The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney

Book Review: The Introvert Advantage

Even though it was written in 2002, The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney is still timely.  The same misconceptions about introversion still apply, and her personal stories still resonate with me.  I could easily replace my own name in the stories she shares about her clients.

I particularly appreciated the comparison she presented between the Brain-Body Circuits of Introverts compared to Extroverts.  That reassured me that introversion is not something to "grow out of" or "overcome."  It seems we may actually be "wired" differently.

A recurring message is that Introverts are both normal and capable.  This sounds obvious, but I know I've been in situations where I didn't feel that way.  The author's core message is validating and reassuring.  Her writing style is warm and easy to follow, and she weaves encouragement throughout.  I get the sense she was writing for herself as much as for us!

Discussion Questions

  1. Which of the author's personal stories resonated most with you?  Why?
  2. Describe a "me too!" moment you had while reading the book.
  3. The author compares Introverts to rechargeable batteries and Extroverts to solar panels (p20).  How does this analogy match your observations of yourself and others?
  4. What's something you learned about yourself from reading the book?
  5. What insights did you gain into a relationship you have with a close friend or family member who is an Extrovert?
  6. The author describes how she and her husband navigate their social commitments and activities based on their personality differences.  Did you find this to be practical and positive or did it feel like a compromise where both sides lose?  Have you made similar decisions with a significant other or have you taken a different approach?  To what extent are you comfortable with the results?
  7. Throughout the book the author covers everyday scenarios where Introverts might navigate at a different pace than Extroverts.  Did any of the examples validate your own experience?
  8. Describe a part of the book that felt reassuring.
  9. The author gives multiple examples of wording that she equips her clients with to handle different scenarios.  One example regarding pacing was "I can do this but I'll have to pass on that." (p227)  Did this or other phrases stick with you as something to use in the future?
  10. What's an action step you're now inspired to take in your own life?