In American society, introverted children are made to feel different. Parents often worry that their introverted children are not "normal" like other children. So they enroll them in a myriad of social activities in the hopes of making them "more social". However, in reality, many introverted children became drained by these myriad activities. Many introverted children often prefer to indulge in solitary and creative activities such as reading, writing, and sketching.
Teachers furthermore discount the introvert child and consider him/her to be less intelligent than their extrovert peers even though he/she is often intellectually prodigious. Introverted children have a difficult path in this extroverted society where gregariousness rules. There seems to be little or no appreciation for the introvert child as he/she is. He/she is constantly molded to be an extrovert because it is more "socially acceptable." Introverted children are viewed in such pejorative terms such as "anti-social", "shy", "inhibited", and other negative terms. If you were an introverted child, were you accepted by your family, peers, teachers, and other relatives as you were or were you molded to be an extrovert.
I was accepted. My introverted personality was noted, yes, and questioned by some, but I don't think society really dismisses introverts. Well, some they do, perhaps, but I don't think it's a prevalent thing?...
At any rate, my father had a perfect response. He said "Still waters run deep".
Amen to that, Brenda. I totally concur. I, too, am an introvert while my father accepted it, my mother wanted me to be "more outgoing"much to my chagrin. She just could not understand me as a teenager. I would be content being alone for hours, reading while she wanted me to more like the typical teenager. However, my father interceded, informing her to let me be!
As an introvert myself, I actually don't think that I had too many issues growing up. I had a few very good and very close friends as well as interests that spanned beyond those of a typical child. Yes society frowns upon introverts, however there is nothing inherently wrong with being one.
I think labeling others as 'introverts' don't help them much; it can be seen as disparaging. It's hard to know what really are the advantages and disadvantages of being an introvert or extrovert. Introverts are not really that abnormal, they are common. Abnormal people are those who are mentally-challenged and have no sense of consciousness and decorum.
I am an introvert and it is not a condition of any kind. It simply mean you prefer to engage in activities that do not involve being with other people such as reading, drawing, etc. Many scientists are introverts. Introverts are people who like doing activities alone without someone helping them. There is nothing wrong with being an introvert. An extrovert is someone who prefer being in activities with other people.
If only we could get people to stop trying to "fix" introverts. Introversion is not a disease to be fixed--it is just a different orientation. Introverts need quiet time for reflection and need alone time and space. It doesn't mean we hate people, just that we are as energized by alone time as extroverts are energized by social time.
I'm an introvert and that mainly comes from being an only child as well as shy. My mom was genius in getting me to do public speaking at a young age so I could talk in class and to groups but it took me a very long time to maintain eye contact and be one-on-one with anyone. I don't think I was not accepted, it was more of me being like a crockpot type than a microwave. I have to warm up and adapt to the situation rather than being all over the place and putting myself out there. I think it's helped me in gauging others because I'm in a better position to observe so I can develop a more meaningful connection to others instead of being the people pleaser. It takes more time with us, but anyone who knows we introverts are just as cool as the loud kids.
Despite the inroads made by society to accept introversion as just another personality type, prejudice against introverts is still the one of the last acceptable prejudices. People are still aghast when you inform them that you are an introvert. They either maintain that you need some type of psychological counseling because you are somewhat "abnormal" or you are just told that you should "socialize more." Some people are just more solitary than others and that is fine. However, American society is an extroverted one and extroverted people are in the majority here so their precepts rule which glorifies being loud, intrusive, and abrasive while denigrating characteristics which are more quiet and solitary.
Introverted people are still considered weird and out of it. Parents are usually apologetic when they have introverted children. It seems that as if they are actually ashamed of their children and want them to be more outgoing so they enroll their children in a myriad of activities even though the children actually prefers more solitary activities such as reading. Only a few parents embrace the fact that their children are introverted. It is time that introversion is embraced and encouraged as there are all types of people in the world!
The world would be even crazier than it is if everyone was an extrovert. Parents need to let children be who they naturally are.
Thank you, my dear. I totally concur. I am an introvert and proud of it. I relish my time alone. In fact, I am happiest when I am home reading and sketching. Introverted children are constantly told to be more outgoing and social- I so hate that word-social! What is wrong with a child who prefers his/her own company-nothing at all! However, in the eyes of most parents, introverted children are taken to child psychologists who inform the parents to enroll their children into a myriad of activities in "order to met others and to socialize" even though they would be happier if left to their own devices. Thank you for your input in this discussion.
