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The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World [Paperback]

Marti Olsen Laney Psy.D.
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2002
At least one out of four people prefers to avoid the limelight, tends to listen more than they speak, feels alone in large groups, and requires lots of private time to restore their energy. They're introverts, and here is the book to help them boost their confidence while learning strategies for successfully living in an extrovert world.

After dispelling common myths about introverts-they're not necessarily shy, aloof, or antisocial--The Introvert Advantage explains the real issues. Introverts are hardwired from birth to focus inward, so outside stimulation-chitchat, phone calls, parties, office meetings-can easily become "too much."

The Introvert Advantage dispels introverts' belief that something is wrong with them and instead helps them recognize their inner strengths-their analytical skills, ability to think outside the box, and strong powers of concentration. It helps readers understand introversion and shows them how to determine where they fall on the introvert/extrovert continuum. It provides tools to improve relationships with partners, kids, colleagues, and friends, offering dozens of tips, including 10 ways to talk less and communicate more, 8 ways to showcase your abilities at work, how to take a child's temperament temperature, and strategies for socializing. Finally, it shows how to not just survive, but thrive-how to take advantage of the introvert's special qualities to create a life that's just right for the introvert temperament, to discover new ways to expand their energy reserves, and even how, when necessary, to confidently become a temporary extrovert.

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“Tamara Marston’s narration makes the material relatable and informative. . . . [She] is able to identify with her audience, making her reading all the more effective and intimate. The result is a helpful, enlightening, and entertaining listen.”
      —Publishers Weekly

