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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet Reflection on a Noisy Planet
"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...
Published on Sept. 4 2003 by Rebecca of Amazon

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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Please don't understand me too quickly
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...
Published on May 28 2003


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet Reflection on a Noisy Planet, Sept. 4 2003
This review is from: The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World (Paperback)
"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?
Would you rather be reading books in bed in your pajamas?
Do you get tired when you are around people, but energized when alone?
Do you feel guilty about having to "limit" your social experiences so you can survive?
Does your mind sometimes go blank in group situations?
Do you dislike being interrupted in the middle of a project?
The author has divided her comments into three main sections. First you find out if you really are an introvert, then you discover how to navigate the extrovert world. The last section explains how you can create the perfect life by "extroverting." This is just another way of saying that an introvert can also shine their light out into the world.
After reading the list of famous introverts, you will see similarities in their personalities. The author also gives a list of movies to add to your "must-see" list. Marti also spends time seeking the in-depth answers to brain chemistry. You will also find out if you are a Right or Left-Brained Introvert.
Then onward to "dating." The "Relationships: Face the Music and Dance" chapter shows how personality types collide, how to meet the challenge and then how to appreciate the differences. Even by reading the chapter on Parenting, I started to understand extroverts in a new way. I find extroverts to be fascinating, yet at times they overwhelm my cozy-sit-in-the-corner cat nature with their tiger tactics. Extroverts just seem so aggressive at times. The world can look a little threatening and a party can be overwhelming.
I love the author's ideas about how to be a sea anemone at a party. I've survived many parties with this tactic. If you are worried about what to say at a party, Marti gives plenty of solutions in the form of openers, sustainers, transitions and closers. Then she dives into the hazards from 9 to 5. This chapter will also shed some light on your personal relationships. Ok, by the time I read "Pack Your Survival Kit" this book had been more than helpful. These tips alone will encourage you to create a more peaceful planet.
"The Introvert Advantage" is an encouraging book for anyone who has felt the pain of being an introvert in an extrovert world. Marti Olsen Laney also shows how it can be equally painful and unfulfilling to remain in a state of seclusion. Through reading thoughtful segments on a daily basis, you can finally start to find balance in your daily existence.
This is a must-read book for all Introverts and the people who love them. The author has a comfortable writing style and you will feel "at home" and find yourself "completely" relating to her experiences. It is rare to find a book where you just fall in love with an author's personality. She is cute, witty and intellectual too. Finally someone out there understands! The author has really done her research.
Highly recommended. Add this book to your Top Ten must-read books this year. After all, it will help you understand 25% of the population.
~The Rebecca Review.com, A Right-brained "mostly" Introvert (INFP) and proud of it.
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31 of 33 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
This review is from: The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World (Paperback)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't stop reading this one...., April 17 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World (Paperback)
I'm a college student that recently went away to school and it wasn't too long before I started getting cranky and depressed. Being an intovert my whole life, i figured that throwing myself into a social situation would increase my ability to like being social, but all it ever seemed to do was annoy me and make me feel like a failure because i hadn't adapted to all of my extroverted peers. I started reading this book one day when I escaped to the bookstore as a way to get away from campus. I usually don't appreciate any self help books, because they tend to make me feel worse about myself. But this book was quite different. The author has a way of empathizing with the reader and explained to me things about myself that I never would have suspected. The reviews on here that criticize the book for not being complete enough, should realize that it was probably not intended for that purpose. The book does give some quidelines however in helping the introvert understand their situation better. Overall, it gives the introvert hope and reasons to finally accept who they are, because it is difficult to be an introvert in an extroverted world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Quick Read - But Needs More Substance, Oct. 23 2003
This review is from: The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World (Paperback)
Pros: The book neatly covers issues important to introverts - dating, parenting, socializing, work. Each introvert might find a few useful tips. Most fascinating to me was the chapter on biology and genetic causes of introversion and extroversion. It reassures that you're not alone - there are other introverts out there!
Cons: Though called "Introvert ADVANTAGE", it's more coping than celebrating. It dwells on introvert inadequacy, guilt, shame and paralyzing fear. The author seems biased towards her personal experience - right-brained, probably an F (feeling), and married to an extrovert. The book is confusing from a Meyers-Briggs/Keirsey (INTP, ESFJ, etc) standpoint since she divides almost ALL personality traits as introvert or extrovert.
