If Quiet, a book by Susan Cain, gives praise to introverts. I happen to be an extrovert but there are many, many introverts who have been dear to me in my life. I actually find myself drawn to introverts-- they seem so mysterious and sophisticated! No surprise that I married one. Introversion can be defined many ways which can lead to confusion. For example some synonyms can be "shy" or "reserved", which I think does introverts a disservice. The definition I prefer is "people whose energy tends to expand through reflection and dwindle during interaction."(1)
I recommend this book to my introverted patients in part because our culture in the U.S. tends to favor extroversion. Introverts can sometimes feel that they aren't given their due. Carl Jung (a contemporary of Sigmund Freud's) actually viewed introversion and extroversion as two normal variations of personality and felt that one was not preferential to another. I agree with this although the potential liability of introverts is that they may not naturally cultivate a broad or extensive support network. However many introverts have a small but deep circle of confidants, which research shows is enough for emotional health. Contrary to what a quick trip to Facebook might lead you to think, you don't have to have 500 "friends" in order to be emotionally healthy!
Dr. Jon Allen from the Menninger clinic in Houston, Texas has written a very nice book review of Quiet that I am linking to here. The book is also also available on Audible if you prefer audio books. Whether you are the introvert or you have an introvert in your life I think it's a great book to help sing the praises of those who are not always the loudest people at the party.
If you are curious about whether you are an introvert, extrovert or ambivert (neither, or both depending on how you look at it!) there is a quiz here.
(1) Reference: Helgoe, Laurie (2008). "Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life is Your Hidden Strength". Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks, Inc
Krista Jordan, Ph.D.
Dr. Jordan has been in private practice for 20 years in Texas. She is passionate about helping people to overcome hurts and obstacles from their past to find more happiness and health in their current lives.