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What is WRONG with being an introvert????


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Why does introvert seem to automatically equal "lacking social skills" to so many people?

 

My oldest ds is an introvert. Since birth he has been perfectly happy with his own company. He has never sought out nor had a huge number of friends, usually just one or two at a time.

 

He has always enjoyed playing by himself. Now at almost 14yo, he is perfectly content to spend hours by himself on the computer (his thing is making and editing short films with Adobe Aftereffects).

 

He does very well with online courses or subjects on DVD, etc. When we first arrived here we tried a full day of school for him. He was MISERABLE. Then we did a half day of school and it was better but not great. But his preference is at home, by himself, online courses.

 

Now, he does socialize in small doses in things that interest him with people he likes. But he doesn't "need" it and in fact, too much of it and he gets really crabby.

 

Social skills: he is perfectly fine. Yeah, he leans towards quirky but that is just who he is. He has unique interests from mainstream teenage boys (although he can play Call of Duty with the best of them).

 

Ok, my point... Finally...

 

Dh thinks we should put him in school full time next year for high school because he "needs" to be around other teens more. My son's response was "why?"

 

Dh is very social. Everybody loves him and he can make friends with anyone in 5 minutes no matter where we go. I am more like ds. I like people in small doses but deep down I am introvert and like lots of alone time.

 

So dh seems to think introvert means socially inept in some way and we need to "force" ds out of his shell by sending him to school all day. I say ds is who he is and we should let him be who is and there is nothing wrong with being an introvert and we should let him continue to homeschool.

 

What says the hive?

 

 

.

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I am a strong introvert and went through public school. I don't think it did anything to help me enjoy being around large groups. I wasn't very social while in school anyway (just after school during different activities with smaller groups of people like drama or speech - actually those activities did a lot more to make me comfortable talking in front of people, etc.).

 

If you son enjoys working on the computer, I think he can have a great career without being a total "people person".

 

Would your husband feel better if he saw him in some teen activities (even if it wasn't school)? Maybe a club or some kind or sport or something? I think many introverts prefer small groups so that might be a good compromise.

 

:grouphug: to you! I think introverts are awesome! I don't get why some people think being an introvert needs to be "fixed" - I guess it is just lack of understanding. Maybe reading about introverts would help him understand the good side more?

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I would keep him at home.

 

I am an extrovert. My husband is more of an introvert. I respect the differences and do not think one is superior to the other.

 

I think that moving a child from homeschool to high school would be a big adjustment. I think the adjustment would be even harder for your son because he is an introvert and even harder if he doesn't want to go.

 

Would your husband feel better about it if he were in a few co-op classes or homeschool group activities?

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I think too many people mistake introverted for anti-social. That just isn't true, but it does seem to be a common misperception. My dh is an introvert. He dislikes groups of people, but one-to-one or very small groups he is very social, very funny and always a great listener.

 

I don't really have any advice for you, just empathy. Your son is just perfectly fine the way he is.

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Why does introvert seem to automatically equal "lacking social skills" to so many people?

 

My oldest ds is an introvert. Since birth he has been perfectly happy with his own company. He has never sought out nor had a huge number of friends, usually just one or two at a time.

 

He has always enjoyed playing by himself. Now at almost 14yo, he is perfectly content to spend hours by himself on the computer (his thing is making and editing short films with Adobe Aftereffects).

 

He does very well with online courses or subjects on DVD, etc. When we first arrived here we tried a full day of school for him. He was MISERABLE. Then we did a half day of school and it was better but not great. But his preference is at home, by himself, online courses.

 

Now, he does socialize in small doses in things that interest him with people he likes. But he doesn't "need" it and in fact, too much of it and he gets really crabby.

 

Social skills: he is perfectly fine. Yeah, he leans towards quirky but that is just who he is. He has unique interests from mainstream teenage boys (although he can play Call of Duty with the best of them).

 

Ok, my point... Finally...

 

Dh thinks we should put him in school full time next year for high school because he "needs" to be around other teens more. My son's response was "why?"

 

Dh is very social. Everybody loves him and he can make friends with anyone in 5 minutes no matter where we go. I am more like ds. I like people in small doses but deep down I am introvert and like lots of alone time.

 

So dh seems to think introvert means socially inept in some way and we need to "force" ds out of his shell by sending him to school all day. I say ds is who he is and we should let him be who is and there is nothing wrong with being an introvert and we should let him continue to homeschool.