I think people should be who they are and forget about labels. It's helpful if parents don't allow their kids to label others, but first the parents need to make sure they're not labeling others, including their own kids!
Thank you. However, there are many parents who are ashamed and embarrassed by their introverted children. They wish that their children be more extroverted so they can be more acceptable to their peers thus having more friends. Many parents subconsiously believe that their introverted children are backward and are totally colorless. In essence, they contend that their children are not "normal" children but somewhat mentally challenged. This insidious thinking is what damages the self-esteem of introverts. You are so correct- parents should embrace and accept their introverted children for what they are, not try to make them over into pseudoextroverts.
Well, this could be a great hub topic. I can understand parents wanting to help bring out a child's strengths, but often parents feel it is more important to work on what may be a perceived weakness. Introversion is not a weakness, IMO. Introverts are very often creative, deep thinkers. Why not tap into that as a parent and help the child develop interests that require these kind of minds.
I was rather shy while young, but developed my love for music, reading, nature, being physically active, exploring my world. I was very athletic. In high school, I became more sociable and outgoing, but I still studied and read a lot. My older sister encouraged, (prodded!) me to take speech classes to put my thoughts out into the open and to put myself in front of people. I'm so glad she made me do it. It helped me learn how to organize my thoughts as well as listen to others with an open mind. I then went to college and I've taught ever since.
I never saw myself as either introvert/extravert. I guess some may have labeled me as an introverted extravert, but I don't look at myself or others in that way.
This is so true. Introverted children are simply not valued for who they are. They are oftentimes made to feel "lesser" in comparison to the extroverted child. To many parents, introversion seems to be like a lethal disease to be "cured" of, instead of a legitimate personality type.
Introverted children oftentimes have negative pejoratives attached to them i.e. slow, timid, stand offish, backwards, and socially inept. Such is not the case. Extroverted children are esteemed more highly in this society. They are oftentimes viewed as more intelligent, hip, quick witted, and savvy. They are more popular with their peers than their introverted counterparts. Other children tend to find introverted children to be "weird", "strange", and "odd." They do not know how to take the introverted child.
When I was a child I was seen as an introvert. This is mainly because I very much was. My mother did not understand this very well because I was always very outgoing and curious around her and around her side of the family. My parents divorced when I was very young and because of my lack of familiarity with my father and that side of the family I was always very shy around them. I was also very shy around the general public and at school. At school it paid off to be shy because early on it only gave the impression that I was well behaved. But certain teachers felt the need to mess with me because once I hit 2nd grade I was still very shy but I had also come to realize that I knew how to say things with my eyes. My 3rd grade teacher was aware of this and found it very provocative for someone my age. She went after me day in and day out and it didn't let up even on the second to last day of the schoolyear. Of course, I was 8yrs old and knew how to say 'I hate you' with just a look, so I can maybe see why she thought this was provocative. The other thing she thought was provocative was the way I used the library, because I knew how read the big kids' books. While my classmates were borrowing Madeline In London or It Followed Me Home, I was borrowing The History Of Scandanavians In The United States . . . Volume 6.
Nowadays I'm very shy in most social situations. My friends, family and others close to me usually see the real me. All the hubmaniacs usually get to see the real me. But opening up to someone I've just met is very difficult. I think it may be because of my reactions to many of those who are extroverted, because it often reminds me that I am not naturally like that and it pleases me. Plus, I don't really want to have a bunch of fairweather friends, which is what I invariably get when I go through periods of heavy social activity. I have a few close friends and I prefer it that way. I need my alone time because I much prefer visions, epiphanies and moments of inspiration to small talk, gossip sessions and happy hours.
As for being shunned in society for being introverted, I don't think its like that exactly, more like an attempt at programming. They 'need' you to fall in line and be normal. This means no daydreaming, open creativity or unstructured thought processes. This society does not shun introversion as such, it simply punishes those who think or feel, while it rewards the act of doing. Society does not want you to be an emotional, thinking being. It wants you to be a machine, so they target introverts quite naturally. But the Descartes model of running the world is quickly crumbling before our eyes so, let's see what happens.
Amen to you and I totally concur. I had a first grade teacher who thought me to be strange to say the least because I was an introvert and well-behaved while the other children were not. Introversion is also a legitimate personality type like extroversion. I am introvert and proud, I do not need to become more outgoing, $#%#!, I am quite fine the way I am, thank you kindly.
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