The extrovert and introvert camps emerged when Carl Jung first classified people into different personalities. Being an introvert simply means that one likes to keep to him/herself so as to recharge oneself. However, this does not mean that introverts can never find time for social gatherings; it is possible for an introvert to interact with other people after they have had time on their own. Extroverts however will find it easier to recharge themselves around other people, lets say, while out at a bar after a whole day stuck at some office. Unlike introverts who have internal focus, seen to be unassertive, think before speaking, are ready to act whenever they speak out loud, are territorial, have limited relationships, focused, more reflective and recharges alone, extroverts observe and decides in outer world of other people, are more outgoing, speak before engaging the brain, to them they can always speak even if they are not ready to act, love interaction, have multiple relations, expend their energy, to them thinking means talking out are energized by people and action (Kurcinka, 2000).
The dissimilarities between introverts and extroverts can be a major stumbling block for working relationships between this these two kinds of people. In her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Cant Stop Talking, Susan Cain explores how the modern western culture misunderstand people who are introverts hence leading to wastage of talent, energy and even happiness. Such kind of misunderstanding narrows down to a simple family setting in which extrovert parents may find it hard raising their introverted kid or whereby one of the spouses introverted while the other is extroverted. A good relationship existent between the two extremes of personalities is characterized by time spent understanding each party and finding a common ground of getting along well with everyone.Extroverts are bound to feel ignored and less loved by their introvert members of the family. On the other hand, introverts might feel like their space is being invaded and overwhelmed by members of the family who have a constant urge to engage in conversations. Understanding the introvert/extrovert differences will help members of a family come up with ways of happily living together (Smith, 2013).
Since extroverts are more outgoing and more engaging as compared to the introverts, they are considered to be the normal members of the society and therefore dominate and determine the functioning of a family setting or even the public. The silent nature of introverts is regarded to be rude. Extrovert members of a family will be on the neck of introverts trying to fix them by trying to make them engage more. What extroverts fail to understand is that introversion is just but a personality, not a disease. Extrovert parents raising introvert kids may worry that; their silent nature may deprive them of friends and the ability to get into re-known higher learning institutions since in the back of the minds of such parents, the world belongs to extroverts. Extrovert may look at their introvert children as being low self-esteemed or facing depression and go to the extent of troubling themselves searching for a solution. In fact, the worst mistake parents make is publicly referring to their introvert child shy. This makes such a child to only withdraw more thinking that, they contain a fixed trait that needs changing. So far, you as the reader have probably realized my emphasis is on introvert children being raised by extrovert parent(s), this is so because as I stated earlier on, extrovert children are considered to be more than normal and therefore cause no alarm (Willig, 2014). More sensitization on the needs of an introvert child will help parents realize the importance of embracing the behavior of such a child and to also let a child know that, her/his behavior is awesomely normal.
Fitting in a family setting is rough for introvert children than it is for an introvert adult, a child will desperately try to blend in with family and friends especially when her own parents let alone teachers try nag them into being talkative. It is important to let other members of the family to learn to accommodate a child who talks less and wants time on their own by giving such a child the time they need. Give introvert activities such as drawing, reading or writing and any other that enables them to be on their own. Parents also need to teach their extrovert young ones that, not everyone wants to play and be interactive all day long; this will help them to respect their introvert siblings and friends. Extrovert children also require to be given the attention they require, taking them out to fun activities and places such as play grounds is ideal. It is easier for introvert adults to fit in because as one grows, they find their own means of playing with the two personalities or what we call ambiverts (Zia, Liu & Schmittmann, 2012).
Accepting the behavior of an introvert child gives them reassurance and over time, they may find themselves adjusting to the ways of a family that has a large percentage of extroverts. However, they will always need time alone to recharge themselves unless they get caught up in activities, such as car trips, that do not give them space. Encouraging communication and listening skills will come in handy especially while planning for family occasions such as a vacation get away. Some activities that require every member of the family to be at the same time always can intensify differences in personality preference. While making plans, it is important to take into account the preference of each personality making sure to include shared and individual leisure happiness.
Even though children are more vulnerable to intrusion of their introversion, even adults have their faith in introversion being tampered with by persons they love and trust. Adults need to find a common ground for existence by finding means of making the people around them, introverts or extroverts, comfortable. Introverts should consider doing the following: Indicating to family members when you are busy; extrovert members of the family may think that you are only engaging in something, lets say reading, because you are bored and therefore try to engage you in a conversation. Be sure to put indicators such as closing your door or even let others know that you are busy by word of mouth (Zia, Liu & Schmittmann, 2012). Secondly, try verbalizing your thoughts; introverts dont speak until they are sure they want to act. It is however important to let your partner or colleague know that you are considering what they have said during a conversation, you could let tell them to give you some time to process the conversation. Third, realize that extroverts need to talk more often; this will help you to avoid feeling drained by all the talk. Lastly dont forget to socialize; work out a timetable of a lone time you need to recharge and the time you need to socialize (Willig, 2014).
Extrovert members of the family need to realize the following in order to try and make introvert members feel comfortable; to begin with, always ask if someone is busy before spending time with them. They might look withdrawn and depressed they might but that does not mean that they are lonely. Secondly if someone is not speaking during a conversation, ask them what they are thinking instead of scolding them for not giving you feedback. Last but not least, realize that a long involving conversation can be draining to some people. Not everyone likes to engage in small talks all the time. Lastly know that introverts need time on their own. It is true that extroverts dont find it easy to understand why anyone would be comfortable in solitude. However, knowing that introverts need time on their own to recharge makes you understand them a little better.
All in all, we need to realize that introverts and extroverts are the two kinds of personalities that do and will always exist. The world has a lot of these kinds of people. Debating on which kind of personality is best or trying to force introverts to become extroverts and vice versa is not an option. Both of these people have ideas that can lead to innovation, drive the economy and make the world a better place to live. So why not just put in a little more effort, embrace each other and get along?
Kurcinka, M. (2000). Kids, parents, and power struggles. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
Smith, J. (2013). The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Cain , Susan. Journal Of Analytical Psychology, 58(1), 144-146. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5922.2013.02021_4.x
Susan Cain. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. New York, NY: Crown, 2012. 352 pp. $26.00 (hardcover). ISBN-13: 978-0307352149.Ian Dowbiggin. The Quest for Mental Health: A Tale of Science, Medicine, Scandal, Sorrow, and Mas. (2012). J. Hist. Behav. Sci., 48(3), 295-297. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jhbs.21559
Willig, R. (2014). Emancipation. From Introvert to Extrovert Critique. Advances In Applied Sociology, 04(07), 190-196. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/aasoci.2014.47023
Zia, R., Liu, W., & Schmittmann, B. (2012). An Extraordinary Transition in a Minimal Adaptive Network of Introverts and Extroverts. Physics Procedia, 34, 124-127. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phpro.2012.05.020
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