Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Quiet power:

How can quieter types get by in this 'out there' age of social media and reality TV?
By Motherpedia
Date: May 21 2013
Editor Rating:

“Your child is very shy. He’s an introvert,” says your son’s Year 3 teacher.

Not necessarily says psychologist Rosemary Moore.

“Being ‘introverted’ doesn’t equal ‘shy’. Introversion and extroversion are not about social skills. They are concerned with how you get your energy. Extroverts feed off and thrive on others; introverts get it from within,” she says.

“I once had a client who was a highly energetic, focused, professional woman who kept being told by her male boss that she wasn’t a ‘team player’ because she ate lunch alone. But this was a reflection on him, rather than her. He needed to have someone around him all the time, but she wanted some time to herself in the middle of the day to recharge.”

Moore says that, give an introvert that time, and they’ll come back more productive and creative than ever.

“It’s important to let an introverted person in the workplace have time to themselves during the day. They may also benefit from an office if you have them, but then you also have to make sure that they spend some time socially interacting also.”

Moore says her client’s experience is quite common.

“Not surprisingly, extroverted people are really good at getting promoted and are often CEOs. They’re confident, they are well-presented, they’re good at schmoozing. But a good boss recognises that she or he also needs a balance of people around them.”

She says the same is the case with children.

“Kids who are introverted can often have a tough time at school and as they’re growing up because we tend to be hard-wired to deal with extroverts. Parents come to me saying their child needs to ‘get out of their shell’. But more often than not, the parent isn’t recognising that their child’s brain just works differently.”

She suggests the wrong thing to do is to load them up with activities they don’t like in an attempt to make them more social, but instead find a group activity that has a purpose and one they can enjoy.

“Whether it be at the workplace or at home, make sure the introvert in your life knows when they need to be part of the workgroup or family, and when it’s okay to have a quiet time and focus.”

Moore recommends a book called Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain.

“It’s especially useful if you have a colleague or child who is an introvert as it will help you understand how to get the best out of them.”

The book is available via Amazon and iBooks.

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