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Let introverts live their lives in their quiet way, instead of trying to ‘change’ them to fit social norms of extroversion. Let them shine the way they want to.
Two days ago, I took my 9-year-old to a drawing competition. A person (a little known to her) who was standing next to us asked her, “Are you participating in the drawing competition?” She replied in a very low voice, shyly, “Yes”. Then he wished her, “All the best,” and here she smiled and moved closer to me. Instead of saying,”thank you,” she was looking for an escape.
She is like this, I know. Limited words, being a little shy, introvert and not comfortable with everyone!
Asking her to talk on the phone is another challenge. We really need to coax her to speak a few words at least to her grandparents or anyone else on the phone. She is always reluctant and we parents are blamed for her reserved nature.
People have a wrong perception, that she is highly unsocial, or confused. That she doesn’t know even basic things, and has no manners. What kind of child is she? Often this crown is bestowed on me as well; I am a mother you know!
Being an introvert doesn’t run in the DNA. I am the opposite – an extremely extroverted person. I can talk to anyone and adjust to a new environment easily. It’s not a difficult task for me. And she is just opposite to me. Silent, a solitude lover, bibliophile, artist… but as a mother I never tried to change her identity. Initially, I tried to encourage her to open up a little as per the surroundings, but soon, I dropped it!
I have come across many types of people. A mix of fun-loving, serious, extreme extroverts, loud, silent, submissive, assertive and introverts. Certainly, they are all different, and this is the way they are! Call it their nature, individuality, outlook or personality. But do they really need a change in their natural behaviour until it’s not harming others physically or emotionally?
Well, I never thought of it, and never tried to change anyone. After all, I am staying with an introvert child and I know you need a different perspective, and acceptance for these ‘less social people’ – the introverts.
Being an introvert is not a disease or a disorder which needs medication, or a nudge to make them extroverts. There is nothing wrong with introversion. It’s in their nature. Can someone change a nature of sunflower or a lotus? No, they cannot, and even if they want to hybrid these natural things it might go haywire.
Similarly, these things are very natural with the introverted child. They like solitude, are a little less chirpy, books are their best friends, and their expressions come out with limited words, art, doodling, or through writing.
No, they are not much expressive in an audible form. Often, they might enjoy listening to you, even though they might contribute very infrequently to the conversation. They are as normal as any extroverted child or person. They carry the same emotions like we do. They might hesitate to hug you and show their feelings, but they there is no dearth of love and compassion in them.
Why does the world want to change them or turn them into pseudo-extroverts? They don’t need any therapy or a “how to become an extrovert’’ session. Absolutely Not! Introverts can also be socially adept, and it’s not necessary that they carry a fear of the stage or any other activities on a social level. But they have their own style of living their life.
Let them be the way they want to – it is better we accept them the way they are. Let them enjoy their shy nature and the solitude they love. And let them be confident in the way they are, without trying to mold them as per societal norms. Let them shine in their own special way!
Published here earlier.
Image source: pixabay
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