"Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing. "
- Robert Benchley
I want to say thank you to Jeff Knapp of Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Jeff is an estate planner par excellence, a dear friend, and a long-time member of the SunBridge Network. Jeff knows me pretty well, so when he recommended a few weeks ago that I read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain, I immediately took his advice.
This is a great book. Cain says our place on the introvert-extrovert spectrum strongly influences our choice of friends and mates, and how we make conversation, resolve conflicts, and show love. It affects the careers we choose and whether or not we succeed in them. It governs how likely we are to exercise, commit adultery, function well without sleep, learn from our mistakes, place big bets in the stock market, delay gratification, be a good leader, and ask "what if." That sounds like a pretty big deal, doesn't it?
Although in this country we live with what Cain calls "The Extrovert Ideal-the omnipresent belief that the ideal self is gregarious, alpha, and comfortable in the spotlight," approximately one-half of Americans are introverts. What they bring to the table is crucial to the success of any family, work team, business, or other organization. For me, this is a must-read if you're an introvert (even if you're in denial or are a closet introvert) or are married to, partnered with, or working with one, or have children who are introverts.