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I’d always recognized that I was different than some of my friends but I never really, truly understood what that difference was until I was introduced to the idea of being an introvert vs extrovert my junior year of high school
Suddenly things clicked, at least to a degree.
I began to see that my desire to look inwardly and work on my own (and in my own head) weren’t bad things. They were really strengths I could use to contribute in my own way.
While that was absolutely helpful it wasn’t until years later that I was introduced to the book Quiet by Susan Cain.
This book was a life-changer (I’ll explain more below). It also led to me reading a number of other books focused on helping introverts in some way. Some books were fantastic while others missed the mark.
Below are my three favorite books that I think every introvert should read.
Quite: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
This book by Susan Cain is easily my top recommendation. If you only have time to read one book I recommend this one.
It opened my eyes in so many ways but at its core, it boosted my confidence more than any book I’ve ever read. It also helped me come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t broken. I was perfectly normal, just different than many of my friends who are extroverts.
I didn’t need to force myself to go to parties or endure networking events for hours on end or say yes to every social invitation I received.
And it helped realize that my quiet nature was in fact a talent that could help me excel in my career and day to day life.
One thing I love about this book is the multitude of examples she shares of incredibly successful people who are also introverts. Some of these people are in careers I would never expect an introvert to go into like sales and even public speaking.
My book is littered with highlighter marks and writing in the margins. I seriously recommend reading this book for anyone who is an introvert, is friends with introverts, works with introverts, or is raising an introverted child. That should cover just about everyone.
The Introverts Edge
My dad, an incredibly talented salesman (and extrovert) told me time and time again growing up that one of the most valuable skills you can develop in life is the ability to sell.
In my mind, however, there was a huge problem there. See, sales meant talking to people. And that was one thing I had no interest in doing whatsoever. I knew I was never going to work in sales. So I ignored his advice.
But as I went through college and stepped into the professional world, reality sunk in. The ability to sell really is a vital skill.
And you don’t need to work in sales to benefit from this talent. I have to sell stuff all the time in my everyday life. Whether it’s selling an idea for a new process or marketing campaign to my boss or selling my 3-year-old on taking just one bite of broccoli.
I’m selling all the time. And I imagine if you look at your life or you’ll realize you are too.
So, I recommend reading this book because it will help you learn how to take the gifts and talents you have as an introvert and use them to sell.
This line from the book's description really summarizes the whole thing nicely:
“With stories of introverted entrepreneurs, salespeople, and business owners who went from stagnant to success, The Introvert’s Edge shows you how to succeed in sales—without changing who you are.”
It’s a fantastic book and I highly recommend it for any professional.
Sorry I’m Late, I Didn't Want to Come
This book was recommended to me by a friend who read it and followed through on some of the ideas the author shared.
This book is the story of author Jessica Pan as she pushes herself to act like an extrovert for a year.
She has a series of challenges she puts herself up against and tells you what it was like to go through it and come out on the other side.
She does everything from the very basic like talking to strangers to the much more challenging, performing standup (something I can’t even fathom ever trying).
This book is an incredibly easy read. But it isn’t just a story about an introvert trying to act like an extrovert. Pan also talks with various experts and shares insight from them to help introverts everywhere.
What I really love about this book is it pushed me to get out of my shell just a little bit. I won’t be performing stand up any time soon but I did push myself to take a public speaking class.
It has pushed me to engage more when I attend conferences for work and when I face the ever ominous networking events I find myself forced to go to.
This is an enjoyable book to read and while it may not be as packed with research and strategies as some of the others out there, it’s a much more laid back read that can help you push yourself out of your comfort zone.
What to Do Next
If you’ve spent any time on my blog you know I like to end my articles with a suggestion on what you should do next.
Well, this one is pretty straightforward. Pick one of the books above (or one of the runner ups listed below) and write it down, add it to your Amazon cart, or see if it’s available at your local library.
Last update on 2021-01-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API