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7 Ways An Introvert Can Help Their Extroverted Parents Understand Introversion

It’s easy for an introverted child to feel like the oddball growing up in an extroverted family. Instead of letting that create more distance and marginalization between the parents and child, the challenges and obstacles should be discussed and overcome together. This is crucial for families to form closer bonds rather than disintegrate from the conflict and misunderstandings that arise on both ends. Psych2Go shares with you 7 ways introverts can help their extroverted parents understand introversion:

1. Let them know that your disposition is due to biology.

Introversion isn’t a choice. It’s the way you’re wired from the moment that you’re born. Let them know that you can’t be molded to become an extrovert just like them, especially if they become pushy with “curing” you of your shyness or reluctance to jump into social scenes.

2. Make it aware that introversion isn’t new.

There are plenty of other people in this world who are introverts, just like you. Let your parents know that you’re not the only one. Perhaps this will give them the opportunity to ask other parents if they’re raising an introverted child, too. That way, advice, experiences, and insights can be exchanged.

3. Let them know what environments you’re more comfortable in.

If you’re uncomfortable with hosting birthday parties or social get-togethers in noisy crowded places, let your parents know where you prefer to have them. It also helps establish which environments all of you can go to when having family bonding time, so that everyone, including yourself, is having a good time. If you’re nervous about stepping foot in a new environment alone, it’s important let your parents know, too. That way, they can provide you with the support you need to adapt better in it.

4. Tell them when you need to take breaks from social settings.

If things get overwhelming at family functions and social events, let them know about your limits. This is also useful information when they drop you off to hang out with friends, so they know when to pick you up. When you need to recharge alone, it’s recommended that you give them a heads-up, too. That way, they provide you with plenty of space for you to make the most of your time spent alone in your room. This creates respect for your privacy.

5. Let them know what’s bothering you.

Your parents are there to provide you with emotional support, but they’re not mind readers. Be cognizant about what you’re communicating with them and how you’re delivering your concerns. Try to refrain from having arguments. While arguing isn’t a true sign of being doomed in a perpetual state of misunderstandings, because it’s normal and expected, pay attention to what isn’t being resolved. What aspect of introversion are they failing to accept or understand? What aspect of yourself are they not seeing? You have to let them know.

6. Let your parents talk to your teachers or guidance counselor with you.

Set up times where you and your parents can talk to your teachers or guidance counselor. Other adults who have seen how you function in the school setting can help interpret what it is that you need at home, too. This also allows opportunities for your parents to express any academic concerns they may have and learn about what assistance they can offer to help you be successful.

7. Give them opportunities to ask questions.

Your parents aren’t perfect people. They’re still learning about the world just as much as you are. And they’re especially still trying to learn about who you are. Let them know that it’s okay for them to ask questions, because as parents, they might feel pressured to have all the answers. By acknowledging the knowledge gap and realizing that it’s there instead of pretending like everything is copacetic marks the beginning where the both of you can grow closer by facing those questions and finding answers to them together.

Are you an introvert with extroverted parents? How do you communicate about introversion? Leave a comment down below!

Catherine Huang
Catherine Huang graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BA in English. She has a penchant for storytelling, ramen, and psychology. Catherine is a writer for Psych2Go and looks forward to reaching out to its growing community, hoping to encourage others to tap into self-examination and confront life's challenges head on with the most difficult questions.

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