I am an introvert. Big surprise right?! If you are one of the few people who have known me since my high school days you know how quiet and shy I was. I still am, but I've adapted and learned how to come out of my shell in order to participate in this world we live in. I wouldn't get very far in my occupation as a Nanny if I couldn't talk openly with and share my ideas/opinions with my employers. And when you get me in a small group setting with a bunch of extroverts, watch out!! I really come out then. I'm a totally different person! Yet I still prefer the cozy quiet of my own home and family. I'd much rather curl up (like I can curl up at the moment, LOL!) with a good book for hours on end than go out dancing (which I have only ever done for a high school dance).
J, my husband, is an introvert too. Again, big surprise! He too would much prefer to be at home watching a movie or reading a book than anything else. In some ways he is worse off than me. He has a hard time even being at places like the Denver Zoo on special event days. I practically have to drag him there for the sake of the kids. He just doesn't DO crowds. He too though has had to adapt and can fit in rather well with your average extrovert in the workplace. Having worked as a teller and manager at a big bank for so many years he really had to learn to put himself out there. It required him to talk to strangers, ask them questions, sell to them, etc.
I really enjoyed Susan Cain's book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Even reading this book took me out of my comfort zone of Fiction and Romance. Several chapters were of particular interest, but when I got to Chapter 11 and she took on introverted kids I was really excited.
Adam definitely falls into the introvert category. At 7 he is perfectly happy to spend all day reading quietly, playing LEGOS, or playing a video game by himself. He is your stereotypical perfect, well mannered, quiet child. Always has been. He is also very sensitive and emotional. Those are a little harder to handle at times. Any raising of your voice around him and the child will cringe, even if it's the DOG you are yelling at. For me he is pretty easy to parent since I tend to be quiet myself. I'll admit J has a little more trouble remembering that Adam responds better to a soft spoken voice.
Now Noelle is a completely different story. She has been the opposite in our house since day one. She was a very needy baby compared to her brother. She has never been a child to happily play on her own for any length of time. She always wanted to be held and close by. I have always blamed this on her poor eye-sight before her eye muscle surgery at 7 months of age, but maybe it was more just her personality. I don't know, maybe it is too early to really tell since she is just turning 5, if she is a true extrovert. I do know that we have to parent her completely different than our son. Use a quiet voice to try and get Noelle to do something and she will flat out ignore you. It has been a very difficult experience for us introverts to learn how to parent a child that is naturally so different than us in every way.
I am very excited, if a little anxious, to see what type of personality Lillian will have. She could literally be born at any time now. Her due date is February 9th, but so far none of my kids have waited that long. She seems very tuned in to me so far. If I rest and do nothing all day she will do the same. Moving just enough that I am reassured she is okay. If I have a very active day she will wake with me in the morning and not stop moving until I fall asleep at night. Neither of the other kids were this way.
Are you an introvert or extrovert?.Author Susan Cain explores how introverts can be powerful in a world where being an extrovert is highly valued. Join From Left to Write on January 19 as we discuss Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain. We'll also be chatting live with Susan Cain at 1PM Eastern on January 26. As a member of From Left to Write, I received a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.