My child is introverted, should I encourage him to socialize more, is this a bad thing?
Very often introverted children are forced to be extroverted, and this pressure and misunderstanding often lead to forced situations that can have negative consequences, such as the development of fears, anxiety, socialization, and interaction problems.
Last Thursday Joanna Rawbone CEO and founder of Flourishing Introverts, was sharing with us at Thursday with the Expat kids in Eindhoven.
She started by explaining the concept of introvert according to Jung, those who identify as:
- Introverted - mentally overstimulated and recharges in silence
- Extraverted - require external stimulation to recharge
She told us about the differences that Neuroscience has for Introverts and Extroverts according to the following characteristics.
Characteristics of Introversion :
- The Think-Say-Think Communication Process
- Mental batteries recharge in silence
- Spending too much time in "busy" environments is overwhelming
- Your systems prefer to use acetylcholine to feel good
Characteristics of extraversion
- Say-think-say communication process
- Mental batteries are recharged through social interaction and change
- Spending too much time in silence is exhausting
- Your systems prefer to use dopamine for motivation
Did you know that there are misconceptions about introversion and extraversion, I'll tell you what they are so you can consider them before making a judgement.
Common misconceptions synonymous with introvert
Common misconceptions Synonyms for extravert
- The life of the party
It is our beliefs about introversion and our lack of acceptance as adults of what we believe to be socially undesirable that turn a character type into a problem and lead us to create Biases, what bias?
- In the family environment
- In the education system
- In sports and hobby clubs
- In the workplace
- In relationships
We human beings are in a continuous quest to find an explanation for everything and on that path we also come to classify people's behavior's in order to try to understand them.
We have to begin to understand that being introverted is not a bad thing, it is not a problem.
When we put a label on a child, whatever it is, it will be negative because when we do so, we are telling the child that he/she is a certain way, putting on him/her some behavioral expectations that will cause the child to end up adapting to the behavior expected by the adult. This will generate many problems in the child's mental health, development, self-esteem, anxiety and depression.
Maybe you didn't know it but there are 6 types of introverts
Of these I have just mentioned there is a type of Introverted Extraverts that are classified into the Connected, Dynamic, Engaged, Open and Sociable. I invite you to visit the following link and take a test. You may discover that you are not what you thought you were or you can take the quiz to guide you and find out if your child is actually introverted or not.
It is important for parents to accept that their children are quiet children who need to feel accompanied and respected; to not only tolerate their character but also to treasure it, and to make it easy for them by anticipating their needs. Remind them of all the valuable things they have according to the following strong positive aspects of an introvert. Inniel Powers typical
- Reflective contributor
- Empathetic listener
- Exudes calm
- Great at noticing
- Problem solver
- Good confidant
- Attention to detail
- Capacity for reflection
- Master of disguise
- Great orator
- Good memory
- Meaningful connections
As a society we also have a lot of personal work of our own to do to recognize all those beliefs and values that we automatically reproduce by not questioning our reference group, be it family or friends.
It is very difficult to accept and let others be if I do not first allow myself to be myself. It is not an easy job, nor is it quick, but without a doubt, starting to become aware of our own limitations and judgements will help us to project them less onto our children and allow them to be freer to be who they are. The expert adds that some of the worst advice that parents often give to introverted children at any age is:
- "Speak up for yourself".
- "Get out of your comfort zone".
- "Fake it till you make it".
- "Invite some friends over.
- "You'll get over it if you try to be more sociable."
Our expert Joanna revealed some secrets of what not to do in the process with introverted children. Big No-Nos! Never to do:
- Finish their sentences
- Push them to make decisions
- Posing, pausing, pouncing
- Treat them as if they are broken and need to be fixed.
- Comparing them to their introverted siblings/cousins
- Siding with teachers at parent-teacher conferences
- Feeling sorry for them
Living under all the pressure of believing that something is wrong and the pressure from parents, school and society can lead to burnout, anxiety, insecurity and more.
When this happens you can help your child in different ways, Joanna talked about getting to know your child and what they like to use in those moments when they need to recharge their batteries because they feel exhausted.
- Use aromas
- Imagine the great celebrities who were introverts.
- Movement or Dance
Finally, don't forget to remind him every day how important and special he is and that he is not a problem, he is not broken and being introverted is not wrong.
If you want to have contact with our guest here is the link so you can contact her. Here are her contact details:
Joanna Rawbone MSc
Chief Introvert Advocate
Speaker, Trainer, Coach & Consultant
Phone +44 7860 194758
See you next week.
And please don't forget to have courage and always be kind,