Susan Cain, the Snow White of Introverts, Sets Up Shop in 'Quiet House'

Illustration for article titled Susan Cain, the Snow White of Introverts, Sets Up Shop in 'Quiet House'

Susan Cain, the author of bestselling introvert manifesto Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, is now running a for-profit company called Quiet Revolution out of what appears to be a make-believe gingerbread house in upstate New York.


Inside “Quiet House,” a Victorian cottage near Nyack, NY with a picturesque wraparound porch and views of the Hudson River, 13 beautiful employees putter around (we assume) noiselessly, smiling shyly at each other over steaming mugs of Earl Gray. The website itself features many images that I personally find agreeable, such as:

  • A woman in a cozy sweater holding a sparkler
  • A blonde child painting an egg
  • An elderly man covered in dust
  • A black-and-white photo of Steve Martin

Cain, whose TED talk about Quiet has been viewed more than 11.6 million times online, has, according to a recent profile in the New York Times, translated the success of her book into programs focused on the “work, education and lifestyle of introverts, which she defines roughly as people who get their psychic energy from quiet reflection and solitude.” So far, this includes an online education course for parents, a web community dubbed “Quiet Revolutionaries,” a podcast, a co-branded Huffington Post section, and a series of young adult books. Basically, it’s Lean In for people who hated sleepaway camp.

The problem, according to Cain, is a culture that increasingly validates gregariousness as the interactive gold standard. This is especially true on social media, she says: “It’s a culture that says it rewards authenticity, but it really rewards a curated, managed kind of authenticity. It’s not and will never be the authenticity of two friends sitting down and having a cup of coffee together and sharing the truth of their lives.”

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This is weird. Literally last night I came across this woman, and realized there was a word for my ‘problem’. So many misunderstandings, mental health issues and relationship difficulties came sharply into focus when I realized that I am an undiagnosed introvert, married to an extreme extrovert. Because I am confident and not particularly shy I never thought I could possibly be an introvert, but now I know that all it means is a person who finds others draining and socializing stressful, and needs lots of alone time to recuperate. That is me! It's really comforting to know that it is normal, it's ok and I'm not a horrible person because I freak out when friends come round unannounced. I also now realize that my husband doesn't mean to abandon me by going out so much, he literally needs to be with others as much as I need to be alone. I wrote a post a few days ago mentioning my marital difficulties, and this discovery and knowledge has really opened my eyes to where so many of our problems come from. In short- psychology is amazing.