There are style issues as well: The font is large. Many chapters feel introductory at best. Frequent long, rambling stories about the author's family and patients. Hard statistics and clinical/medical studies are sporadic. A lot of "conflict resolution" tips are touchy-feely self-help rather than introvert or extrovert related.
Overall: The book is a quick and easy read, and fun to flip through. The best chapter is personality brain chemistry. While the book could improve from further editing and more research study citations, it is still a fun way to spend an afternoon.
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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
This review is from: The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World (Paperback)
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.
Some of the information and advice on how to handle crowds, mingling, and extraverting was useful for me, but there was a lot more that seemed to be aimed toward a far different type of innie. I think ISFJs, INFJs and INFPs will find this book to be far more helpful than I did, mostly due to the advice on listening to feelings, tuning into gut emotions, and the like.
Additionally, I found a lot of the suggestions, like incremental goal setting, and creating personal mission statements to be more than a little silly, especially since I don't think in details, more in a "big picture" fashion. Any IJ types might find that portion to be helpful in motivating them to work with their introversion a little more in this extroverted society. I really didn't, honestly.
But, I will say this: some of the information was helpful, generally, in trying to understand why introverts think and process things differently than the majority of the US population. I'm quite proud to be an "innie," and find that a lot of times, it allows me to think and process information better than the average outie. Laney mentions that 60% of the truly gifted in the US come from the innie population. Hehe... I wonder if it comes from actually taking the time to think before you speak... <---sorrie, pro-innie prejudice
I'm only a mild introvert, so maybe this book wasn't designed so much for me as for those who are very pronounced. If you find yourself overstimulated by going to the fair or spending the day at the shopping mall, this book might be just the book the doctor ordered.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book Lacks Hard Data, Nov. 27 2002
By 
Marc McCutcheon (S. Portland, ME United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World (Paperback)
Some illuminating tidbits here and there, but too often the book lacks hard data. The author makes broad extrapolations from personal or anecdotal experience and then presumes that all introverts are like her or the people she interviewed (many of whom I suspect to be her psychotherapy clients, which would automatically skew her "data.") She rarely cites specific scientific studies to back up what she's saying (although many studies exist on the topic)and thus the reader is left with gnawing doubts about what's a personal viewpoint and what's scientific fact. She goes on endlessly, for example, about introverts' "low energy" with virtually no national survey cited to prove that such a startling assertion is based on reality. She goes on about her own low energy so much that one begins to suspect that what she herself may be suffering isn't introversion but mild depression. Too, she tries noticeably hard to distance herself from "shyness," insisting again and again (she doth protest far too often) that she is not, when again and again she describes bouts of social anxiety whenever in large groups of people. Although she tries to tease out introversion from shyness, one powerful study she does finally present (and with an illustration no less)shows that the introvert processes socializing through a neural fear center much more often than do extroverts. Although she tries to make a case that the introvert's thinking process is slower because it is more complex, in fact it appears to merely go through inhibitory pathways that the extrovert's brain often skips.
Even worse than all of this, though, is the labeling and typecasting and the general message that we're all probably "stuck" with our personality limitations so we might as well accept them and be happy with them. I'm not comfortable buying into such self-fulfilling prophecy. I think we're more malleable than that. If you're happy being an introvert, wonderful. But if you're not, you can always improve your social skills and, at the very least, take baby steps outside your comfort zone.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars That's only the half of it., Jan. 10 2003
By 
Caponsacchi (Kenosha,, WI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World (Paperback)
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. On the other hand, while my extrovert spouse remained in her hotel room reading a math book, this shy introvert made the rounds of every casino on the strip.)
