As a self-proclaimed introvert, I have firsthand experience of being an introvert in a world of extroverts and let me tell you, it can be a pain in the ass.
Many cultures around the world often idolize the personality traits embodied by extroverts while ignoring or minimizing the strengths of introverts. But the truth is, introverts are badass members of society who have a lot to offer.
Whether you’re an introvert who wants to further unlock your potential, someone who can benefit from some self-help advice, or you’re an introvert (or extrovert) looking to gain further understanding of how introverts brains can work, these reads can enlighten you on the hidden (and obvious) benefits of being an introvert, how to acknowledge those benefits, and how to capitalize on them.
1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.
In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.
2. The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney
The Introvert Advantage dispels introverts’ belief that something is wrong with them and instead helps them recognize their inner strengths-their analytical skills, ability to think outside the box, and strong powers of concentration. It helps readers understand introversion and shows them how to determine where they fall on the introvert/extrovert continuum.
It provides tools to improve relationships with partners, kids, colleagues, and friends, offering dozens of tips, including 10 ways to talk less and communicate more, 8 ways to showcase your abilities at work, how to take a child’s temperament temperature, and strategies for socializing. Finally, it shows how to not just survive, but thrive-how to take advantage of the introvert’s special qualities to create a life that’s just right for the introvert temperament, to discover new ways to expand their energy reserves, and even how, when necessary, to confidently become a temporary extrovert.
3. The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler
You don’t have be an extrovert–or pretend to be one–to get to the top! Jennifer Kahnweiler points to Mark Zuckerberg, Arianna Huffington, and Warren Buffett as prime examples of self-identified introverts who have done quite well for themselves. In this new, expanded edition of her pioneering book, she lays out a well-tested four-step strategy introverts can use to build on their quiet strength and make it a source of great power.
The book includes fresh information on the unique challenges faced by introverted women, how leaders can shape a more introvert-friendly workplace, customized hiring and coaching strategies for introverts, and the positive correlation between introverted leadership and company performance.
4. The Awakened Introvert by Arnie Kozak
In a world that favors the outgoing, gregarious extrovert, being an introvert can be difficult. But the truth is that introverts have distinct advantages―as long as they know how to use them. Unlike extroverts, who draw their energy from social interaction, your energy comes from quiet reflection. Is it any wonder then, that mindfulness can help you hone your natural talents?
In The Awakened Introvert, mindfulness expert and card-carrying introvert Arnie Kozak provides a comprehensive set of mindfulness and cognitive behavioral tools to help you maximize your introvert strengths (such as rich access to your interior) while minimizing your introvert weaknesses (such as a tendency toward worry and rumination). In the book, you’ll learn powerful strategies to help you monitor your energy; recharge after social interactions; improve social and communication skills; and take advantage of your capacity for quiet reflection, and sweet, sweet solitude. If you’re looking to unlock the full potential of your unique introvert brain, this book provides a fun, practical, and authentic “user’s manual.”
Introversion is “in.” But there are still many misconceptions about introverts in the world. They’re shy. Anti-social. They don’t want to have close relationships. They’re all cat people. They don’t like big parties (okay, that last one might be true).
INFJoe, the cartoon persona of artist and introvert Aaron Caycedo-Kimura, is here to set the record straight. Filled with charming comic book style illustrations, this book provides invaluable insights into the introverted life with plenty of humor and wit. Full of moments that will make introverts say, “That’s so me!” as well as helpful tips on surviving at parties and in the workplace, Text, Don’t Call is the perfect gift for your quiet friends, or the extroverted ones who could use some help to better understand the introverts in their lives.
6. Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story by Debbie Tung
This illustrated gift book of short comics illuminates author Debbie Tung’s experience as an introvert in an extrovert’s world. Presented in a loose narrative style that can be read front to back or dipped into at one’s leisure, the book spans three years of Debbie’s life, from the end of college to the present day.
The first half of the book traces Debbie’s final year in college: socializing with peers, dating, falling in love (with an extrovert!), moving in, getting married, meeting new people, and simply trying to fit in. The second half looks at her life after graduation: finding a job, learning to live with her new husband, trying to understand social obligations when it comes to the in-laws, and navigating office life. Ultimately, Quiet Girl sends a positive, pro-introvert message: our heroine learns to embrace her introversion and finds ways to thrive in the world while fulfilling her need for quiet.
7. The Secret Lives of Introverts by Jenn Granneman
Is there a hidden part of you that no one else sees? Do you have a vivid inner world of thoughts and emotions that your peers and loved ones can’t seem to access? Have you ever been told you’re too “quiet,” “shy,” “boring,” or “awkward”? Are your habits and comfort zones questioned by a society that doesn’t seem to get the real you? If so, you might be an introvert.
On behalf of those who have long been misunderstood, rejected, or ignored, fellow introvert Jenn Granneman writes a compassionate vindication—exploring, discovering, and celebrating the secret inner world of introverts that, only until recently, has begun to peek out and emerge into the larger social narrative. Drawing from scientific research, in-depth interviews with experts and other introverts, and her personal story, Granneman reveals the clockwork behind the introvert’s mind—and why so many people get it wrong initially.
8. Introverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After by Sophia Dembling
Love is tricky for everyone–and different personality types can face their own unique problems. Now the author of The Introvert’s Way offers a guide to romance that takes you through the frequently outgoing world of dating, courting, and relationships, helping you navigate issues that are particular to introverts, from making conversation at parties to the challenges of dating an extrovert.
Feature Image Via Jordan Sanchez/Unsplash