 

What says the hive?

 

 

.

 

 

Does your dh come right out and say that? Does he say that he is socially inept and he needs to be forced out of his shell? Or as a fellow introvert are you feeling panicky for your son?

 

I am torn on this one. I bet your dh only wants whats best for your son just like you do. Sometimes our dh's see stuff in our kids (especially boys, ya know, cause they are one ;)) that we may not. Maybe your dh is concerned for his future.

 

All that said, I wouldn't like it if dh up an decided that one of our kids needed to go to school. I actually don't have to worry about that because dh is more HS gung-ho than I am!

 

Is there anything that your son likes to do outside of the home that you can encourage him to get more involved in?

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You can't turn an introvert into an extravert. Does you DH think that all introverts are unhappy because they aren't socializing with people enough? And he thinks he'll be happier if he is more social? Because that is just his bias as a extrovert.

 

On the other hand, there are coping mechanisms that people use who are 'shy' and/or introverts, that can appear to be anti-social. Kids can learn better behavior if that is really the problem.

 

Boils down to does your DH want to change fundamentally who your DS is or does he want to change how he behaves? You can't usually change the first one, but you can sometimes change the second one.

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One can have a rich life without having to "act" outgoing or a social butterfly. Let the ds stay at home. Maybe offer some group activities on occasion like teen bunco nights, teen movie nights, a friend to sleep over, and trips with a friend to a theme park. (I'm not sure where in Malaysia there may be a theme park, but you get the idea... :D)

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I was listening to an interesting segment on All Things Considered a few weeks ago. Audie Cornish was talk to Susan Cain, the author of "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking". One of the things Ms. Cain mentioned - aside from the obvious (to us) part where "introvert" does not equal "anti-social" - is that the "culture of personality" we're currently living in is fairly recent; previously we lived in a "culture of character", when introvert was the more accepted personality type.

 

But, no, my social skills are fine. I am not at all shy; I'll strike up a conversation with anyone. "One" being the operative there. I just find it completely exhausting to socialize in a large group. Too much input. I'm perfectly happy chatting for hours with a friend, and I absolutely adore my circle. I even work in an atmosphere where I'm talking with people pretty much the whole time, but it's one or two at a time if I'm at the desk, and group exercise classes aren't really interactive on the same level, so I have no trouble teaching.

Edited by MyCrazyHouse
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I think too many people mistake introverted for anti-social. That just isn't true, but it does seem to be a common misperception. My dh is an introvert. He dislikes groups of people, but one-to-one or very small groups he is very social, very funny and always a great listener.

 

I don't really have any advice for you, just empathy. Your son is just perfectly fine the way he is.

 

:iagree: I am very introverted, yet have to communicate daily with STRANGERS!!I am quite outgoing, with no desire for a new best friend, or going to lunch with anyone EVER. It is my job. It exhausts me....completely.

Dh is extroverted, yet somewhat shy:D. Being around people gives him a charge. He feels energized at a movie theater, or the mall....He can't stand to be stuck inside all day, and will drive out for milk...in a blizzard!

 

It is hard for him to understand I want take out, when he wants to go to a restaurant. This has been an ongoing issue. I have 4 introverted children and 3 extroverted children. One of my children, an introverted adult dd is doing great in college, almost done....straight A's. She has a job with people...she is a swim coach/lifeguard, and also waitresses. She does not go out partying. That atmosphere sucks the life out of her. She also volunteers at a children's hospital. She will be doing her internship at a huge Boston hospital next year.....I would say her introversion helped her.

One of my children, an introverted ds is now with people every day due to his apprenticeship with his father. He is very intelligent....has 3 or 4 close friends whom he socialized with 2 or 3 times a month, is VERY close with me and his dad and siblings, and goes to a kickboxing class where he certainly does NOT hold back:D

 

Let your dh read this. God made your son a certain way, with certain strengths, weaknesses, desires, talents and bent. Different is not bad. It is useful in todays monochromatic society. I doubt anyone thinks of Bill Gates A's or Steve Jobs, or Einstein, or a host of other REALLY smart people in our lifetime A's extroverted....but, they had parents who encouraged them, made available all kinds of learning, and went with their bents.

 

I wish someone had done that for me. Instead I was quite tortured through high school....yet did great once I got to college. It took me until my forties to realize I didn't have a problem. I was just more happy and super charged working in my garden or painting a wall or studying, or doing the business's book keeping than going to birthday parties or shopping.....lol.

