Up to Date
2:09 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

The (Quiet) Power Of Introverts

They are the third of the population who prefer to listen instead of speak, read instead of party, work alone instead of in a group.

They’re the quiet ones, and now they have a new spokesperson: author Susan Cain

We live in a culture that is geared toward the more outgoing, says Cain, but Wednesday on Up to Date, she talks to us about the value of introverts in a loud and proud society.

Cain tells us about famed leaders: Einstein, Van Gogh, Gandhi, Rosa Parks...who relied on reserved temperaments to guide them to success. 

Susan Cain's is author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking.

Susan Cain is a writer whose work on introversion and shyness has appeared in the New York Times, Time, O Magazine, and PsychologyToday.com. She has taught negotiation skills at corporations, law firms, and universities and practiced corporate law for seven years. She recently spoke at the TED2012 conference in Long Beach, California. An honors graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, Susan lives in the Hudson River Valley with her husband and two sons.

Quiet Quiz: Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert?
Excerpted from: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

To find out where you fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum, answer each question True or False, choosing the one that applies to you more often than not.

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 about wealth, fame, and status less than my peers.

5. ______ I dislike small talk, but I enjoy talking in depth about topics that matter to me.

6. ______ People tell me 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 like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, with only one or two close friends or family members.

10. ______ People describe me as "soft-spoken" or "mellow."

11. ______ I prefer not to show or discuss my work with others until it's finished.

12. ______ I dislike conflict.

13. ______ I do my best work on my own.

14. ______I tend to think before I speak.

15.______ I feel drained after being out and about, even if I've enjoyed myself.

16. ______I often let calls go through to voice mail.

17. ______If you had to choose, I'd prefer a weekend with absolutely nothing to do to one with too many things scheduled.

18. ______ I don't enjoy multitasking.

19. ______ I can concentrate easily

20. ______ In classroom situations, I prefer lectures to seminars.

The more often you answered True, the more introverted you are. This is an informal quiz, not a scientifically validated personality test. The questions were formulated based on characteristics of introversion often accepted by contemporary researchers.

From Quiet by Susan Cain. Copyright 2012 by Susan Cain. Excerpted by permission of The Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House Inc.

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