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The Satisfied Introvert
This Story Is A Wakeup Call For All Introverts The Satisfied Introvert is Benjamin Plumb’s memoir of an obsession, a “winning recipe” that he adopts as a child so he can feel safe in an extroverted world. Every introvert child creates his or her own recipe. But if carried too far, as Ben finds out, it can provide a ruinous way to live. He realizes this only after decades of not knowing that the recipe is the reason why he never attains a feeling of security, and never fulfills the bright promise of his life. When he teaches himself to detach from this fixation, he finds the courage to lean directly into his skills as an introvert, and finally achieves the safety and satisfaction that he had sought in vain through the recipe. The Satisfied Introvert is a captivating, adventure-filled voyage that takes place in more than a dozen sites across Latin America, Asia and the U.S., and plays out in the high-performance, “introvert hell” environments of Stanford, Harvard, the U.S. Army, and American business. This story is about a lifelong journey filled with discovery and insight, absorbing drama, and heartfelt relationships, leaving the reader not only wiser, but also safer and more satisfied with life.
Calling this globe-trotting memoir a “wakeup call for all introverts,” Plumb, the only introvert in an extrovert family, shares his story of living a life according to a “winning recipe” of methodical, “stepwise processes” and “projecting more sociability” than he actually felt, never letting his “authentic self” out. But, after earning his Harvard MBA and returning from the Vietnam War, Plumb began to find this coping mechanism unnatural and limiting—"a major barrier to attaining a feeling of safety.” The Satisfied Introvert argues that “You cannot be a satisfied introvert until you feel secure as an introvert.

Drawing on his own experience and travels, and writing with welcome candor about feelings of doubt and disappointment, Plumb makes the case that introverts—which he defines as anyone “who prefers settings that are calm and have minimal external stimulation” can escape over-reliance on static recipes like the one that continually failed to bring him romantic success and proved little help in many military and business situations. An assured storyteller, Plumb recounts the incidents (including terrifying moments in Vietnam) that drove him to crucial insights about how our minds create our own interpretations about what’s we’re experiencing and the possibility of unifying what the mind focuses on with what’s actually happening.

These and other breakthroughs rise naturally from Plumb’s narrative, which builds to them organically rather than dole them out as self-help lessons. That adds to the value of The Satisfied Introvert: showing the work of arriving at realizations endows them with persuasive gravitas, though the book’s length and occasional repetitiveness—reflective of life itself—means that later realizations don’t hit with the same power. But, beyond their well-earned moments of clarity, later chapters continually demonstrate that escaping an entrenched formula of habit is a lifetime challenge—as is discovering (and re-discovering) how to be your truest self.

Takeaway: An illuminating memoir about an introvert’s journey toward living as his truest self, with strong practical advice.

Great for fans of: Holley Gerth’s The Powerful Purpose of Introverts, Jenn Granneman’s The Secret Lives of Introverts.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A