 

I think as long as your son has online classes where he needs to communicate with others, has a few friends that he enjoys his time with...and gets OUT of the house ...even to garden, kick a ball around, take a karate class...or swim....or work out in a gym....just something....where he doesn't need to engage deeply with other people, but is out there on his own terms, to keep him from getting depressed, he will be fine...and maybe BETTER than fine....

 

We all worry our kids will be weird( especially dads). Or unsocialized, or held back because of their quirks, yet I think it is the beauty of homeschooling...that our children's personhood can be respected and embraced. That they can be encouraged to make whatever it is they LOVE into their life's vocation...where it can be a blessing to themselves, their families and the society at large.

 

If your son is holed up because he is depressed or in fear, that is not introvertedness, that is illness. But, if he is like some of my kids, and he gets his energy from being alone studying, creating, innovating, designing, listening to his inner thoughts, experimenting etc., then I think he is doing great...and to shake that up at his age is dangerous business.

 

Hope it all works out, Heather. This raising kids thing is hard work.

:grouphug:

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I am an introvert who has absolutely no trouble spending time alone. Most of the time I prefer it that way.

 

Being in a large group of people only gives you more opportunity to feel left out and isolated. Public school (or private school or a large co-op or a sports team or any other activity that requires being around lots of people) will not necessarily make your ds feel more social but it could very well make him feel more alone.

 

jm.02

:iagree: Your dh needs a bit of an education on introverts. Sending your son to school won't be doing him any favors.

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I think even more than "lacking social skills" introversion is often perceived (by extroverts) as anti-social. As for why, I would say it is because the majority of people are extroverted and they just can't understand someone who is not.

 

I think you may need to find some books or audio discussions (whatever your husband would be more likely to read/follow) about different personality characteristics. He needs to understand that such characteristics are inherent and are not going to change, and that each has both positive and negative attributes. Attending school will never make an introvert into and extrovert, but it may introduce a lot of unnecessary stress into his life--and possibly cause him to withdraw even more from others because he truly NEEDS his own space.

 

Good luck!

Sarah

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Why does introvert seem to automatically equal "lacking social skills" to so many people?

 

My oldest ds is an introvert. Since birth he has been perfectly happy with his own company. He has never sought out nor had a huge number of friends, usually just one or two at a time.

 

He has always enjoyed playing by himself. Now at almost 14yo, he is perfectly content to spend hours by himself on the computer (his thing is making and editing short films with Adobe Aftereffects).

 

He does very well with online courses or subjects on DVD, etc. When we first arrived here we tried a full day of school for him. He was MISERABLE. Then we did a half day of school and it was better but not great. But his preference is at home, by himself, online courses.

 

Now, he does socialize in small doses in things that interest him with people he likes. But he doesn't "need" it and in fact, too much of it and he gets really crabby.

 

Social skills: he is perfectly fine. Yeah, he leans towards quirky but that is just who he is. He has unique interests from mainstream teenage boys (although he can play Call of Duty with the best of them).

 

Ok, my point... Finally...

 

Dh thinks we should put him in school full time next year for high school because he "needs" to be around other teens more. My son's response was "why?"

 

Dh is very social. Everybody loves him and he can make friends with anyone in 5 minutes no matter where we go. I am more like ds. I like people in small doses but deep down I am introvert and like lots of alone time.

 

So dh seems to think introvert means socially inept in some way and we need to "force" ds out of his shell by sending him to school all day. I say ds is who he is and we should let him be who is and there is nothing wrong with being an introvert and we should let him continue to homeschool.

 

What says the hive?

 

 

.

I come from a family of introverts. People were always forcing us to participate in groups. Ugh. It was awful. I think I learned how to "hide" better to avoid the badgering in the afternoon. In my experience being introverted is not something you can change by forcing social interaction.

 

Instead find other social introverts for him to interact with. I have a better time and I'm more interested in interacting with folks who have similar interests. Knitting, reading, gardening etc. a small gathering of folks who do these and I'm there. A church women's conference will see me scheduling to be out of town to avoid the questions, "Are you coming? Why didn't you go? Come, we can be roommates!"

