Let’s answer these two questions: are introverts shy? Is it better to be an extrovert than an introvert? Many people would answer both positively, but things are not so clear cut. To the first we must answer “not necessarily”, and to the second “it depends”
By further analyzing these two concepts – in fact, two ways of being – we can learn more about ourselves and, what is most important to us here, about our children. Because, although most people are more or less intermediate between introversion and extroversion, there are also some who are closer to one of the extremes, and that is the case with some of our little ones. And depending on how we value the fact that a child is introverted or extroverted, depending on the opinions (or prejudices) we have about the two ways of being, we act accordingly. If these prejudices are wrong, our actions can be wrong too.
If we consult a manual of psychology, we will see that an introverted person is a person whose attitude towards life tends to retreat, because they live basically facing their inner world. He is not particularly interested in relationships, seems sad and a little socially awkward, prefers to meditate on the activity and tends to be withdrawn.
An extrovert, on the other hand, is a person who is open to the outside world, sociable, who seeks intellectual and emotional exchange with others, and who establishes social contacts without difficulty. He is a person who easily expresses his feelings and shows great interest in the outside world in general and in particular people, and is very dependent on them.
He is highly influenced by his environment and tends to trust even when he is in a strange place with unknown people. Even when he collides with the environment, he continues to relate to it through confrontation, instead of withdrawing into himself as the introvert does.
Is it better to be an extrovert?
Extroversion seems better, or at least has more prestige. You should know, however, that introversion and extroversion are natural traits and exist within each person, although one of them usually has more strength. And what is more important: to achieve good self-awareness there must be a balance between the two.
Let’s note that one of the peculiarities of extroverts is that they are very dependent on others. Let’s think about those people who are not able to be alone, those who are said to be an empty world. And even if the ease of relating and self-expression is, in principle, positive, there are people who fall for you in a merciless way and put their endless stupidity on you, whether you like it or not. The average heavy is almost always an extrovert. Originality and creativity, on the other hand, are often associated with introverts.
We don’t want to turn the tables, but resist the impression that extroversion is better and introversion is worse. Here too excesses are not good. We have said before that a balance between the two ways of being is ideal, and even if one tendency prevails, it should not completely cancel the positive and compensatory aspects of the other.
The consequences of being an introvert or extrovert are well known in the school environment. Introverts are more observant and reflective, while the latter prefer to learn by interacting with others. Extroverts get into more trouble, while extroverts are often considered ‘nice guys’. But they also risk not being noticed, while extroverts attract more attention, mainly because they are more determined to intervene in class.
As we have seen, it is important to know which class our child belongs to. This way we will understand you better and you will be more honest with us. In many cases, it is a good idea to talk to their teachers so that they know and respect the rhythm of our little one.
In general, the introvert needs all our patience and appreciates that we do not force him to be with others. On the other hand, the extrovert, who sometimes has no limits and self-control, will need us to help him control himself. And in both cases we must avoid criticism and not try to change the impossible. Every child is different and we must love them as they are.
How do I know if my child is an introvert or an extrovert?
Well, something very important that we need to know is that a child’s personality can be a mixture of introvert and extrovert traits, and it can also develop over time.
The best thing is not to label or stigmatize children. There is no need to label our children as introverts or extroverts. What is important here is to understand their needs and support their social development according to their individual preferences. In fact, it is important to accept and value their personality as it is and give them an environment where they feel comfortable and respected.