet

In connection with my previous post on visiting teaching and Relief Society, here's my Goodreads review of a book I've been reading this month that I found super helpful.

You mean we're not friends on Goodreads? Why not? :)

 Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop TalkingQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don't know that Cain intended Quiet as a self-help book, but that's what it turned into for me. She had a short true/false introversion/extroversion quiz at the beginning of the book, and I answered all but about one of them as true. I finally realized that there's nothing wrong with being uninterested in going to large gatherings, being drained after I do go to them, or needing the radio off while my kid is crying or I'm in traffic. These things are just part of who I am, and I have to work with them (and sometimes around them) in order to be happy and productive. This is not to say that I can't go to big gatherings; I just need to be able to escape occasionally and have enough time to wind down afterward. Cain calls this having a "restorative niche."

The best chapters were about how introverts' and extroverts' brains function differently, how to function and decompress in large social situations, and how to help introverted kids experience their world in a comfortable and enjoyable way. I'm beginning to see how my child (now 18 months) might very well be an introvert; he was and is a high-reactive baby, he is chatty and bubbly with me but clams up when meeting new people or while in a group of children at church, and he takes awhile to warm up to unfamiliar people and situations. Now I have the tools to help him and me navigate our sometimes overstimulating world without being overcome.

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