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We're in a similar boat with friendships. Ds is quite content to have most of his friends be online - they play video games together. Dh thinks putting him into the local youth group will magically make him have friends. I don't know, maybe, but for an introvert it may backfire. Ds isn't unsocial, but he is content to watch and not participate. Due to issues I have I told dh is quite welcome to take ds to church. He has yet to do it.

 

I'm an introvert and high school only made me feel more alone. Putting ds in school is not an option for us. Dh is an extrovert and simply doesn't get some points of introversion.

 

I've tried to explain to dh that at 14 we can put ds in the opportunities to make friends, but we can't make the effort for him. It's not like when they are little and you can make a play date and throw a bucket of Lego at a group and made them get along.

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:grouphug: I hear you! I'm the introvert in the house. I have one introverted child and he gets me better than anyone else in the family.

 

I don't have anything to add to what the others have said. I agree with them. And, FWIW - when we met you, I didn't find Kyle (right? Or did I mix up your boys' names?) odd at all. I remember him as a very sweet and polite young man.

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I so understand. I'm an introvert. I love my alone time. DD (3.5) is following in my footsteps. DW is an EXTREME extrovert. She'd be happiest if she could just be in a crowd of people 24/7. It's too soon to tell with the twins yet, but my guess is that we have one of each with them. Which could mean that the introverts outnumber the extroverts in this house.

 

Anyhow, I'm really, really glad that DW and I spent a couple of months fascinated by Myers-briggs personality typing, because it really helped us to understand these differences, and to understand our massively different social needs (our other three myers-briggs components are identical, so while we seem very different, we are actually very similar in every way except introversion/extroversion).

 

Funnily enough, my parents are both introverts, and both VERY worried about DD's social skills. Which are pretty decent in an age-appropriate way. The fact that she'd prefer to play alone or with one other kid instead of in a huge crowd of crazy kid-ness does not denote a lack of social skills.

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So dh seems to think introvert means socially inept in some way and we need to "force" ds out of his shell by sending him to school all day. I say ds is who he is and we should let him be who is and there is nothing wrong with being an introvert and we should let him continue to homeschool.

 

What says the hive?

 

I noticed you said "force". I don't view it in a completely negative way, but I do think that if he is trying to force someone out of a shell, then it paints a picture. I am very sympathetic to his ideas, but I agree with you.

 

I don't have deep advice and you've gotten some good thoughts already. All I can offer is my own experience. (ETA: And that's just my family. I'm not saying it is anything like your family. Just offering what I imagine my parents would say for advice.) I had one parent that is as introverted as I am, the other very gregarious and social. For a time, both wanted to "force" me out of my shell.

 

While I wouldn't hinge a schooling decision on introversion, I think it is telling that both of my parents have expressed regret (decades later) that they did not homeschool me (among other things) even though it wasn't a realistic option for me. Now, there are a lot of reasons they wish they homeschooled me and it's not just because I'm extremely introverted but both of my parents have learned a lot about personality types. They appreciate and understand the differences more. We all have a healthy sense of how my introversion could have been dealt with differently and in a way that would not have partially contributed to me feeling like my introversion needed to be fixed. (I had plenty of other issues that did, in fact, need to be fixed! FWIW, my kids do not appear to be at all like I was at their age and we are homeschooling. But their introversion, or lack thereof, was not a huge factor in our decision.) This may have already been linked but here is an article about caring for an introvert.

 

Best wishes for your family, whatever the decision is. :)

Edited by Clairelise
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Ask your husband to read: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Won't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. It is very well researched and has sections dealing with mismatches between parents and children in terms of introversion/extroversion.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/dp/0307352145/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332594197&sr=8-1

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Ask your husband to read: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Won't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. It is very well researched and has sections dealing with mismatches between parents and children in terms of introversion/extroversion.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/dp/0307352145/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332594197&sr=8-1

 

Yes! This is THE book to read! Just came out late January of this year.

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Ask your husband to read: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Won't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. It is very well researched and has sections dealing with mismatches between parents and children in terms of introversion/extroversion.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/dp/0307352145/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332594197&sr=8-1

 

:iagree: Cain is the speaker in the TED talk several have already posted.

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I am an introvert who has absolutely no trouble spending time alone. Most of the time I prefer it that way.

 

Being in a large group of people only gives you more opportunity to feel left out and isolated. Public school (or private school or a large co-op or a sports team or any other activity that requires being around lots of people) will not necessarily make your ds feel more social but it could very well make him feel more alone.

