Raising a teenager is a challenging and frustrating endeavour for most parents. For extroverted parents, knowing how to deal with an introverted teen can be especially confusing.
I recently had a conversation with an extroverted parent who has had a really hard time understanding her introverted son’s behavior. She was perplexed by the fact that he doesn’t enjoy the same activities that she enjoyed at his age, such as drinking, and going to parties. She also felt baffled by his way of handling conflict.
At first, she assumed that something was wrong with her son. This is a common reaction. A lot of extroverts misunderstand introverted behavior for three main reasons:
1. Introverts don’t tend to verbalize our needs and desires as often and as clearly as extroverts do. We only share a small portion of our thoughts and feelings in everyday conversation.
2. Extroversion is such a dominate personality type, that it has come to be accepted as the norm. Consequently, introverted behaviors, like spending a lot of time alone, and not talking very much, are viewed as strange.
3. Extroverts often project their own feelings and perceptions onto their introverted peers, forgetting that we see, feel, and react to things differently. For example, a party could feel fun and exciting for an extrovert, but overwhelming, and boring for an introvert.
Having said all of that, it’s easy to see why many extroverted parents have no clue how to deal with an introverted teenager. So, I thought I’d put together a few simple guidelines to help you better connect with your introverted teen.
We’ll come to you if you do this
If you’re experiencing conflicts or a disconnect with your introverted teen, the last thing you want to do is get all up in her face about it. This is probably the number one mistake that extroverts make when experiencing conflict with introverts. They get frustrated with our tendency to pull away and thus get more aggressive and pushy. This is the exact opposite of what you should do!
Most introverts hate conflict and will do almost anything to avoid it. We need time and space to mentally process the issue at hand before we can discuss things. Instead of pressing for immediate resolution, let your teen know that you’re available when she’s ready to talk. You can also add that you’ll check in at a certain time the next day, so they can anticipate the upcoming discussion. Then leave the kid alone for a while.
Accept them the way they are
Your introverted teen is not broken just because he or she doesn’t like the same activities you did growing up. Instead of focusing on your teen’s supposed deficiencies, accept him just as he is. Today. He will immediately be able to sense your acceptance and will feel happier and more secure around you. That is the secret to getting an introverted teen to open up. Then, when he does start to talk to you, all you have to do is this one simple thing …
Introverts get tired of extroverts talking AT them. Conversely, we really appreciate it when people give us the chance to talk about our passions. You might be thinking, “but my teenager never has anything to say”. This probably isn’t true. Most introverts can talk at length about topics that are of interest to them.
The reason why your teen is not opening up to you could be that you’re not asking him enough questions about the things that are important to him. Also, if you talk too fast and never pause during conversation, your teen will feel like he doesn’t have time to interject. Remember, introverts are not verbal processors. We need time to think before we speak.
I hope that was helpful. If you are a parent of an introverted teen, I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Also, if their are any introverted teens reading this, please do share your insights.
As an introverted teen (15 years old), I must say that I’m glad that my parents are introverts. My sister is an introvert too, and my brother is an ESTJ (it’s funny because my sister and I are INFPs).
That being said, my family is affected by the extrovert ideal. They got nothing against me being an introvert but they’re pissed off when I embrace my introversion.
My parents hate that my decisions are so strongly affected by my feelings. I kind of understand them: I have a 139 IQ so MAYBE I should use that in my decisions, but I just don’t want to. It would seem very cold to me.
Another thing is that they were a little angry when I felt identified with the INFPs and the HSPs. They hated the idea of me getting pigeonholed. I
helped them to get thtough that, though.
Plus. My family raise their eyebrows when I start running out of energy in a party and I wanna go home (after all, I’m the only HSP in the family)
Well, I got nothing against my family. After all, these things don’t happen usually. But when they happen, I can’t help but feel strongly affected.
Yeah I have the same thing, I do enjoy going out with them. But I do get bored and drained faster and then I just want to leave, and they think I’m being weird or hopefully not rude
im an introverted ad. and im crazy with friends and calm with parents i can be chill and people have to REALLY earn my trust to even know my name at times there is a lot know one knows about me and my mind is……. WELL i think about right wrong religon meaning and hiw i would do things..
I feel in the same way with my parents. I’m an HSP and INFP and my parents are extrovert and loud sometimes any high or aggressive tone drive me crazy and recently my relatives are coming a lot and I can’t take it anymore any change in the tone makes me cry a lot sometimes. I got more introvert I stay in my room more than 10 hours 🙁
They sometimes see me like (What is disturbing you ((Strange)).
