The Satisfied Introvert

A Memoir About Finding Safety in an Extroverted World

Non-Fiction - Memoir
332 Pages
Reviewed on 03/14/2022
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Author Biography

About Benjamin Plumb
Ben graduated from the Harvard Business School and was a US Army Intelligence officer in Vietnam. His obsession with his winning recipe mistakenly led him into careers as an entrepreneur and an executive. As soon as he backed away from the recipe and began to live openly as an introvert, he found his niche as a writer, and turned his life around. He lives in the Tampa Bay area with his wife Sandy of almost forty years.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Frances Deborah Kerr-Phillips for Readers' Favorite

The Satisfied Introvert by Benjamin Plumb is a remarkably candid and intriguing account of the author’s journey through life as he negotiates a world designed for extroverts whilst being far from one himself. His coping mechanism of having what he calls a ‘recipe’ to apply to all situations in which he finds himself ultimately fails to sustain or fulfill him. Plumb reveals his experiences of young love, his stint in the US army in Vietnam, his travails at Harvard, and his business ventures in South America. After a failed marriage and the trauma of a broken family, Plumb charts his path to self-discovery, self-realization, and, finally, fulfillment.

I chose to read The Satisfied Introvert in the hopes it would offer me some insight into how to better support any children I teach who might be withdrawn and introverted. I did gain that, but so much more too. Plumb has written a page-turner which one moment would have me smiling and the next brushing away a tear. His honesty and openness are disarming in places. I thoroughly enjoyed the accounts of life in Brazil, Panama, and Argentina, as well as Plumb’s recollections of historical events which I had also experienced. Plumb’s style of writing is straightforward and matter-of-fact, with the description being there to paint an accurate picture, rather than for its own sake. The memoir will appeal to a broad audience. The Satisfied Introvert is courageous and uplifting - do yourself a favor and read it!

Edith Wairimu

The Satisfied Introvert: A Memoir about Finding Safety in an Extroverted World by Benjamin Plumb is a candid, thought-provoking work about an introvert’s struggle to succeed in a world biased toward extroverts. To overcome the limitations his introverted nature posed in an extroverted environment, Plumb developed a winning recipe at age ten: he chose to be methodical and achieve desired outcomes without paying much attention to people. Though the winning recipe brought him success during his Stanford and Harvard years and during his time in the US Army, he still struggled to survive in such environments that favored extroverts. Using his winning recipe came at a high cost as some of his most significant relationships broke down. His focus on the recipe turned out to be disastrous throughout his career until he discovered ways that led him to the security he yearned for.

The Satisfied Introvert is an eye-opening resource for any introvert who struggles against cultural bias and longs to thrive while being themselves. The memoir will also sensitize society to the issues that introverts face in a world biased against them, and, hopefully, inspire change within systems to accommodate and allow introverts to succeed. I found Plumb’s writing to be precise and engaging. I also liked that the book covers a wide span of Plumb’s life which shows the ultimate effects that adopting his recipe has had on his life. The work is also empowering as it encourages its audience to examine their recipes that may be hindering their success and their ability to live authentically. The Satisfied Introvert Benjamin Plumb is an insightful memoir with powerful discussions and valuable tools for succeeding as an introvert.

Sefina Hawke

The Satisfied Introvert (A Memoir About Finding Safety in an Extroverted World) by Benjamin Plumb is a non-fiction memoir that is best suited for a mixed audience of young adult and adult introverts. As a child, Benjamin created a “winning recipe” that he used throughout his life to feel safe in an extroverted world, but as he ages, he discovers that such a recipe can also prove to be a ruinous way to live when it's taken too far. He shares his discoveries of how the recipe he created to help ended up stopping him from feeling secure and truly fulfilled in his life. He shares his struggles to detach from his recipe and to use his skills as an introvert to gain the life satisfaction that he desired since childhood.

The Satisfied Introvert by Benjamin Plumb is a well-written memoir that I found to be quite eye-opening. As an introvert myself, I felt like I was able to truly connect with Benjamin’s childhood recipe and his adult desires for life satisfaction. I liked the way the book did not just take place in the USA, but also in other countries. I particularly liked the parts that took place in Latin America as I enjoyed learning a bit about the place itself through Benjamin’s eyes. Overall, I felt like the lessons I learned from Benjamin’s life will help me to improve my life as an introvert and his words have given me the courage to try to shake off my own introvert recipe that I have used since childhood!

Vincent Dublado

The Satisfied Introvert: A Memoir About Finding Safety in an Extroverted World by Benjamin Plumb may well go down in the literary canon as the introvert’s manifesto. Many people struggle to understand introverts, and even introverts themselves struggle to understand what is wrong with them; they do not have the social skills necessary to survive in a world of social animals. While this book is not the overall solution, it proves handy in helping you find safety as an introvert in an extroverted world and gain more satisfaction in life. Whatever recipe or formula that you use as a coping mechanism, the author shares his own recipe to show you how to slowly move beyond your recipe and take off on your own. By doing so, you become more aware of the safety-related problems which you fail to solve.

As an introvert trying to stay afloat in an ocean of extroverts, I can highly relate to everything that Benjamin Plumb presents. It is a comforting book that assures any introvert that he is not alone and that he can thrive in a world full of extroverts. Plumb’s simple yet solid prose gives the tale of his lifelong journey a strong sense of connection through his creative and strategic approach to navigating this noisy world. Introverts may not have the same stamina as the people around them, but The Satisfied Introvert reminds us that by trudging to the fast tempo of this game called life, we have it in our power to accomplish most of what we want to achieve in life. I recommend this book to anyone who finds power in quietude as well as to those who don’t--to better understand the workings of the introvert that they have in their lives.

Foluso Falaye

To cope in an extrovert-friendly world he didn't belong to, Benjamin Plumb developed a "winning recipe" that worked in some areas but ultimately steered him away from his deepest desires. The Satisfied Introvert depicts the life of an introvert who discovered himself after decades of derailing from his true identity and struggling to survive the "extrovert-dominated, high-performance environments" of Harvard, Stanford, the US Army, and American business. Benjamin Plumb also shares his bittersweet experiences in different romantic relationships and how he finally found the right partner. His story takes readers through various compelling adventures and business-related engagements in different parts of Latin America, Asia, and the U.S. Each intriguing story in The Satisfied Introvert is accompanied by a profound lesson for introverts who might find themselves in similar situations.

The Satisfied Introvert awakened my excitement from the very first sentence, like when you find a show that forces you to sit up and pay full attention to catch every scene. The entire book is highly addictive and well constructed, but my heart was especially stirred in the beginning as I was captured by the butterflies and the excitement of youthful romance. I learned a lot from Benjamin Plumb, who analyzed and dissected his emotions and thoughts through different stages of his life, like an expert psychologist. The Satisfied Introvert will help introverted readers to avoid some mistakes that took the author decades to learn. As a creative introvert myself, I strongly approve of this memoir. In a world that discriminates against being different, we need more books that remind us to stay true to ourselves, like The Satisfied Introvert.