New York Times bestselling author to talk about introverted kids

Susan Cain will speak at Mercer Island High School on April 10. - Contributed Image
Susan Cain will speak at Mercer Island High School on April 10.
— image credit: Contributed Image

Your elementary-aged daughter likes playing by herself at school. She talks most when she is with her family. She doesn’t have many friends. Her teachers say she’s shy and avoids the other kids during recess.

In other words, your child is an introvert. But she’s perfectly normal.

In our loud and talkative society, introverts are seemingly problematic. Parents worry if their kid is not a social butterfly. However, introverts are natural — their minds are simply wired slightly different than that of an extrovert, and it’s a good thing.

Mercer Island Parent Edge and ParentMap will host a lecture series at 7 p.m. on April 10 featuring Susan Cain and her new book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” a New York Times bestseller.

Cain’s talk in 2012 went viral with over a million views about her argument that our culture holds a bias toward the “extroverted ideal” — gregarious and highly verbal — while undervaluing the strengths of introverts, who are more reflective, persistent and sensitive.

Cain will focus on the special qualities of quiet kids and how they are often misunderstood and under-valued, and offer ways that parents and educators can help them meet their potential.

Some 30 percent of people fall on the introvert end of the temperament spectrum, according to Cain. While extroverts draw energy from mingling with large groups of people, introverts find such social interactions exhausting.

Cain knows this herself.

A graduate of Harvard Law School, she practiced corporate law for seven years before she began writing full time. During most of those years in the legal system, she hated what she did, according to Bryan Walsh of TIME Magazine. While Cain loved the research and writing components to her job, it soon became clear to her that her soft-spoken, introspective temperament might not have been the best fit for a high-powered law firm. Eventually, she left law and began working on her own, coaching clients in negotiating skills and working as a writer.

“When I started practicing the law, I thought the ideal lawyer was bold and comfortable in the spotlight, but I was none of those things,” Cain told TIME. “I could fake those things, but it wasn’t my natural self.”

“Introverted kids are often overlooked and misunderstood, which can have implications on their self-confidence, friendships and school success,” said Alayne Sulkin, ParentMap CEO and Mercer Island resident. “Ms. Cain’s remarkable work in presenting the special qualities of introverts is eye-opening for us all to consider in our interactions with friends, colleagues and children.”

The event is presented by Parent Edge. Mercer Island Parks and Recreation is a participating sponsor.

The lecture will take place at Mercer Island High School in the auditorium, which seats approximately 600 people.

“We expect to sell out,” Sulkin said.

Learn more about Mercer Island Parent Edge at

If you go:

Tickets for the event are limited and can be purchased at Island Books or online at

Mercer Island PTA members can get a ticket for $10 in advance or $20 at the door. Non-PTA members are $20.


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