Source: Introversion

It’s obvious that the American dream is to be extroverted. We want our children to be “people who need people.” We want them to have lots of friends, to like parties, to prefer to play outside with their buddies, to make friends easily, to greet new experiences enthusiastically, to be good risk-takers, to be open about their feelings, to be trusting. We regard anyone who doesn’t fit this pattern with some concern. We call them “withdrawn,” “aloof,” “shy,” “secretive,” and “loners.” These pejorative terms show the extent to which we misunderstand introverts.

The majority of Americans are extroverted (about 75%), but the majority of gifted children appear to be introverted (about 60%), and the percentage of introverts seems to increase with IQ. In addition to the problems encountered with being gifted, these children are frequently misjudged because they are introverted. Introversion is a perfectly normal personality type identified by Carl Jung. It is actually healthy to be an introvert. The only unhealthy part of it is denying your true self and trying to disguise yourself as an extrovert.

Introverts are wired differently from extroverts and they have different needs. Extroverts get their energy from interaction with people and the external world. Introverts get their energy from within themselves; too much interaction drains their energy and they need to retreat from the world to recharge their batteries. People can be extreme extroverts, extreme introverts, or a combination of both. Since extroversion is the dominant mode in our society, there are no “closet extroverts,” but there are many “closet introverts,” people who are so ashamed of their introversion that they try to be extroverts.

Introverts need to learn about the positive benefits of their personality type. They need to be taught that reflection is a good quality, that the most creative individuals sought solitude…if the introverted person has an intense area of interest which can be explored deeper within, they may find innovative ideas and creative insights not available to the perception of extroverts ….many leaders in academic, aesthetic and technical fields are often introverts. Parents need to know that more National Merit Scholars are introverted than extroverted, and that introverts have higher grade point averages in Ivy League colleges than extrovert’s. Contrary to public opinion, success in life is not dependent upon extroversion.

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