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The Introvert Advantage (How To Thrive In An Extrovert World) [Paperback]

Marti Olsen Lany
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
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Book Description

16 May 2002
One out of every four people feels overwhelmed at the thought of a business meeting, dreads walking into a party, hates having to make small talk with strangers, feels alone in a crowd - and always prefers to sit on the sidelines and observe. They're introverts, and now comes the book to buttress their resolve and help them find understanding and success living in an extrovert world. After dispelling common myths about introverts - they're not antisocial, they're not necessarily shy or aloof - BEING AN INTROVERT IN AN EXTROVERT WORLD explains the real issues. Introverts are hardwired from birth to focus inward, so outside stimulation can easily become "too much" - chitchat, phone calls, parties, office meetings can all be overwhelming, sending introverts fleeing for a quiet corner.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Introvert Advantage (How To Thrive In An Extrovert World) + Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking + The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You
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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: 22.8 x 15.6 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it 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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I think i missed the part about the advantage 6 Jun 2013
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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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Introverts should read this book 31 Aug 2007
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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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, eye-opening, validating! 21 Oct 2008
I got so much out of reading this book. I picked it up on a whim, wondering what the advantage of an introvert might be, suspecting that I was one. Goodness me, I had no idea I was so introverted, or how much of my life it really impacted. Now, all these little nonsensical things about myself throughout my life suddenly have an explanation, and more importantly I feel validated for being me! I got 26 out of 30 on the book's questionaire, so I can proudly call myself an introvert. Marti helped me understand also that, being left-brained, I'm quite happy living an introverted life, whereas my sister, a right-brained introvert, struggles with the limitations. It was also surprising to find that my husband is fairly extroverted and the relationships section has been really helpful for me to understand where he's coming from and how we can get along better.

If you even slightly suspect that you are an introvert I highly recommend reading this book. You will feel much better about yourself, even if you didn't feel badly to begin with!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Insights into the World of Introverts 13 Jan 2008
Marti Olsen Laney's "The Introvert Advantage" is one of the most profound works that I have ever read and I just could not put it down. It has provided great insights into the world of introverts and how one (myself included) can swim through the rough river of life with a strong sense of self-confidence. Before reading this book, all I knew that I am an introvert and that I get my energy by being alone. After reading this book, it has added greatly to my self-confidence and increases my self-understanding as an introvert in the world of extroversion.

I especially enjoyed reading the part about the difference between the introvert's brain pathway (parasympathetic system as activated by acetylcholine) and the extrovert's brain pathway (sympathetic system as activated by dopamine), and the nicotine connection.

Laney has provided a great deal of research and effort into this work, and done so with a clear clarity. This book has 10 chapters, with roughly 320 pages, and written in a clear manner. For both the extrovert, to understand their opposite, and the introvert, to understand oneself better, I would strongly recommend this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars but a good start.
At last someone who exposes introversion as a positive personality type rather than a psychological illness as much popular [extroverted] culture does. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Spiral
5.0 out of 5 stars introverts
I really enjoyed this book, it gave me a massive insight into ieng an introvert something I thought I was for a long time, now I'm not so sure, maybe edge more towards ambivert to... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Will
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive
Great book. It covers how introverts and extroverts brains differ, and gives a wealth of info about the introvert lifestyle with lots of tips and suggestions for coping with many... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ms Angela Chapman
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not entirely relevant to all Introverts
I found this book to be both encouraging and frustrating. It's good to see Introverts championed, and there are some interesting examples of possible Introvert problems along with... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
It really helped me understand what it is to be introverted. There are many useful tips to help me get the most out of everyday.
Published 6 months ago by Dr Mina G Noubar
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of good information
I'm only a quarter of the way through (it's sharing time with "A Song of Fire and Ice"), but this is a very good book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by belgarionn
5.0 out of 5 stars An accidental delight
I happened upon this drifting round Amazon one day while looking for something else. It is a delight; deeply thoughtful and wise while entertainingly written, so readable. Read more
Published 7 months ago by David
1.0 out of 5 stars Self-congratulating
I'm an introvert and I've never had any problems. It's only when introverts try to force themselves into an extrovert box that problems occur. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Zero
5.0 out of 5 stars Quietly powerful
Marti has contributed something special to the world with this book.

For the first time in my life - I'm in my late 30s - I have read something that I can identify with... Read more
Published 11 months ago by CHRIS COLLACOTT
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read.
Gives good food for thought. It makes you weigh up the pros & cons.Add it to your library if interested in self-help.
Published 13 months ago by Lyn.B.
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