Monday, August 15, 2011

Introverted and Shy

Ace and I did some reading not too long ago about the differences between introverts and extroverts. We found ourselves nodding along with how introverts want extroverts to treat them, seeing lots of ourselves in the articles we were reading.

One of my big problems is that in addition to being introverted, I am also shy sometimes. And my shyness has manifested at some really odd times. As we read through information about introverts, it was interesting to see where the differences between introversion and shyness were.

My preference for talking with people one-on-one is part of my introversion. My dislike of being the center of attention for groups is part of my introversion and part of my shyness both. My lack of a desire to speak to people who I know care about me because I feel like I might disappoint someone is part my shyness.

The articles were aimed at trying to explain introverts to extroverts. Unfortunately, most extroverts don't ever understand that introverts aren't broken. We don't feel energized by parties or group settings. We can handle them, but we want to leave long before extroverts do. We LIKE being alone, it gives us time to think. We don't like listening to an extrovert spew every thought that pops into their heads right out of their mouths. We wonder where their filter is.

This is a problem for most extroverts. They don't understand this. It is so foreign to their way of thinking that they don't try to comprehend it. It leads to frustrated introverts who feel like they're wishes are ignored. It leads to introverts faking a smile to get through a social engagement that feels never ending. It leads to introverts who are exhausted. It also leads to people feeling like they aren't supported because they have different needs than the extroverts who surround them and those needs aren't being met.

It's a communication problem that Ace and I hope to not have with our kids. We want them to be able to be reasonably able to effectively communicate with those around them. If any of our kids are extroverts, and we recognize the possibility of that happening, we want to instill an understanding that introverts have different needs from extroverts at times.

Hopefully, the shyness won't really be a factor for our kids. Because shyness sucks.
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