 

jm.02

 

:iagree: absolutely. Ds20 is not an introvert, but he is different from others his age (in a ggod way) with very different interests, more mature. He communicates perfectly with adults but not as well with peers. Not sure why.

 

While he did make friends in school, school showed him how different he was, and I do believe it made him feel much more alone. It also showed him how ugly people can be. I would suspect it would be different in your country.

 

I felt really bad with ds at home. High school was the best time of my life and I wanted the same for him. Sadly, it was not a good time for him. :(. The girls all loved him and that is where he met his girlfriend of two years.

 

Yeah, I regret putting him in. I wish I enjoyed my time with him home longer.

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I am an introvert.

 

If I could change something about myself, it would be my ability to feel less awkward in social setting (and to remember people and names better, but they just don't matter, kwim ;))

 

School didn't help with this, I have trained myself to observe how more social people act and imitate them. Had I been adept at this early on it would have really helped me.

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Sometimes it's so hard for two people who are so different to understand each other. Maybe you could explain to your husband that putting your son in high school full time would be equally painful to forcing your husband to be away from people all the time. Keep supporting your son and help your husband to understand that one way is not better than another - just different.

 

This list of famous introverts might help:

 

http://theadventurouswriter.com/blog/famous-introverts-introverted-personality-types-traits/

 

Johnny Carson certainly didn't lack in social skills and wasn't hampered in his career by being an introvert. It probably was what contributed to him being such a phenomenally skilled interviewer, because he actually took the time to read the books the authors wrote. :001_smile:

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Yesterday my dd went to an auto shop to get new tires on her car. We've known the owner for years. He's not a close friend, but he and my dh and ds have gone hunting together and share similar interests. Well, apparently as the tires were being installed by one of his employees, he was in a chatty mood. He began asking dd what she thinks of homeschooling verses public school (this dd was homeschooled through 8th and went to high school). He started telling her how my ds is too quiet. When they went hunting, he tried talking to my ds and he ds never really added much to the conversation. It apparently irritated him. :confused: He said he thinks some kids need to be in public school to know how to socialize/communicate. Anyway, the whole thing kinda ticked me off. :glare: This is just how son is (and apparently dd explained that too). He's always been quiet. In fact, even when he talks I barely can hear him. He's not overly social, and neither was I when I was a teen. I don't think if he went to public school since Kindergarten that he'd be really any different than he is now. I don't think he's like this because of homeschooling. Anyway..........grrrrrr.....

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If you son enjoys working on the computer, I think he can have a great career without being a total "people person".

 

:iagree:

 

Two of the three computer jobs I ever had, I would go days at a time without speaking to anyone during the 8 hours I was at work. If I didn't have a meeting, I generally got to spend the whole day in my own head. There were folks who had lunch together every day, so I could have had the social interaction if I'd wanted it, but I generally chose to eat in my office where it was quiet.

 

I was one of many in my group who enjoyed this kind of alone time. Our supervisor would smile and shake her head about us introverts, but she and others at our workplace recognized that you get a lot of introverts in computer work.

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I think you can be introverted and still outgoing. Introverts simply get drained by being very social, while extroverts tend to get energy from a crowd. So being an introvert definitely doesn't equate to anti-social, it just means we prefer smaller groups or being alone. However, many of us are fine in larger social settings; it's just exhausting for us.

 

For myself personally, I love to talk and enjoy people. I just need to be with people I know well and prefer fairly small groups (otherwise it just is draining). I really dislike parties, small talk, large groups that lack a specific goal or direction (but I can work with Habitat fine, because it is a very specific task - if that makes sense. I also enjoy taking classes & have no problem in that type of setting).

 

 

Susan

 

ETA - in my own family I'm the biggest clown and the loudest of the 5. You would never know it if you didn't know me though!

Edited by susankenny
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Adventuremoms mentioned Myers-Briggs personality typing. If you have the opportunity, I think it can be great for a whole family to take a Myers-Briggs or similar personality trait evaluation--it really helps people see that the way they experience the world is not the only or "right" way. We naturally tend to assume that our experience is what is normal and people with different personality characteristics are somehow wrong or deficient--and then we want to fix them. Seeing how their traits fit into the overall scheme of normal characteristics--and how one person cannot have each trait but each one has unique strengths to contribute--can be very helpful.

