Quiet

“Solitude matters, and for some people, it’s the air they breathe.”

“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.”

“…do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems. make art, think deeply.”

“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.”

“So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multi-tasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way.”

“Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful; introversion is not.”

“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.”

“Evangelicalism has taken the Extrovert Ideal to its logical extreme…If you don’t love Jesus out loud, then it must not be real love. It’s not enough to forge your own spiritual connection to the divine; it must be displayed publicly.”

“It’s as if they have thinner boundaries separating them from other people’s emotions and from the tragedies and cruelties of the world.”

“Now that you’re an adult, you might still feel a pang of guilt when you decline a dinner invitation in favor of a good book. Or maybe you like to eat alone in restaurants and could do without the pitying looks from fellow diners. Or you’re told that you’re “in your head too much”, a phrase that’s often deployed against the quiet and cerebral. Or maybe there’s another word for such people: thinkers.”

“What if you love knowledge for its own sake, not necessarily as a blueprint to action? What if you wish there were more, not fewer reflective types in the world?”

“Sometimes it helps to be a pretend extrovert. There will always be time to be quiet later. But in the long run, staying true to your temperament is key to finding work you love and work that matters.”

“Flow is an optimal state in which you feel totally engaged in an activity…In a state of flow, you’re neither bored nor anxious, and you don’t question your own adequacy. Hours pass without your noticing.”

 

Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
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