Raising An Introvert In An Extroverted World
Parents World|Issue 73
Raising An Introvert In An Extroverted World

In a world where extroverts thrive, it is easy for introverts to feel like they do not belong. If your child is an introvert, look at how you can raise them to have an easier time fitting in.

The world is tailor-made for extroverts.

Everywhere you turn, extroversion is perceived as the ideal. Whether it is in our schools with class participation, in the workplace with the need for networking, or even simple societal norms like small talk. In the world we live in, the more confident you are, the more attention you get, and the more “normal” you seem.

As parents, we have extended these expectations to our children. We expect them to be sociable, outgoing, and have lots of friends. If they do not turn out this way, we think they are odd and something must be wrong somewhere. This is a reflection of our society, because we have been programmed to believe that if a child is a loner and enjoys his own company, he is weird and this reflects poorly on the parent.

But what if society is wrong? According to research, studies estimate that extroverts make up 50-74 percent of the population. This means that introverts make up the remaining 16-50 percent of the population, drawing their energy from having “alone time”. So why do we try to fit our children into cookie cutter molds, arranging playdates, and forcing them to join clubs and activities in school whenever we notice any signs of introversion? By doing this, we are trying to make them act like extroverts, something that, according to Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, only leads to a waste of talent, energy, and happiness.

Extrovert vs Introvert

So who is an introvert and who is an extrovert? Well, an introvert is a person who is more focused on their internal thoughts, feelings, and moods. This is referred to as inward turning. They do not seek out external stimulation, and tend to be quiet, reserved, and introspective. Introverts are perceived to be shy and reticent people.

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Issue 73