As most of the teenagers around the country enjoy a snow day or two this week thanks to “The Beast from the East” and “Storm Emma”, the time away from the school environment may be especially valuable to more introverted types. I work with many teenagers for who the school day is a painful toil which leaves them limping along throughout the day just waiting to get home and have some alone time.
What is an Introvert?
Many young adults will answer this question by saying, someone who doesn’t like being with people, is shy, a bit weird and doesn’t have any friends. As an introvert myself, I would hope that my closest friends and family would disagree with this statement. you see, it’s all a matter of degrees. Let me explain.
Whether one is an introvert or an extrovert is not black and white. I like to see it as a sliding scale. If the most introverted person was at point 0 and the most extroverted at 100 you can see that there are all the points in between and that hovering around the 40-60 mark are where many of us sit.
To help us understand which category we fall into, we have to explore what makes someone introverted rather than extroverted. The main difference is in the way they process information from the World. An extrovert processes information from external sources and communicate in this way also. They will enjoy talking to lots of people for prolonged periods of time and will thrive on the interaction they get. The more time they spend with others, the more energised they become because they are communicating in their preferred way. For example, an extrovert will always be the one who complains that the party ended too soon as they were only just warming up.
The introvert, on the other hand, processes their World internally. Information is taken in and stays in the head whist it is being processed which can take a while. Whilst these processes are going on the head of the introvert, they will be busy but this may not necessarily be apparent to the extrovert. The introvert may be quiet and not as sociable. they may become irritated by noise or extra interaction. once this point is reached, the introvert will indeed need time to refresh their batteries. This is done by having time alone and withdrawing from the World for a while. (Yummy!)
Introverts don’t like being around people – wrong! Introverts love people but also love time alone
Extroverts never need a break from people – wrong! even the most extroverted person needs some down time, it’s just that it’s for a shorter period of time.
Introverts are boring – I’m not even going to dignify that with an answer!!!
Extroverts are annoying – Wrong! they just love being with people and this comes across when they get the chance to interact.
You can find out lots more about Introverts and Extroverts here…
Tips for Introverts in an Extroverted environment
- Don’t be afraid to talk to friends and family about how you feel
- Take the test with friends – it’s fun but can also help you to understand each other, you’ll be surprised at how many others are introverted
- Be mindful of your alone time – be conscious that you are having some time alone to recharge and don’t be tempted to give it up
- Seek out a quiet place at school – often schools will offer quiet rooms or libraries where you can go at lunchtime or break
- Don’t assume that because you are introverted you will always feel that school is too much, make time to enjoy it too and join clubs or groups which interest you as this will help too
Enjoy your snow day!!