I’m participating in the readalong of Quiet hosted by Joy. This is the discussion of part 1.

What result did you get in the quiz on pages 13 and 14? Are you an introvert, extrovert, or something in between? Were you surprised by the result?

I got 15 out of 20 on the test. I’m a total introvert and this wasn’t a surprise to me at all.

Looking at the quiz again, how do you think your closest family members and work colleagues would fill it out? Are they similar to or different from you in the introversion-extroversion spectrum? How does this influence your interactions?

I think my brother is an introvert and my parents aren’t super outgoing. As far as the rest of my life I don’t think I’m around any other introverts. Both of my husbands were extroverts. I figure it is because they needed someone to listen to them talk. I hate the stereotype that women talk nonstop and men just say, “Uh huh dear, yes dear.” It has always been the exact opposite situation in my life. That’s the reason I started blogging. My ex-husband was so uninterested in talking about anything other than his own life that I needed an outlet to express my thoughts. The current husband is a sensitive extrovert. I learned that term in this book. He’s an extrovert but he needs a lot of time by himself to clear his mind. He’s very into other people’s feelings and emotions. I could care less. That can cause problems because he would interpret my lack of emotional connection to people or events as hatred or disgust. I had to convince him that when I say, “I don’t care” it means that I really don’t care and isn’t code for some deeper, darker feelings.

Z. is such an extrovert that we have very strict rules that govern if she is allowed to talk at all when we are in public. People think we are horrible when we remind her that she isn’t to speak but we’re dealing with a kid who will flag down waitresses to let them know that her father is in the bathroom. She used to have a set speech she’d give to grocery store cashiers without any provocation – “This isn’t my mom. This is Heather. She lives with my dad. He doesn’t live with my mom and me anymore.” Yeah, fit me for my scarlet A right now. I tried to train her to add in, “My mom kicked my dad out of the house 3 years before he met Heather” but it didn’t take. That’s when the No Speaking in Public rule went into effect.

When the husband and Z talk to each other it makes me crazy. They will be having totally divergent conversations because neither one is listening to the other one’s answers. Then they get mad because they misunderstand each other. Eventually I yell, “Stop!!! You aren’t talking to each other again.” Then they look at me like I’m the nutcase.

In your work or social environment, do introverts have disadvantages in making themselves heard or achieving leadership positions? Are there times and places in those environments when introverts have an advantage?

I deal with the public so I have to fake the extroversion. I don’t do a great job of it. Most of the complaints that my bosses get about me is that I’m not perky and talkative enough. I had clients in a few weeks ago and I thought I was downright chatty in the appointment. I let their kid listen to the dog’s heart with my stethoscope. I spent more time than normal in the room. The dog had some minor skin issue that I explained. When I left the room they asked my technician if I thought the dog had cancer. Apparently they thought I didn’t talk enough so obviously I was hiding my concerns about the severity of the dog’s disease.

I realized a few years ago that I would come back from vet conference refreshed and invigorated. I thought that it was because I was learning new things. Then I realized that it is a week in my life when I don’t talk to anyone but waitresses. It is awesome. I go to one next week and I can’t wait!!

Does collaboration rule in the work or school environments that you know about? Would more personal space and more time to focus be beneficial in those environments?

At my last job the doctor’s office opened into the lobby. I kept it shut when I was there so people didn’t wander in. (I had people come in when it was open and start yelling about slights real and imagined. There were some crazy folk that came in there.) The boss kept it open so he could see everyone in the waiting room. Total extrovert.

My ex-husband designed his office to be totally open plan. He hated going to client offices with cubicles because he said he couldn’t breathe. I always thought that the idea of a cubicle of my own sounded great!


I’m really enjoying this book. I’m realizing that several things about me aren’t just odd. They are normal for introverts. One problem is that everytime she talks about something that annoys introverts I’m like, “Yeah, that really annoys me!” Now I notice it more. LOL.