My husband and I are 100% introverts. All growing up, we were both extremely shy — to the point that speaking in public made us melt into piles of goo. We still both struggle with our introvert nature at times, and dread small talk. We usually prefer to huddle up together and quietly observe the outside world from a distance.
When our first son was born, I dreamed and hoped that he wouldn’t be as shy as we were. I didn’t want him to deal with the struggles my husband and I dealt with as kids. Like being too timid to voice your opinions or stand up to bullies. But, as my son started getting older I realized I didn’t have to worry about that at all. He was becoming a full fledged extrovert in every way.
My son is now 6 years old. And he is so darn outgoing, it baffles my mind. He strikes up conversations with grown ups and kids alike, like it’s nothing. I’m seriously getting tips from my first grader on how to interact with humans. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that sometimes he’s better at talking to people than I am. Never did I imagine that two extreme introverts could produce the most legit extrovert ever. And it kind of freaks me out.
How do I deal with an outgoing kid?
When we’re out in the world, I just naturally try to stay on the outskirts of things. But my son won’t have that at all. He loves getting in and being apart of anything social. So what is an introvert to do? I can’t hide (although I want to sometimes), and I certainly don’t want to hinder his extrovert ways. It’s been a challenge, albeit, a good challenge for me to try and learn from him.
Pretty much everything my son does in social situations goes against everything I’m comfortable with.
I am always observing him when we’re around other people. It’s sort of like watching a wild animal in his natural habitat. It’s so fascinating. I know normal people wouldn’t give it a second thought. But, for an introvert, watching an extrovert thrive in a situation that you would hate, is something foreign and uncomfortable. But, it’s also so wonderful to witness.
I can’t change myself and I don’t want to change him either.
The main thing I’ve learned over the years while raising my son, is that I have to be ok with being an introvert. I would never want to change my son’s extrovert ways, so I shouldn’t feel guilty with my introvert ways. But it doesn’t mean I can’t learn from him. We can both learn from one another, which has become such an interesting and awesome aspect of parenthood for me so far. I never imagined I could gain so much knowledge and self confidence from a 6 year old.
I love that my son is so different than both myself and my husband. While it’s sometimes a struggle to understand why or how he does things, it’s important to me to try to nurture his outgoing personality. I had always wished I was more outgoing when I was younger, because I think certain things could have been easier on me if I was. So, I love that my son is outgoing, but more importantly, I think that having introverted parents will hopefully make him appreciate both extroverted and introverted people. Our hope is that we are raising a confident and vibrant young person.