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My son (18) is definitely an introvert! He went to public school his entire life. School WILL NOT help him become more social! If he is happy where he is, I would not force hiim to go to ps. My son has had maybe 3 good friends since elementary school and those are still his friends. He does not go out. He is a runner and he will go play basketball with those friends, but that is about it. I think that you are born with your personality and simply being around others will not change it.

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I agree with most people who have already replied.

 

I was & am a happy "social" person. I like talking, I like people etc. I take trips/holidays to see good friends & hang out with them.

 

But at the same time I am a big introvert. Meeting people I don't know, large groups etc, makes me shy & unhappy. I much prefer solitude, books, the computer and playing with my kids. For me it is a choice, not something I am stuck behind. If I wanted to, I could "play" social skills with the rest of them, have a horde of friends, constantly be on the phone or out chatting with mums, but it wouldn't be me. The thought of constantly talking to everyone, putting on airs & graces, being polite, etc, REALLY exhausts me. I'd much rather do crafts, cook or talk to my family. I did go through a period where I "became" the person my parents wanted me to be, to make them happy. And it did, and to them, I looked happy, apparently happiness includes lots of makeup and showers and constantly rushing out the door, and never being home :lol: But I was miserable. I wanted to be at home reading, talking to my parents (weird I know), watching TV, and only occassionally catching up with a good friend or two. During that time I was constantly at parties, smiling, laughing, and I would get home absolutely exhausted with a giant headache, only to get up and do it over again. After I moved out of their place, I was able to be myself again, and was much happier.

 

No matter what goes on, your first & only thought in this situation should be your child. Don't do what you "believe" is in his best interests unless you are really sure. Its best for both parents to sit down with the child and have a discussion (not an argument or debate) and try to put yourself in his shoes. If he's happy for the moment, then he's happy.

 

Have your DH try asking if theres anything he could help with that would make him happier. Maybe DH is seeing other kids and feeling his child is being "left out" and feels helpless and wants to do something. Try to make him understand its not necessarily good to be putting him in school just for social skills. Maybe all your son wants is a bigger desk and all Dad wants is to make him happy and bring out the best in him.

 

xxx

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:iagree: I am very introverted, yet have to communicate daily with STRANGERS!!I am quite outgoing, with no desire for a new best friend, or going to lunch with anyone EVER. It is my job. It exhausts me....completely.

 

:iagree: I am the same way if I am in an established job. I am also in several volunteer positions but it exhausts me too. But, interviewing for a new job would scare me to death. My shyness and being bullied kept me in my own little shell while growing up so I missed out on learning vital skills necessary to outshine the other applicants applying for a job or starting the right small talk in business/social situations. It was easier for me to hide out at home than tolerating the constant bullying.

 

As an introvert, I think that communication with strangers is the key. I don't interview well though I am highly qualified to perform the job skills. I just don't have that gift to gab that will wow the interviewer. Despite being an introvert does your son have the skills necessary to ace an interview or hold his own in the business world/social situations? If he can hold his own in those types of situations, then "don't fix what ain't broke". :)

Edited by Caledonia Academy
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Your husband needs an education on personality types. Introverts and extroverts get along great together if they just respect each other. I read a book about this once, but I can't remember the title - the one that tells you if you are "INTJ" or "ESTP" or whatever.

 

I went to school the "regular" way (for 21 years including law and business school) and still came out an EXTREME introvert on personality tests taken in my 20s. The only thing bad about being an introvert is wishing you weren't. I hated social interactions until a very extroverted friend (from another culture) helped me to see that it's OK to let the extroverts work the room! I like people, I just don't like breaking the ice and such. There are enough extroverts on the planet to keep social stuff moving. And besides, the real extroverts often don't even like each other - always stepping on each other's toes.

 

Despite being in the extreme introvert category, I've had a fun life and successful career. I worked in an accounting firm which was full of introverts earning six figures. I think the same could be said of many respected professions. So don't worry about that!

 

Your husband married an introvert. That ought to tell him something, no?

