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Barbara Bradley Bolen, Ph.D.

"Quiet": A Good Book for Introverts

By November 5, 2012

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Slightly off-topic, but seeing as it is estimated that one third to one half of the population can be classified as introverts, there is a good chance that many of you are, or live with, an introvert. Like IBS patients, introverts have not been given the attention by society that they deserve. A recognition of introversion as just being a different, but not inferior, personality type is growing. Much of this work is being spearheaded by Susan Cain. I have just finished reading her book, "Quiet: The Power Of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" and I recommend it highly!

Here in the U.S. we live in a society that values extroversion -- the personality type in which one thrives in the company of others. Introverts enjoy socializing, but in small doses, as they prefer to spend a lot of time in solitary pursuits. Susan Cain does a nice job of explaining how this societal preference came about. She also offers a significant amount of research regarding the strengths that are often inherent in the introverted personality. Reading this book will help all introverts heal from any internalized thinking that there "is something wrong with them" for not being as outgoing as everyone else. Ms. Cain provides practical advice for introverts living in an extroverted world, including tips for parenting an introverted child. Although the book may seem a little dry for some due to its coverage of relevant research, Ms. Cain's support of introversion should come as a breath of fresh air to all of you who (like your Guide) have been trying to hide your "quiet selves."

I have not seen any research that connects introversion with IBS, and I would be surprised if there was such a connection. However, introversion and social anxiety sometimes walk hand in hand. And we all know that anxiety can trigger or worsen IBS symptoms. For more of my thoughts on the subject, see:

Here is a full review of the book from Cherie Burbach, About.com Guide to Friendhip:

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