Too many of us confuse introversion with shyness. We worry that our more reserved kids should work on being more gregarious and, like some of their peers, more extroverted. The fact is that shyness and introversion are not synonymous, even though they may appear similar to the naked eye. Parents are often worried that their introverted kids are lacking skills or missing out. The kids, for the most part, tell me that they are doing just fine and are aware that their introverted style is just a part of who they are. Introverted teens require less social stimulation and appear to be more comfortable than their more outgoing extroverted peers with being alone. Stop making the assumption that introverts are at a distinct disadvantage.
Benefits of introversion
Here are five reasons to celebrate your introverted teen…
Content with being on their own
Your introverted teen may be better at comforting and/or entertaining herself. An introverted teen may find joy in a book or by taking a solitary run. The more extroverted teen, however, may require more company and hence more driving around to social activities.
Smaller but closer circle of friends
The more reserved teen may be happy with a small group of good friends and hence may be less likely to chase after the elusive ‘populars’ in an effort to be accepted by many. This is a good thing because the ‘populars’ are usually not nice kids.
Your introvert might be home more and therefore out less and therefore less likely to be susceptible to peer pressure.
Introverts tend to focus more on their own thoughts than on the thoughts and feelings of the larger peer group. They may therefore be more creative and better able to make unique decisions on their own.
Less likely to bully
Introverts are less likely to be bullies and make the lives of their peers miserable.