Introverted people are quiet, sometimes shy, and thrive on alone time. Our fast-paced society, however, can tend to favor extroverted, outgoing people who are more active in their social circles. If you’re an introverted person, you likely have had at least a few people tell you to “just get out there!”
But extrovert strategies don’t work for introverts, and introverts have their own strengths to tap into. Whether you’re looking for a push out of your comfort zone or want to understand yourself better, here are some of the best books for introverts.
Books For Introverts Who Want to Understand Their Introvert Selves
You don’t always have to change to adapt to an extroverted world, but understanding your introversion is one way to help better prepare yourself for the world around you. These books are to help you realize your strengths and identify where you can grow.
1. The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World, by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D.
If you’re energized by alone time or thrive in situations on your own, you’re an introvert, and you have a great tool at your disposal. There’s often a lot of pressure for introverts to not be introverted, but Laney argues that introverts have unique skills that often just need a bit of practical tweaking to help them take advantage of their skills.
2. Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength, by Laurie Helgoe Ph.D.
Our fast-paced culture tends to celebrate extroversion. Dr. Helgoe, however, says that when introverts claim their power for themselves, they’re able to live fuller, more sincere lives.
Dr. Helgoe offers advice on how to build a slower tempo into your life, claim your space, and embrace your inner power.
3. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain
This New York Times-bestseller is considered a must-read for anyone who’s introverted or dealing with introverts. Author Susan Cain researched the rise of the “Extrovert Ideal” throughout U.S. history and argues that we don’t appreciate introverts the way we should, especially in business.
It’s not all talk either; Cain highlights successful introverts, from high-sales businessmen to energetic public speakers, to see how they use their introversion with power, not defeat.
4. The Awakened Introvert: Practical Mindfulness Skills to Help You Maximize Your Strengths and Thrive in a Loud and Crazy World, by Arnie Kozak, Ph.D.
Extroverts get their energy from interaction with others. But introverts get energy from reflection and solitude. It only makes sense then, that introverts would benefit greatly from a regular mindfulness practice.
Dr. Kozak takes readers through this step-by-step workbook to help introverts create a daily practice that keeps them steady and mentally healthy.
5. Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference Paperback, by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D.
This book explores the six strengths of introverts and helps readers understand how well they’re using their strengths through a series of practical applications, question prompts, and more.
Dr. Kahnweiler does this through her Quiet Influence Quotient, a quiz introverts can take to better understand where they stand on the introverted spectrum.
6. The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.
While not all introverts are highly sensitive, there is a lot of overlap. If you find yourself overwhelmed easily, craving alone time every day, or just simply more sensitive than your peers, you’re likely a highly sensitive person.
Dr. Aron lines out a series of tools and exercises to help you identify what triggers your sensitivity and provides practical applications to help you get through the day. If you find that you’re introverted because you’re sensitive, then this guide might be for you.
Books for Introverted Parents & Children
Whether you’re an introverted parent or raising an introverted child, here are a few books to help you better understand yourself and your child so you can both live fulfilling, truthful lives.
7. Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids, by Susan Cain
After writing the original Quiet, Cain quickly discovered adults aren’t the only ones who need help understanding their introversion. Quiet Power is written for kids, parents, and teachers, and provides examples of introverted kids adapting to their world as well as tips and discussion prompts.
8. The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child: Helping Your Child Thrive in an Extroverted World, by Marti Olsen Laney Psy.D.
Shy children are often met with concern and worry. Are they adjusted enough? Do they have enough friends? Will they have all the development they need to succeed in the world and live a fulfilling life?
Dr. Laney thinks they do – they just need someone to recognize their unique talents. Introverted children are in touch with their emotions, creative problem solvers, and love to learn. This book is great for parents who want to better understand their children and help them grow in ways that benefit the special touch they bring to the world.
9. Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy, by Jamie C. Martin
Moms have a lot on their plate. Family life can be loud and overwhelming, especially for introverted mothers craving some quiet. It can be easy to feel guilty that you’re “not like other moms,” or maybe you feel overwhelmed by your role as a mother. Regardless, Martin is here with stories from other introverted mothers to tell you that you’re not alone. She also offers practical advice and inspiring quotes from other famous introverts; Jane Austen, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and more.
A good read for those looking to embrace their introverted selves and know they’re not alone in motherhood.
10. The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When The World Overwhelms Them, by Elaine N. Aron Ph.D.
Whether you’re a fellow highly sensitive person (HSP) or find yourself the parent of one, this book is here to help you and your child thrive in an environment not always suited to them.
Highly sensitive children, when parented incorrectly, can become act out or be labeled as problem children. But much like HSPs, carefully considering their strengths can help them bloom, and understanding their weaknesses can help them grow. The Highly Sensitive Child is a guidebook for parents who want to see their children grow into healthy adults.
Books to Inspire Introverts
Maybe you’re looking for a push. Maybe you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone. If that’s you, then take a look at these books from authors who decided to do the same thing.
11. Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come: One Introvert’s Year of Saying Yes, by Jessica Pan
Maybe you’re proud of being an introvert, but you’re also looking to see how you can challenge yourself. Or at the very least, you want to see how it might look like for one introvert to force themselves to be extroverted for a time.
That’s what Jessica Pan, a self-proclaimed introvert, decided to do for one year. Even if you can’t bring yourself to do some of the things she does (travel alone, make friends on the road, perform stand-up comedy) you might still get a kick out of this light-hearted, fun read.
12. The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin
If you’re feeling caged in by your life, you might be a lot like Gretchen Rubin. After an epiphany on a bus, she realized she wasn’t focusing on the things that brought her joy anymore. So, over the course of a year, she tried everything she could to find happiness again.
While Ruben may not be an introvert exactly, other introverts might find comfort in her tale, and be encouraged to pursue the things in their own life they actually enjoy.
Books For Introverts at Work
Let’s face it: most career advice isn’t helpful to introverts. Talking to strangers, speaking up at meetings, and generally being more outgoing aren’t easy skills for quiet people. You’re not without options, however, and these books can help you use your introverted skills to climb the corporate ladder.
13. Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behavior and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life), by Thomas Erikson
Communicating with others is, at the best of times, difficult. At the worst of times, it’s frustrating for all involved. Thomas Erikson realized this after a meeting with an entrepreneur that left him befuddled and overall confused about how unproductive the entire conversation was. He began studying how different people communicate and what you can do to effectively understand each other.
For introverts who have a hard time understanding others, this is a helpful tool.
14. Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected, by Devora Zack
There’s nothing wrong with being introverted, but career goals can tend to favor those who are far more outgoing than you might be. That’s not meant to discourage you, Devora Zack says, however. Rather, it’s about understanding your strengths and playing to them in a way that is both truthful to you and aligns you with your goals. Networking is a difficult skill for most, but this book is here to help.
15. The Genius of Opposites: How Introverts and Extroverts Achieve Extraordinary Results Together, by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D.
History is full of successful opposite pairs. Introvert/extrovert pairs are responsible for art, history, and music. What makes these partnerships successful, Dr. Kahnweiler argues, is not emphasizing their differences, but understanding what it takes to get results.
If you need to see how introverts work with others or want validation that introverts can be successful, then this is a good read.
When to See a Therapist for Introversion
For most, there’s nothing wrong with being introverted. But if your shyness is keeping you from accomplishing goals or inhibiting your life, then it may be time to find a therapist. They can assist you with finding coping mechanisms to get through your day-to-day and give you the tools you need to live life to the fullest. If you’ve never looked for a therapist, directories are a great place to start.
For Further Reading
- Books for Improving Communication
- Read our comparison of Headspace and Calm to find the right meditation and mindfulness app for you.
- Check out our list of books on social anxiety