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The Introvert Advantage (How To Thrive In An Extrovert World) Paperback – 16 May 2002

47 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing (16 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761123695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761123699
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Stig Eriksen on 6 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
I made the "mistake" of reading Susan Cain's "Quiet" before reading "The Introvert Advantage". With my mind having been pre-blown, so to speak, I missed out on most of the Aha-moments that this book rightfully have.
Whereas "Quiet" left me feeling uplifted and ready to take on the world "The Introvert Advantage" once again convinced me that my introverted temperament was a serious handicap that i could, at best, learn to accept. The slightly condescending, self help, love yourself as you are, tone of the book generally annoyed me but where Laney lost me for good was the part about energy conservation. I am an engineer and, though I don't claim to be an expert, know the fundamentals of thermodynamics. Entropy is not "Fussy energy" that can be un-fuzzed by going for a quiet stroll. The lack of "energy" we introvert feels after socializing is not the same as actual physical energy as in heat or motion and i don't understand why she would try to make that connection. The author might only have intended to use the explanation of thermodynamics as a metaphor but it does make me wonder how well founded the rest of the "Science" in this book is.
The book is not without merits. If you have already bought it, good for you. If you haven't, read "Quiet" instead. If you have already read "Quiet" i would not recommend reading this book.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By mushrooms on 15 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm an introvert, and have never seen it a downside. I know our Americanised, Hollywood-inspired society is critical of introverts, but I've never fallen into the trap of "groupthink". I've always maintained that the world's best philosophers, writers, composers and scientists were introverts - people with the capability to "think outside the box". So why did I bother buying the book? Because I wanted someone else to back up my argument that introverts really are the "intellectual elite" and that there's nothing at all inferior about or wrong with us. I wanted it, I got it!

There was a lot I didn't know before reading this book. For example, the author explains the neurological differences between intro and extroverts - extroverts relying on the well-known neurotransmitter dopamine, and introverts relying on the lesser-known acetrycholine. She also explains that there are structural differences in our brains and that introverts use their frontal lobes more than extroverts, a logical explanation for our careful planning and "think before you speak" attitude. The author also highlights bias in studies that have been designed to "prove" that extroverts are happier. She points out that the studies (presumably designed by extroverts) only asked questions such as "I like to be with others" and "I'm fun to be with" rather than how introverts would define happiness - "I'm comfortable in my own skin", "I'm free to pursue my own path".

I gave the book four, rather than five stars because I didn't really find the "advice" part useful. She does give some useful advice, such as polite excuses for avoiding company, but I found other bits patronising such as in the "Introvert Survival Kit" at the end of the book, where she instructs us to carry umbarellas "in case the sun bothers you" and a colourful ski headband "in case the wind hurts your ears". I'm an academic, not a hitchhiker!

Other than my last criticism, the book was very well-written. Much recommended!
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74 of 76 people found the following review helpful By T. Smiles on 31 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
I was almost put off from buying this book by the one solitary star and review on this page. My other introverted friends reccomended me the book however and, feeling in need of a self esteem booster about my introverted nature, I decided to buy the book. One of the best non-fiction books I'll ever own.

I believe that every introvert should give this a read and treat it like a Bible, especially those who are unsure about their own introversion, that do not understand it fully, or feel it is like some sort of mental illness. This book will help you understand yourself and make you feel good about yourself. It does have a lot of helpful tips to those new to the subject; but those confident in their introversion may want to read more advanced books.

Just like the back cover says, it really is filled with a lot of "A-ha!" moments. I would reccomend it to any introvert!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By blackmoon13 on 6 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I started to read this book I thought it was so simple that even an extrovert should be able to understand it.
I suppose the big problem we introverts have in life is not so much that extroverts just don't get us, but even if you explain it in really, really simple words, they are just not that interested.
The most useful section for me was the chapter that showed the very different ways in which the brains of introverts and extroverts work. Yes it's true, our brains actually are wired up differently and have different chemistry. The diagrams that showed which parts of the brain are used by the 2 types clearly show that extroverts don't really use their thinking, planning, learning and reasoning parts a lot, so my reaction to that was "YES!!!!! That proves they really aren't as intelligent!!!". After I had done my typical introverted mulling process on this, I realized that an extrovert reading that would only focus on the slower/longer brain pathway of introverts and think "YES!!!! that proves they really are slower and therefore stupider!!!"Hmmmmm Guess who would have the last word?

I liked the sections that showed how the 2 types can misunderstand each other and find each other irritating. As this book is really only focusing on this one aspect of personality typing, it is a little simplistic. There is a reference to the difference between right-brain and left-brain thinkers, that gives a little more depth, so there is a sense in which not all introverts are the same, but for me the book was generally a bit too simplistic. The author is a therapist with many years experience and she gives a lot of tips on how to manage situations where conflicting styles and needs can cause problems between the 2 types.
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