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Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength Paperback – Jul 1 2008

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.; 1 edition (July 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402211171
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402211171
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #385,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. "Most Americans, whether introverted or extroverted, have learned to look like extroverts," writes psychologist (and introvert) Helgoe in this well-written and well-reasoned analysis that challenges the perception of introverts as a silent, problematic minority. The author reveals that 57% of the U.S. population identify as introverts and are so commonly misunderstood because many of them have become adept at mimicking extroversion (becoming a "Socially Accessible Introvert") to get by. Helgoe encourages introverts to see themselves as perfectly functional and to fulfill their need for solitude with regular retreats and creating a private space in their homes. Helgoe's book is wide-ranging and cross-cultural, invoking how other societies (particularly in Japan and Scandinavia) are more compatible with and accepting of introversion. Helpful sections details why introverts need extroverts in their lives and how extroverts depend on introverts for their artistic contributions and inner "richness." The author's voice is vivid and engaging, and she skillfully draws real-life examples of awkward scenarios introverts find themselves in when forced to play a role in society or the workplace. Readers will find much insight, as well as a comforting sense of being understood and validated.

About the Author

Laurie Helgoe, PhD, is a writer, psychologist, part-time actor, and model-and introvert. This is her fifth book.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Laurie's book is an interesting one for introverts to read, particularly those that have been convinced by extroverts in the past that it is not right to prefer to be alone. There are also some good strategies inside about how to graciously decline social invitations and make alone-time a priority. After reading the book I have to admit that I found the author to be frequently annoying and a bit of a braggart. Examples of this are "...I have been told that when Laurie Helgoe speaks, people listen". Also, some of the crude language should have been edited out, such as when she describes how it "really pisses me off (that her co-worker couldn't possibly find her to be intimidating". Also the mosh pit analogy in the conclusion was really stupid. Nevertheless I finished the book and don't regret reading it because it did have some useful and interesting information.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa6220b70) out of 5 stars 109 reviews
239 of 240 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa57d30a8) out of 5 stars Introverts are not alone Feb. 15 2009
By annesailorgirl - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oh my, where has this book been all of my life?!! As a marked introvert who has to pretend to be an extrovert in my health-care career at a busy county hospital, this book was like water poured over my soul. It is okay to need alone times to recharge. Introverts are up to 57% of the American population, according to some sources, and if you an introvert, there is nothing wrong with you. I burst out laughing at the quote on p. 16, "If you've been spending a lot of time with people, she might suggest that you are avoiding time alone and suggest that you might be depressed." I could relate so well! In our society, everyone thinks there is something wrong with you, if you like quiet time, not if you're avoiding quiet time. I adore books, and if I get a day off work, I'm happiest at our nearby bookstore curled up with a stack of good books to peruse and a cup of hot chocolate from their cafe -- this is also a recommended introvert pursuit, according to the book, but one that few people understand (I assume that many readers of Amazon reviews also enjoy books, however, so I'm assuming readers of this blog will understand a love of books). I'm also half Swedish/Norwegian, and the author describes Sweden as being one of the openly introverted cultures in the world, along with Japan, where introversion is also prized and understood. I enjoyed how the author is familiar with the Myers-Briggs test; as an INFP myself, I also recommend the book "Please Understand Me II." It is not likely that I can restructure my people-centered career at the hospital, but I've learned to escape on lunch break to my car and sit quietly for a while with a book or my thoughts. It is worth it even in winter when it is so cold, just to not have people constantly demanding my attention, and just let my spirit breathe. I go back in to work and I'm revitalized and smiling and have so much more to give. (See Ch. 13, "Why Did I Want to Work with People?") After reading this book, I actually understand why I repeatedly fantasize about escaping up north to a little cabin filled with books for a whole winter, or a remote island with no one else around, this is not strange for an introvert. People drain introverts, even if we enjoy them -- in small doses, with space in between, to quote the book.

The book also discusses how introverts can claim private space, carve out time to think, bring a slower tempo to daily life, create breaks in conversation and relationships, and deal effectively with parties and crowds. Most of all, it gives you permission to enjoy quiet time and if you are introverted, to learn how to thrive instead of just co-exist with all of the noise of modern life.

