In a new animation by RSA Shorts, artist Molly Crabapple brings to life Susan Cain’s best-selling book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Crabapple visualizes extroverts as yappy, tail-wagging dogs, smiling with party hats and balloons, and introverts as thoughtful, meditative cats, too often mistaken for aloof, while Cain narrates.
In Quiet, Cain argues that we live in an overly extroverted society, and chronicles how our schools and businesses have evolved to favor the gregarious, outspoken, and assertive. But so often, the best inventions, works of art, books, and designs come from introverts, who spend long hours thinking and working alone. “If you take a group of people and put them into a meeting, the opinions of the loudest person, or the most charismatic person, or the most assertive person are the ones that the group tends to follow,” Cain says. But research shows that “there’s no correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”
Cain doesn’t hate on extroverts—she’s just trying to balance things out, giving bookworms their space in a world of fast-talkers. “My vision of the right world is a world where it’s yin and yang. There’s space for introverts and there’s space for extroverts, and it’s equal space.” Crabapple’s peaceful yin and yang features a black cat curled up across from a white dog.
To illustrate this ideal yin-and-yang balance, Cain considers the famous introvert-extrovert partnership between Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs of Apple. Crabapple’s Steve Jobs is a bespectacled dog, whose dazzling showman persona is balanced out by self-identified introvert Steve Wozniak, a bearded cat alone in a Hewlett Packard cubicle. Wozniak worked quietly by himself for months producing what turned into the Apple computer. It was Jobs who became a household name while taking this product global, but he couldn’t have done it without the quiet guy.