It’s Ok To Be An Introvert – Jennifer Oaten

With current restrictions and COVID-19 cases on the increase, I feel no guilt about wanting to stay at home on Friday night and sit on the couch rather than attending a social gathering.

I consider myself to be an introvert who enjoys time alone. I need time alone to recharge. This doesn’t mean I dislike socialising; it does mean downtime is important. My role is people-focussed, so I often crave the time and space to sit and be alone as solitude can be therapeutic for me.

The vast majority of us are not introverts or extroverts; we are ambiverts which means, in relation to our personality traits, we generally fall somewhere in the middle of being an introvert or an extrovert. Our personality influences how we approach the world and how we respond to different social stimulation.

As an introvert, I want to share 6 points I believe that all parents need to understand about introverts:

  1. Introverts can struggle to find a true sense of identity and belonging, particularly during the adolescent years when friendships and connections are important and play a major part in forming a sense of identity.
  2. For some introverts, participating in group activities or reading in front of classmates feels like torture, and they can become quite flustered and anxious.
  3. Introverts observe first and act later, which does not mean they are hesitant, cautious or afraid; they just like to ‘look before they leap’. They tend to come alive at home – talking, joking and being silly. This is where they feel most comfortable.
  4. They don’t need a large group of friends; they are happy to have a small number of close friends. Introverts seek depth in relationships rather than breadth.
  5. Introverts need time to recharge and reflect following time socialising, for example, after a busy day at school or a birthday party.
  6. Just because introverts are quiet doesn’t mean they lack vibrancy are cold-hearted or standoffish. An introvert is colourful on the inside, but they do not need to verbalise every thought and emotion.

If your child is an introvert, honour their quiet temperament. Help them understand why they might feel tired and cranky after socialising and teach them that it is okay to want to spend time alone. Most importantly, make sure they understand that there is nothing wrong with them because they are an introvert.

If you have a child who is an introvert, you might like to read this article HERE on 15 things you should never do to your introverted child.

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