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D., is a researcher, educator, author, and psychotherapist. One of America’s foremost authorities on introversion, she speaks and leads workshops on the topic in the United States and Canada. She and her extroverted husband have two grown daughters and four grandchildren. They live in Portland, Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet Reflection on a Noisy Planet Sept. 4 2003
"Introverts are like a rechargeable battery. They need to stop expending energy and rest in order to recharge. Extroverts are like solar panels that need the sun to recharge. Extroverts need to be out and about to refuel." ~Marti Olsen Laney
Imagine feeling alone in a crowd, preferring a quiet corner to the limelight and feeling overwhelmed by phones, parties and office meetings. Do people often think you are shy, aloof or antisocial? If you are an introvert, you are going to completely relate to a variety of comments that are like fireworks going off in recognition of truth. Introverts can hide their talents and only show them in certain situations.
Through reading this wonderful and often humorous book, you will be assured that nothing is wrong with you. In fact, there is a connection between Introversion and Intelligence.
What is fascinating is how Marti Olsen Laney explains how introverts create energy in the opposite way extroverts do. I'm often drained of all energy after being with people for extended periods of time, but being with a book can set me on fire with creativity and energy. I can handle small groups and connecting with familiar faces can actually energize me, but after three hours, I want to find a more peaceful setting.
This book helped me understand why I have deeper thoughts when I'm by myself than in a group setting. People seem to not know who I am in the "real-world," but online, I have found a place to show my true self. This is apparently because introverts are more comfortable with writing than speaking in public.
Are You an Introvert?
Are you detail oriented yet details in public spaces overwhelm you?
Do you prefer small parties with intimate friends?
Do you avoid crowds?
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Please don't understand me too quickly May 28 2003
By A Customer
I agree with those reviewers who complained that the author too often confuses introversion with shyness or even various types of social phobia.
I am an introvert among introverts and repeatedly score as far into introversion as one can get on the MBTI and other scales, so I know whereof I speak.
Contrary to what Marti Olsen Laney says, we introverts don't want extroverts to ask us for our opinions. In most situations, we prefer to listen and analyze, but when we have something to say, we will pontificate on it ad nauseum, which is why most academics, scientists and researchers are introverts.
We also don't prefer to socialize in small groups. We actually like being in large groups because then we are not forced to speak when we'd rather observe and listen. (We can get happily lost in a crowd.)
And God save us from those well-meaning souls who feel they are doing us introverts a favor by "drawing [us] out."
We prefer formality and value our privacy. We'll thank you to respect that.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars That's only the half of it. Jan. 10 2003
This book is a cut above much self-help gup because the author discusses the structure of the brain and theorizes about the relationship between certain neurotransmitters and personality types (extroverts get off on dopamine and need to work hard to produce it; introverts, on the other hand, suffer from dopamine overload but are efficient processors of acetylcholine). Most of the book, however, is devoted to overly simplistic generalizations about the two personality types and to lots of admonitory language (do this, do that, don't do this). Moreover, the author's suggestions tend toward redundancy, describing rather than addressing the very behaviorisms an introvert might wish to alter (e.g. the advice to think ahead of each social encounter or to limit the number of such potentially stressful events would seem merely to enforce existing behaviors).
The author might have avoided some of the reductive generalizations by focusing less on "introverts" and more on "introversion" as a common human experience (not the least of the reasons that "Hamlet" remains the world's most popular play). By insisting on two personality types, Laney creates a profile that is likely to be unrecognizable to many readers who may have considered themselves candidates for the "introvert advantage." For example, she asserts that introverts are overwhelmed not only by social gatherings and meetings but by public places such as malls and casinos. But is the latter aversion due to introversion or is it a "phobia"? As enervating as an introvert may find public performance or thinking on his feet, he may find the "anonymity" of crowds, ballparks and the like energizing if not exhilarating. (The author explains how she stayed in her hotel room while her extrovert husband prowled the casino downstairs.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rounding up from a 3.5... Jan. 12 2003
Ok, I admit it, I'm an introvert. This makes me unusual, apparently, from all the stats I've read stating that 75% percent of the population is, in Laney's terminology, "outie." I'm actually even more rare than that, as an MBTI tested INTP female, I'm part of a 1.6% subset of all American women, and 3% of the overall American polulation. Somehow, I almost doubt those stats-- I'd say about half to three-quarters of the people I work with are introverted, and I'm working in customer service.
If you know anything about INTPs, you know we're curious folk who love researching exotic topics as they strike our fancy. Well, my fancies right now are business, organizational behavior, and personality type. So, I thought I'd check this book out.
I was interested to find out that introverted biochemistry is slightly different than that of extroverts. Apparently, "outies" get their "hap hits" from adrenaline, while "innies" get theirs from dopamine. This also makes for a little bit of a difference in where innies and outies find their joy-- innies love to be alone, relaxing, processing, reading, while outies love exercise, socializing, parties, shopping, etc.
I'm not sure I buy that. Apparently innies are supposed to have a lower energy level and move more slowly than outies. Funny tho', I find that I walk a LOT faster than most people (heck, I only had one person pass me on sidewalks or at the mall in the last month or so), and have lots of energy at the gym. I love to work out, and feel absolutely wonderful after a workout, despite Laney's assertion that I should only feel a minor buzz unlike the intense high that outies are supposed to get.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars surprised at how much information I gained
I always wondered why I had a hard time making friends, why I didn't seem to always quite fit in. Reading this book has given me more of an understanding of how introverts have... Read more
Published 2 months ago by sherry
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Innies
This is my third book I read in the last few years on introversion and this one proved to be the best for me. The information is easy to understand and to relate to. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ron Laflamme
5.0 out of 5 stars very helpful
I always wondered why was I so different. This book was very helpful to me to understand how I think, react to situations and helped me with coping skills.
Published 4 months ago by Elizabet A Dueck
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opening, even life changing book for me
In my almost six decades of life, I always knew I was a bit different from others. The term "shy" always came to mind, but it failed to really explain how I acted, and... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Garth Howe
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!
I have personally come to know or have read about calm and quiet people in my lifetime___ my wife, my mother on hindsight as I was only 7 when she passed away, and other great... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Lewis S Sali
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
This book was definitely a treasure to discover. It is an eye opener for understanding others and could possibly assist in enhancing your relationships or establish a richer more... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Debra
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
This book is a must read for everyone - introvert or extrovert!
Clarifying ideas and thoughts that make sense the first time.
Published 13 months ago by Ashley
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book
This is an excellent book. I've recommended it to many of my clients – some of them have since purchased the book. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Nola Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Introvert Advantage: Making the MOst of Your Inner Strengths
Being more on the introvert side, this book helps me to understand myself more and why I do the things that I do. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Lea
5.0 out of 5 stars Introvert Advantage
I was suprised how very helpful this book was to me in understanding why I am the way I am and accepting myself as such. I highly recommend it.
Published 16 months ago by Margaret Stoddart
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