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:iagree: As an introvert, I think that communication with strangers is the key. I don't interview well though I am highly qualified to perform the job skills. I just don't have that gift to gab that will wow the interviewer. Despite being an introvert does your son have the skills necessary to ace an interview or hold his own in the business world/social situations? If he can hold his own in those types of situations, then "don't fix what ain't broke". :)

 

Exactly! I perform admirably at interviews, usually landing whatever job I go for. At the jobs I have had have all been customer service related. I worked in Real Estate (starting with being a receptionist, then admin and all the way upto property manager), I've worked in clothing & pet stores, offices, Animal Rescues. All of these include dealing with potentially volatile situations & defusing them, and daily contact with a lot of strangers. I actually love customer service jobs and interacting with people. BUT, that doesn't mean I am the same in my personal life. I prefer solitude, and the most contact I have "socially" now is with forums like these. They give me the dose of the real world I need, without constantly being interrupted by phones or drop-ins when I just want to read, relax and have quiet. I can go a week without actually "talking" I doesn't mean I can't talk :lol: I even have a youtube channel with a "stranger" I met on a forum, we talk over skype and play games :) I have a social life, I just do it my own way.

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It sounds to me like he needs to be home so that he can properly socialize in the other things of life that come up. A full day at school is going to drain him so much that he won't want to come out of his hole the rest of the day. I'd let him stay home so that he still likes to be around his family, go to church, and whatever else he may do with people.

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I think too many people mistake introverted for anti-social. That just isn't true, but it does seem to be a common misperception. My dh is an introvert. He dislikes groups of people, but one-to-one or very small groups he is very social, very funny and always a great listener.

 

I don't really have any advice for you, just empathy. Your son is just perfectly fine the way he is.

 

:iagree:

 

I think you can be introverted and still outgoing. Introverts simply get drained by being very social, while extroverts tend to get energy from a crowd. So being an introvert definitely doesn't equate to anti-social, it just means we prefer smaller groups or being alone. However, many of us are fine in larger social settings; it's just exhausting for us.

 

:iagree: Although I didn't enjoy school, I survived. I just find it very draining to be around other people all day.

 

I guess there is a difference in whether your dh just wants your ds exposed to more people, or is hoping to change his personality.

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I am a strong introvert and went through public school. I don't think it did anything to help me enjoy being around large groups. …

 

I have strong negative emotions (after 35 years) that continue to traumatize me to this day from social interactions in high school.

 

Here is a link to a recent TED talk on understanding introverts. She talks about the qualities introverts bring to society and we found it very interesting. Maybe it will bring some understanding to your DH.

 

 

 

This is excellant! Thanks for sharing.

 

I was listening to an interesting segment on All Things Considered a few weeks ago. Audie Cornish was talk to Susan Cain, the author of "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking". One of the things Ms. Cain mentioned - aside from the obvious (to us) part where "introvert" does not equal "anti-social" - is that the "culture of personality" we're currently living in is fairly recent; previously we lived in a "culture of character", when introvert was the more accepted personality type. …

 

The TED talk is by Susan Cain.

 

I am an introvert who has absolutely no trouble spending time alone. Most of the time I prefer it that way.

 

Being in a large group of people only gives you more opportunity to feel left out and isolated. Public school (or private school or a large co-op or a sports team or any other activity that requires being around lots of people) will not necessarily make your ds feel more social but it could very well make him feel more alone.

 

jm.02

 

:iagree:

 

Best wishes.

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Thank you for all the awesome insight!! I need to take all of your answers, condense them into one coherent paragraph, then give it to my dh to read.

 

I honestly think my dh does not "get" introverts so he is afraid that the fact that ds is not only alone a lot of the time but actually LIKES it that way means that there is something wrong with ds.

 

Ds is not depressed. In fact, since we took him back out of school he has been SO MUCH EASIER to get along with.

 

You were all correct...being in a social environment for 8 hours every day drained him to the breaking point so at night we got the worst of him.

 

I think the other thing that bothers dh (and me a little if I am being honest) is that we work at this incredible school with amazing teachers and great students and our ds is not "experiencing" high school at this incredible place. But he doesn't seem bothered by that, so I guess it shouldn't bother us.

 

And the idea mentioned here that groups sometimes MAKE introverts feel alone really got me. That is so true.

 

OK, off to watch that TED talk and look up that book.

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(I think this might be my first post here - I've been lurking for quite a while! :o)

 

Very strong introvert here! Just wanted to mention another book on introverts that specifically talks about kids - it's called "The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child: Helping Your Child Thrive in an Extroverted World":

http://www.amazon.com/The-Hidden-Gifts-Introverted-Child/dp/0761139877/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332606559&sr=8-1

 

I highly recommend it. :001_smile:

 

(ETA - Oops! Not my first post but my second. Guess I'm sliiiiiiiiightly more extroverted than I thought. ;))

Edited by Dicentra
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