Book Freak #27: Advice For Introverts


Advice For Introverts

Book Freak is a weekly newsletter with cognitive tools you can use to improve the quality of your life.

In this issue, advice from Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Duck out of small talk
“Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances.”

Make conversation meaningful
“Ask your child for information in a gentle, nonjudgmental way, with specific, clear questions. Instead of ‘How was your day?’ try ‘What did you do in math class today’ Instead of ‘Do you like your teacher?’ ask ‘What do you like about your teacher?’ Or ‘What do you not like so much?’ Let her take her time to answer. Try to avoid asking, in the overly bright voice of parents everywhere, ‘Did you have fun in school today‽’ She’ll sense how important it is that the answer be yes.”

Don’t be a team player
“Most inventors and engineers I’ve met are like me—they’re shy and they live in their heads. They’re almost like artists. In fact, the very best of them are artists. And artists work best alone where they can control an invention’s design without a lot of other people designing it for marketing or some other committee. I don’t believe anything really revolutionary has been invented by committee. If you’re that rare engineer who’s an inventor and also an artist, I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is: Work alone. You’re going to be best able to design revolutionary products and features if you’re working on your own. Not on a committee. Not on a team”

Become a temporary extrovert when it’s important
“Introverts are capable of acting like extroverts for the sake of work they consider important, people they love, or anything they value highly.”

Book Freak is one of four newsletters from Cool Tools Lab (our other three are the Cool Tools Newsletter, Recomendo, and What’s in my bag?).