The author seems to think that the greatest challenge an introvert might confront is attending a social party, while overlooking the more real concerns of the introvert: fear of judgment, fear of failure, fear of being "seen through" (the "J. Alfred Prufrock" syndrome). More case studies, more examples, more attention to the work of "existential" psychologists such as R. D. Laing or Kierkegaard himself ("truth is subjectivity") would certainly seem preferable to the do's and don'ts. On the other hand, the book may be helpful to readers who have not as yet connected there "tiredness problem" with their personality type.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give you a deeper understanding of being an introvert, Aug. 4 2003
By 
This review is from: The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World (Paperback)
First of all I think each introvert process a different degree of introversion. I consider myself 65-70% introverted--depending on the situation.
With this degree of being introverted, I found this book help me reach a deeper understanding of myself. For example, of why I tend to get deeply involved in a subject or get zoned out when I concentrate on something. From that understanding I learn how to manage myself better in relations to others.
Setting several useful tips aside, I believe the understanding alone that I gained from this book give me a deeper self actualization, which in the process helps me see my own strengths and weaknesses. Seeing one's own strengths and weaknesses can certainly enable one to become fuller and lead a richer life.
I very much enjoy reading this book. In a way I felt like reading about myself even though I don't agree 100% with all the characteristics of an introvert as described in the book.
All in all I still recommend it as a very good read, eps. for all of us introverts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars this is a great celebration of introversion, April 12 2003
By 
Carol C. "ccjello" (Kansas City, MO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World (Paperback)
This book is written for the 25% of the population who need alone time to recharge their batteries, the 25% of folks who look forward to the end of the work week and a quiet Friday night at home, the 25% who cringe at the idea of ending the dayweek at a crowded bar's happy hour. The book lets those those of us who have ducked into the restroom for a few moments of quiet during a party, or who think that returning merchandise to a department store is a high-anxiety mission, know that we are not alone.
The author treats introversion as something to be celebrated rather than something to be cured. She emphasizes all the ways in which introverion is useful in society and valuable in relationships. Two things I particularly liked -- the quotations at the start of each chapter and throughout the test -- comments about still waters running deep, music is in one's own thoughts, etc.; and the discussion of different types and apsects of introversion, such as right-brained and left-brained introverts and Jungian theory. The author goes into the biology of introversion, such as the genetic causes of introversion and the different ways in which introverts & extroverts process neurotransmitters, which is fascinating.
The author does a good job of distinguising between introversion and shyness, a difficult concept for those folks. I am by no means shy, so sometimes people who do not know me well (and even those who do) don't consider me as an introvert. However, I relish my privacy and alone time. My go-nonstop extrovert friends don't understand why I have no interest in going out after a day at work, or how I can spend an entire weekend alone. This book helps provide me with an explanation for them.
The author also provides a number of practical tips on monitoring and regulating your energy levels, how an introvert can best deal with both introverted and extroverted mates & children, how to deal with parties, social situations, and work situations. I found this section to be the least useful, but other readers might disagree.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YES, But then on to which type of Introvert are you ?, Jan. 30 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World (Paperback)
I like this book. It is an excellent place to start exploring life as an Introvert, or for an Extravert to start trying to understand Intoverts. Author Marti Laney sees Intoversion as a personality type -- a particular collection or pattern of personality traits. Her 30-question quiz scores you on a continuum from Introverted to Extraverted. Yet a limitation shows up here, in that the Intovert prototype in this book is based on the exact combination of traits that the author says she herself possesses as an Introvert, which is actually just one subtype of Introversion. For example, Jungian personality type approaches talk about 8 subtypes of Introverts -- see David Keirsey's book Please Understand Me II for details. Below I will suggest step 2 in the quest for understanding Intoversion, for follow up after reading The Introvert Advantage, by mentioning some books that focus on one or another subtype of Introverts:
Thoughtful--introspective: Solitude by A. Storr
Shy--socially anxious: The Gift of Shyness by A. Avila
Artistic--creative: The Highly Sensitive Person by E. Aron
Worried: The Positive Power of Negative Thinking by J. Norem
Lonely--isolated: Just Your Type by P. Tieger
Loner--alone by preference: Party of One by A. Rufus
Low Energy: High Energy Living by R. Cooper
Literary--observer: Jane Austen, The Complete Novels
Different books for different introverts. As Carl Jung said, each individual is ultimately a unique crystal, but type theories can be helpful for navigating social life.
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The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World
The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney Psy.D. (Paperback - Feb. 1 2002)
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