Introverted Children and Teens Tend to be Viewed Negatively by Their Extroverted Parents
Extroversion Vs Introversion
Extroverted Children vs Introverted Children
In this hub, the definition of children will include not only children but also teens.
Our society is an an extroverted one. It values qualities such as gregariousness, approachability, aggressiveness, fierceness, exuberance, and sociability. It furthermore prizes being an integral part of the team whether it is work or play, being able to interface superbly with others, and having all around excellent people skills. People who possess the aforementioned qualities are immensely rewarded in our society. They are idolized, even held up as examples to be emulated by others. Our most well beloved celebrities have been extroverts. They embody the friendliness, aggressiveness, and possessing a command of people skills which are so valuable in our society.
This emphasis on extroversion begins in childhood. Extroverted children are viewed very positively. Because they are so communicative with others, people are more open to them and more to engage them. They are also seen to be more exploratory of others and their environment. They are considered to be more self-confident and self-assured. They are deemed to be in control of their particular purview. They are further considered to be normal well adjusted children.
In contrast to the glorification, even deification, of extroversion placed in our society, introversion is still viewed as a negative thing. Our society begrudgingly accepts introversion, if that. It devalues introversion as some type of mental aberration. Introversion is considered to be an inferior quality to extroversion. Introverted qualities such as introspection, reflection, reading, and/or other solitary pursuits are not accepted. People who indulge in such activities are viewed as anti-social, abnormal, or worse. They are deemed to be oddballs by the majority society.
Introverted children have odds against them from childhood. They are not really understood by others. They are not readily engaging in the eyes of others. They want to test the waters before venturing to explore them. They just do not jump in unless they are certain of others and the environment. They can be viewed as slow by others because they think about and study the situation before they act. They are also seen as shy, even withdrawn because they are not as talkative as their extroverted counterparts. Introverts, especially introverted children are misunderstood, miscategorized, and even underestimated by extroverts around them, especially their parents.
YOU Simply AREN'T Like Us At All
Extroverted Parents, Introverted Children-The Tale of OPPOSITES
The relationship between extroverted parents and their introverted children can be tenuous at best and contentious at worst. Extroverted parents see their introverted children as different from, even opposite to them in terms of attributes, characteristics, and/or personalities. They do not understand how such children come from them as they are outgoing, ebullient, and people persons while their children are reserved, cold, and are as sociable as a recluse. They wonder why were they "graced" with such children who are really diametrically opposite to them.
Many extroverted parents simply cannot, do not, and/or will not understand their introverted children. They do not believe how their children can be opposite of them in terms of their personalities and characteristics. They find it strange, if not puzzling, why their children are not interested in the activities and/or other pursuits that extroverted children enjoy, even relish. They are nonplussed at the fact that their children love, even enjoy engaging in activities and/or other hobbies which they find boring. They cannot accept why their children have to study, observe, assess, and then reassess situations before diving in as opposed to extroverted children who readily embrace the situation. They even denigrate, even demonize their introverted children because they are antithetical to them, their values, and their image.
Something Is DEFINITELY Wrong Here
Extroverted Parents SEE Their Introverted Children as Problematic
Many extroverted parents really do not know how to take their introverted children. Their children are so unlike the extroverted children they know. They opine that extroverted children are so lively, approachable, social, and quite personable. Their children, on the other hand, seem to be devoid of life, aloof, antisocial, and very off-putting. They argue that the latter were not their children, they would have very little or nothing to do with them. In their purview, their children make others either uneasy, even comfortable in their presence. They also maintain that their children do not possess the wherewithal to have others like and associate with them.
Many extroverted parents feel that their introverted children's lack of sociability will harm them in school and later as adults interfacing with others in college and in the corporate arena. They fear that their introverted children will spend most of their formative years either alone and/or with very few friends. They even argue that social/people skills, sociability, and likeability are key components to succeed in school and later at work. They feel that because their children are introverted, it will be extremely difficult for them to succeed in school and at work because their social quotient is low in comparison to their extroverted peers.
We'll Help You OVERCOME This, Dear
Extroverted Parents Want to "Fix" Their Introverted Children
Extroverted parents somehow see their introverted children as somewhat stunted. They even view their children as incomplete, even flawed. They perceive introversion to be to totally subpar. To them, their children are happy due to their introverted nature. They feel that what their children are doing are not on par with their extroverted counterparts. They maintain that something must be amiss with their introverted children. They maintain that their children will be happier hence more acceptable to others and particularly to them if they were extroverts. They will go to any lengths to change their children from being an introvert to extrovert.
There are extroverted parents who enroll their introverted children in as many activities as possible to make the latter more outgoing and sociable. They may even enroll their introverted children in activities that places an overemphasis on extroversion which are antithetical to the nature of the introverted child. They fail to realize that such activities can be immobilizing to introverted children's psychological, even psychic well being. When introverted children are constantly bombarded with extroverted activities, they can react by becoming increasing withdrawn. Some parents can go so far to believe their introverted children to be psychological abnormal, even aberrant. As a result, they refer their children to psychological, even psychiatric counselling and/or intervention in order with the hope of changing their children from introvert to extrovert.
