Thursday, August 27, 2015
Cain spends a fair amount of the book discussing how extroverts can benefit from cultivating their introverted qualities and introverts become more well-rounded by venturing into extrovert territory. She believes that there is nothing intrinsically good about being an introvert or an extrovert. Instead, the importance lies in accepting how we and the people around us operate.
There is a lot within these pages aimed at parents and educators. Our incessant focus on group work within the classroom can be damaging for introverts and extroverts. Cain also gives some tips for extrovert parents who have trouble understanding some aspects of their introvert children. While I wish she had also talked about the converse, so that this introvert parent knows how to better deal with the noise and chaos of small children all day, I still gleaned a lot from this section.
I was really fascinated by Cain's research into whether introversion and extroversion are traits we are born with or traits we develop from our surroundings and upbringing. We also read about sensitivity, which is a trait many introverts possess although it is not exclusive to them. Our level of sensitivity explains a lot about us, from the volume of music or noise we can tolerate or your distaste for very violent movies. This is a really fascinating and important book for both introverts and extroverts.
By Susan Cain
Crown January 2012
Borrowed from a friend
While I applaud Ms. Little for talking so candidly about depression, this memoir fell flat for me. She talks about her childhood extensively but she often introduces people who never show up again, which can be confusing and frustrating. The jumping back and forth between past and present was disorienting and it was often unclear what exactly in the present made her reminisce about this specific moment in the past. I realize that depression is a serious disease that can affect anyone, but I had some trouble being very sympathetic as she talked about her struggle to start writing again in the midst of her very wealthy life.
Welcome to My Breakdown
By Benilde Little
Atria Books April 2015
Read via Netgalley