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Discuss Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

  • Aug 6, 2012 · 7:00 PM

We'll meet at Mantra beginning at 7:00pm to mingle and enjoy drinks and casual modern Indian food appetizers/small plates before the discussion begins at 7:30.

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, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.

She offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a "pretend extrovert."

This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.

See Susan Cain on YouTube.

Some observations from Bob, a member who recommended this book:

1. Introverts’ and extroverts’ brains are physically different.
2. A simple test can reveal at age four months whether a child is going to be an introvert or an extrovert.
3. America is the world’s most extroverted culture, and extroverts are revered and rewarded here. Yet studies have shown that introverts have many advantages over extroverts.
4. There’s a whole chapter on how Asian cultures are the most introverted in the world and how they consider introverts to be more cerebral, better leaders (think Gandhi).
5. There is much practical advice on how natural introverts can act like extroverts when the situation calls for it.



After mingling we will divide into smaller groups and use a prepared list of topics/questions to facilitate discussion. We're a friendly group of people and our discussions are convivial and insightful, not rigorously structured.

Food + Drinks

I will order appetizers for the table using the $3.00 per person paid in advance. Additionally, you may order your own food and drinks and pay separately.


Traffic and street parking can be difficult at this hour, so allow extra time. There are two free parking garages nearby on Ramona St, next to NOLA restaurant, and another a bit farther away on Alma at University. Additionally, free parking is available at the CalTrain station. Click for a map showing downtown parking.

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  • Caroline

    All but one of us were introverts, and conversation was not "small talk." Yay! It's good to get to know people through meaningful conversations of mutual interest.

    August 7, 2012

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