Why Can't H/SHE Be Like................
Extroverted Parents See Their Introverted Children as INFERIOR
Extroverted parents perceive their introverted children to be inferior to extroverted children. No matter how smart, gifted, admirable, and/or industrious their introverted children may be, they are never as good as extroverted children. There are extroverted parents who routinely compare their introverted children to extroverted siblings, citing the so-called virtues and positives of such siblings while simultaneously disparaging, even diminishing the value of the former's introversion. If not siblings, extroverted parents oftentimes compare their introverted children to extroverted relatives, even non-related children.
There are extroverted parents who feel that their introverted children should emulate extroverted children. They refuse to honor and respect their introverted children as they are. They find introverted characteristics to be defective, inadequate, and even substandard. In essence, their introverted children are imperfect as far as they are concerned. They put extroverted children as the prototype that their introverted children should strive for and be. In their minds, extroverted children are the ideal children. They even consider extroverted children to be superior to their introverted children even though such is not necessarily the case. They will go so far to place extroverted children on a proverbial pedestal whether it is siblings, relatives, peers, and/or other non-related children while downplaying, discounting, and even devaluing their introverted children.
ODD Child OUT
Extroverted Parents VIEW Their Introverted Children as Outsiders
Introverted children are considered to be odd child out not only by their peers, teachers, other adult figures, relatives but even by their extroverted parents. The people whom introverted children look to for the most support, often view them as outsiders. Introverted children are deemed strangers by their extroverted parents. Extroverted children can act as if their introverted children are not within their particular familial circle, especially if there are other extroverted children present in the family. Introverted children in such families can oftentimes feel unwanted, even excluded in favor of the more extroverted children in the family. If there are no extroverted siblings in the family, some extroverted parents will bond with extroverted nieces, nephews, and even cousins while other will form a kinship with extroverted non-related children.
Extroverted parents may even disfavor their introverted children as they feel that they have little or no commonality with them. They will favor their extroverted children over their introverted children because they feel that the latter does not conform to their particular family agenda. Other extroverted parents can scapegoat their introverted children as their attributes and personalities are considered beyond their specific family paradigm and parameter. Instead of appreciating their children's unique characteristics and qualities, they designate their introverted children as oddballs, misfits, even weird. There are introverted children who feel demonized, even marginalized by their extroverted parents. According to their parents, their inherent qualities are deemed unacceptable and deviate from the familial, even the majority consensus.
Extroverted Parents UNDERESTIMATE Their Introverted Children
Introverted children tend to be underestimated by almost everyone, including their extroverted parents. It is widely assumed that introverted children really do not have what it takes. They are perceived to be mediocre, even slow because they prefer to study and access others and their environment before exploring. Because they participate less in extracurricular and other social activities, they are considered to be quite lackluster. There are some extroverted parents who staunchly avow that their introverted children have no talent whatsoever because they have not seen it. If they do have and demonstrate talent, their extroverted parents will downplay it, pointing out that their extroverted siblings. relatives, and even peers are far more talented than their introverted children will ever be.
When the talents and gifts of the introverted children are evident and seen, their extroverted parents may consider such talents and gifts of no measurable significance. They may even deem such talents and gifts as too fantastical and convoluted and not normal talents and gifts like other "normal" extroverted children. Some extroverted parents are entirely dismissive of their introverted children's gifts and talents believing that such reserved, quiet children really do not have anything to offer. They equate gifts and talents with sociability and gregariousness, instead of it being inherent within the child. When their talents and/or gifts gain some acclaim and/or widely noticed, the same extroverted parents purport that they absolutely had no idea that their quiet, reserved children could be that talented and/or gifted.
Our society prizes, rewards, even deifies extroversion. Extroversion is viewed as normative and desirable. Conversely, introversion is denigrated in our society. Introversion is considered suspect, even deviant. Introverts have odds stacked against them in this culture by others, even their parents. Many extroverted parents really do not know how to fathom their introverted children. They may even feel ashamed that they have children that they believe are out of sync with the majority society.
However, introverted children have attributes, characteristics, and talents which are oftentimes devalued in our extroverted society. They are astute observers of the social condition. They are quite comfortable not following the crowd and are very individualistic. They refuse to do something because the majority decrees it. They go on the proverbial road less travelled. What many extroverted parents fail to realize that the introverted child that they deem as odd will surprise you in ways you will never imagine. This introverted child will be the one who will likely outshine and outsucceed their extroverted siblings, relatives, peers, distractors, and even you the parents. Still waters indeed run deep.......very deep.
© 2015 Grace Marguerite Williams