To some extent, we can understand when a parent of a ‘shy child’ (for which, more often than not, they mean introvert, though in reality they’re not really the same thing) asks their school teachers to ‘do something about it’. i.e. they want their introvert child to become an extrovert, fearing that lack of this change may blight their lives.
It is the case that we live in a world that favours extroverts, that the cult of the celebrity and the personality has tended to mean that extroverts are put on pedestals whilst introverts are considered somehow deficient.
As I’ve written before, this is a shame when you consider the enormous contributions made historically to the world by introverts. I’ve also written in the past about the potential risks that would exist if we finished up with a world of only extroverts, or extroverts plus introverts frantically pretending to be extroverts!
There are lots of misunderstandings around about what it means/ doesn’t mean to be an extrovert or an introvert. So, I was very interested to come across this informative article that explores some of the science to debug some of those myths:
Here’s another interesting article that goes a bit deeper in to the science aspects that explain the differences:
For parents and educators I believe it’s vitally important to understand these differences and to figure out what’s important in how we enable these ‘differently wired’ children to excel, to fulfill their potential and to live the best lives possible. We need to help the children understand these differences, so as to understand themselves and each other better. We need to think about these things in our teaching practices, even in how we design and lay out schools.
Better understanding is likely to lead to better maximising on the positives of both extremes, less denigration of the values of introversion and a more balanced and harmonious society.