Are you one of those people that finds solace and comfort in rainy days or melancholy music?
It’s not quite sadness. It’s more a feeling of longing. A beautiful ache that makes you feel more connected to the human experience.
So what is that specifically? And why does it compel us so?
Former corporate lawyer turned author Susan Cain wondered the same—a query that launched a 7-year journey to better understand the complex and nuanced nature of all things melancholic. The result of Susan’s adventure is Bittersweet, her #1 New York Times bestselling book that ponders this quiet state of being and why embracing it paves a true path to creativity, connection, and transcendence.
Bluntly put, quiet states of being are Susan Cain’s jam. Her first book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, spent eight years on The New York Times best-seller list and was named the #1 best book of the year by Fast Company magazine, which also named Cain one of its Most Creative People in Business.
Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. And her TED talks on the power of introverts and the hidden power of sad songs and rainy days have been viewed over 40 million times.
Today we go delightfully deep on introversion, bittersweetness, grief, creativity, connection, spirituality, and more.
“Inside our sorrows and longings is the pathway to creativity, connection, love and transcendence.”
– SUSAN CAIN
This conversation covers Susan’s transition from attorney to writer and how she came to write about introversion.
We discuss the irony of being a public introvert, the power of honoring your inner introvert, and how to support introverted kids and co-workers.
We also go deep on bittersweetness—and the how and whys behind cultivating it as a means of giving our lives more resonance and meaning and appreciation.
Both introversion and bittersweetness are states that society doesn’t do a great job of encouraging, but Susan really encouraged my acceptance and embrace of these ideas as an introvert myself (and someone who scored pretty high on the bittersweetness scale) as powerful when nourished.
My hope is that you will find this conversation equally nourishing.
Peace + Plants,
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- Connect with Susan: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
- Quiz: How bittersweet are you, at this moment in time?
- Author Profile: Books by Susan Cain
- Book: Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole
- Book: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
- TED: Susan Cain
- TED: The power of introverts
- TED: The hidden power of sad songs and rainy days
- TED: Why bittersweet emotions underscore life’s beauty
- The Harvard Gazette: That feeling you get when listening to sad music? It’s humanity.
- Vanity Fair: Susan Cain, Chief Introvert, Ventures Into the Sublime
- Barking Up The Wrong Tree: Susan Cain Interview: 5 Things You Need To Know About Introverts
- The New York Times: With ‘Bittersweet,’ Can Susan Cain Replicate the Success of ‘Quiet’?
- The New York Times: In Defense of Melancholy
- The Washington Post: In a relentlessly positive culture, a defense of melancholy
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