“How to Care for Introverts”

September 29, 2009

in no manual for parenting

care for introverts

I saw this a couple of weeks ago from a twittie bird on Twitter…  I clicked on the link, expecting it to be a funny, ha ha moment, “tongue in cheek”.  I grew silent as I read the list.  It describes my youngest almost to a T, and for the first time, I was getting an idea of “Where he’s coming from”.

It does not say much about my being an observant mother, does it?  How could I have not seen?  It is so obvious:  The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment has so conveniently divided people along this line: on one side you have your extroverts, on the other, introverts.  It’s just that it has never occurred to me that we are living essentially in an “extrovert” world now.

There is an implicit, prevalent belief that in order to be somebody, you need to be an extrovert, or act like one, for most professions residing in a corporate structure.  Of course, if you are a writer, an artist, or a musician, you are welcome to be as introvert as you need to.  Hack, you can be crazy if that’s what floats your boat. I am sure the way human interactions have been moving onto the Interweb, into the virtual world, has allowed a lot of introverts to thrive.  How many amongst us are “closeted introverts” that are gregarious and energetic online yet reserved and apprehensive in real life.

A lot.  Judging by the sheer amount of comments on Reddit, almost 700 of them.  This list received almost 2,400 “Up” votes, and 3,400 “Diggs“.  A pent-up realization that it is O.K. to not to want to be around other people 24/7, to not be adaptive, to not enjoy change, to take a long time before making a decision.  To be quiet.  To be observant.  To need to feel drained by other people.  To want to be by yourself.

I like to joke that there is no manual for parenting.  Well, this list sort of helps.

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September 29, 2009 at 6:18 am


Linwood's girl September 29, 2009 at 6:55 am

Very interesting!!! As a people manager, this is a good reminder for me, and I think you are correct: we definitely live in an extrovert world….not always a good thing.
.-= Linwood’s girl´s last blog ..Sisters and Matriarchs =-.

Robin September 29, 2009 at 7:04 am

That list fits me so well, I’m so much damn work.

Absence Alternatives September 30, 2009 at 5:32 pm

@ Robin
I’m sure it is well worth it. :-) The way I see it, Mr. Monk, my youngest, is like an orchid, a prized one nonetheless. :-)

Absence Alternatives September 30, 2009 at 5:34 pm

@ Linwood’s girl
I didn’t realize it could be an issue until I came upon the list: my youngest definitely has a lot more bad days than my oldest. But now I know. For instance, I just asked him whether he’d mind if we don’t have a birthday party this year, he gladly agreed…

Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com September 30, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Great post and great advice. Thanks for opening my eyes to it.
.-= Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com´s last blog ..My New Car =-.

Jane October 1, 2009 at 9:03 am

What a great reminder today for my #1son. Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole rarely works. And, unfortunately, teachers try to do this all the time. We need to cherish and nurture our individual styles. Thanks for posting this!
.-= Jane´s last blog ..Journeys Shared Are The Journeys Worth Taking =-.

Jessica October 1, 2009 at 2:07 pm

I have one to add:

LEAVE THEM ALONE at the end of the day.

We need to recharge…and that does not involve PEOPLE. OR NOISE.


Absence Alternatives October 2, 2009 at 10:53 pm

@ Jessica
So. very. true.

Absence Alternatives October 2, 2009 at 10:54 pm

@ Jane
Oh, yes. I am worried about him at school going forward, worried that he may be “misunderstood”.

Velva October 3, 2009 at 8:29 am

I had to smile-we just spent an entire week in a management training discussing the personality style inventory ( Myers-Briggs) and how to properly set up work teams and care properly for both extravert and introvert personalities in the work place.

At home, I have two boys. One is an extravert and the other is an introvert. The only difference is that one likes to recharge, communicate ideas thoughts externally, and the other prefers to take a little more time to recharge from the inside. Both personality styles are perfect! We can’t all talk at once.
.-= Velva´s last blog ..Chipotle Lime Shrimp =-.

Absence Alternatives October 3, 2009 at 4:03 pm

I need to do the Myers-Briggs thing again. I remember the last time I did it, I was 50-50 on the first 3 items. I am psychotic. 😉

Jen @ NathanRising November 20, 2009 at 3:42 pm

I was VERY introverted when I was a child… I wish someone had thought to give my teachers/parents/etc a list like this! It would have saved me a lot of heartache and embarrassment in those days!
.-= Jen @ NathanRising´s last blog…Boogers in Abnormal Places =-.

Absence Alternatives November 21, 2009 at 9:26 am

I felt the same when I saw it. I wish I had seen the list earlier.

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