Part I: Antisocial, Weird, or Displaced?
Ch. 1 The Mistaken Identity
Ch. 2 Alone is Not a Four-letter Word
Ch. 3 Becoming an Alien
Ch. 4 "Anyone Else IN?"
Ch. 5 Meditating with the Majority: The Introverted Society
Part II: The Introvert's Wish List
Ch. 6 A Room of your own
Ch. 7 The Time to Think
Ch. 8 The Right to Retreat
Ch. 9 The Freedom of a Flaneur
Ch. 10 Inroads to Intimacy
Part III: Standing Still in a Loud World
Ch. 11: The Conversation Conundrum
Ch. 12 The Anti-Party Guide
Ch. 13 Why Did I Want to Work with People?
Ch. 14 The Downside to Self-Containment
Ch. 15 Showing Up for Relationships
Part IV: Outing the Introvert
Ch. 16 From Apology to Acceptance -- and Beyond
Ch. 17 Celebrating Introversion
Ch. 18 Expressing What's In There
Ch. 19 Moshing on Your Own Terms
Ch. 20 Introvert Power

I highly recommend this book for all introverts, and people who know introverts.
87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb2d83090) out of 5 stars Provoking, in every sense possible- July 10 2008
By Cecilia Pérez-Homar - Published on
Format: Paperback
I feel that had I known, or my parents and the adults around me, all this information, these helpful insights, I would have saved myself a lot of trouble. Trouble, in every sense of the word. It's bittersweet. I feel justified, vindicated, explained, comprehended, normal. But at the same time, it's almost haunting.
"If they had know this or that...things wouldnt have happened that way." This book has thusfar explained every struggle I've ever had, and the truth is I'm not exaggerating.

Aside from being wonderfully written, in an accessible and personal tone, the book leaves nothing unanswered, and no room for doubiousness. It's a great investment for people who are introverted, or people who know introverts, or extroverts who can understand introverts....the list goes on.

79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa62784d4) out of 5 stars Fascinating book July 10 2008
By John Thornbrook - Published on
Format: Paperback
Wow! What a fascinating book. The title caught my attention, and once I got into it, I was pleased with all of the insights the author provides. I always figured I was an introvert, but I didn't realize what that meant until I read this book. Now I understand that introverts simply gain strength from within and that many social interactions cause them to expend energy, while extroverts gain strength from interactions and have to expend more energy through internal reflection. That explains a lot of mysteries about people I have known, including me. The author does a great job of disproving the falsehood that introverts are in the minority and that extroversion is the preferred state of being. Neither is better than the other, but knowing the difference can help all of us understand ourselves and others better. I also like the way the author combines academic research, real-life examples and her own experiences to make a very compelling case for the power of introverts. I plan to keep this book in a handy spot so I can refer to it whenever I need a refresher on its concepts. This book is a good investment.
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7c59420) out of 5 stars Laurie Helgoe, Ph. D. - INTROVERT POWER April 13 2009
By J. H. C. - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have read most of the recently published books on introversion, and INTROVERT POWER is, by far the best one I've encountered. Even when introversion is acknowledged and explained by many authors, it is regarded as an obstacle that needs to be overcome, or an enemy that should be conquered.

Dr. Helgoe identifies introversion as a characteristic of personality that is common, but widely ignored; and explains that when properly understood, introversion can be enjoyed, celebrated and put to productive use.

I have discussed the subject of introversion with people who have advanced degrees in psychology, and I have been told that introversion is a personal choice or an attitude. Bull!

Dr. Helgoe GETS IT! She understands that some people are plenty of company for themselves. She understands that many of us just don't care for parties or crowds or superficial relationships. She knows the value of just a few good friends and the life enhancing value of a solitary retreat. And she knows the need to have the freedom to think your own thoughts and to feel your own emotions.

This is an outstanding book. Introverts will be refreshingly validated by it, and extroverts will be educated.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa59fc708) out of 5 stars A must read for anyone suspecting that they are an introvert. May 5 2009
By Deborah - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm a woman in my early forties and I have had problems all of my life due to my introverted nature. On my own, I came to accept it as a part of myself but not without paying a social cost. I'm naturally an inquisitive person and stumbled upon this book: Introvert Power. Out of curiousity, I picked it up to read it and couldn't put it down. Most of what's written about introversion and the authors experiences mirrored my own. I was astonished, to say the least, and now I finally know what my problem is. It's my natural, God-given preference for introversion.

In the book Laurie Helgoe exposes our cultural bias towards introverts by exposing the language used to label introverts like antisocial and stuck-up. I have always felt that the problems I have endured because of my introversion have been a form of discrimination. I hate parties so I don't go. I'm awful at small talk and useless when it comes to giving comeback answers but I'm insightful, thoughtful and full of ideas, every moment of the day and I enjoy being with myself. Something that the author states isn't valued enough in our society where everything is "in your face", including extroverts.

The author states that introverts brains are busier than extroverts which is the reason why I learned that I get so easily overwhelmed. I also learned that solitude is not a bad thing and there are two types of introverts. I'm definitely a "shadow dweller" and I have often gotten a lot of slack from "socially accessibles" who are often jealous of my ability to be true to myself. Though I didn't realize this until I read this book. Challenging the extrovert assumption is a responsibilty that all us introverts have for each other. I also learned why I love Scandanavian countries and design. I'm a minimalist for a reason.

Laurie also works as a therapist and because I'm interested in this field I appreciated her entwining some of her insights from the field into the book.

All in all, very educational for helping you to learn about yourself, about our culture and about drawing boundaries so that you can keep true to yourself and be happy in your life.