Recently I started to understand our brains between the introvert, extrovert, sensitive and none sensitive is working differently.
I think the solution to finding another INFP HSP friends which so rare to understand us.
It’s hard especially with the HSP (can feel in every small change and the world don’t care )
HSP prefer quiet and peacfull enviroument 🙂
I am a fifteen year old female shy introvert. I think your advice is pretty much right on target. My parents are introverts, my brother is an extrovert, and most of my friends are extroverted as well. My parents unfortunately aren’t interested in the same things as I am, but they have figured out the right questions.
I am glad you emphasized acceptance, because it is hard. Today my mother told me a bunch of her friends and their children think I’m snobby. Which I might be, but I don’t think so.
My friends think something is wrong with me because I am quiet. And I agree with them sometimes. Like, I want to be better at communicating but I don’t want to change who I am. I hate how being reserved is mistaken for rudeness.
If someone doesn’t want to talk to me because they think I’m stuck up, that’s their problem. But when I get to college it will be my problem too because I won’t have any friends.
Anyways. My parents are doing a pretty good job. Not understanding your kids has been a problem for centuries. Listening is a HUGE deal. And being respectful.
Ugh. “Snobby”, that actually hurts my feelings a lot. Try not to look bored when you’re quiet but smile and look into their eyes when they’re talking. Though I’ve gotten that before and I don’t know why because I do talk to the people so they know I’m not mean, but sometimes I may be quiet. you seem like a nice person though 🙂 and I’ve been through the same things and I’m 17, it’s best to try and explain your temperament to them or just get new friends honestly. For some people it’s just hard to understand. Don’t let people label you, you know yourself best.
Thanks for sharing your insights, Simi. You offer some great advice. 🙂
I have an 18 year old daughter,who is an introvert. She goes to college and is doing very well. I am so worried abput her cause she has no friends. She always had a small group of friends in high school,but that fell apart as the group began to go their own way! Her and another girl remained friends but she has left state to attend school. My daughter spends alot of time with me, but i worry about her development. I mean being with an old lady cant be good for her all the time?! I can’t talk to her about making friends cause she gets upset! She is such a beautiful, kind, smart young lady! I dont want her to be lonely! I don’t know what to do to help her make friends, please advice.
I think your daughter will find friends, but it will take time to find new college friends she is comfortable sharing her feelings with and spending time with. I’m an introvert too, and I transferred from a large university to a small liberal arts college. This made a world of difference in my ability to find like-minded friends. If she is happy with her school, just enjoy your time with your daughter. Introverts find comfort in being around that one special person they connect with, and right now it’s you! Don’t push her to make friends, as she will think you feel something is wrong with her. Also, check out the tv show Gilmore Girls on Netflix. The mother is an extrovert and the daughter is a very happy introvert, who is always true to her heart.
I feel the same exact way! My 18 year old daughter is an introvert and I’m more of an introverted extravert. She tells me I’m too loud and talk too much. She has zero friends and started dating a punk bad boy (her fathers girlfriends son)
She wants to be like her sister and even hangs out with her sister and friends sometimes because she doesn’t keep in contact with her 2 friends! And hides behind her phone liking strangers posts. I tell her she will be very lonely if she doesn’t keep in touch w friends!
Cheryl – I am new here and may have missed my window to discuss this with you – but I have a 15 year old girl 9th grade and has what appears to me, NO friends -she has a small group of girls on the computer that live in other states but none that are right here to attend school functions, sleep overs, hanging out on Friday nights with. It is killing me. I am an extrovert and she is an extreme introvert. How did your daughter fare? Does she have friends now? What have you learned that maybe would help me help my girl?
I am an introvert and parent of an introvert and half & half. People sometimes mistake me as a snob or boring but I actually think we are all equals and have a fun character. My introvert is often considered anti social or weird. They just don’t understand or know the facts.
Thanks for this post Jessica. As an extrovert parent of an introverted 13 year old, I’m really struggling! I’ve been seeing things from my perspective, and unable to see them from hers, and the comments here are helping me understand how to handle this better. X
What should you do when you are carpooling a bunch of introverted 13 year old girls but you are an extroverted parent? It’s uncomfortable silence for 45 min. So we play the radio. It’s so hard (for me) that nobody is talking to each other…at all…ever. It feels rude, but I know now, it’s not. I’m so glad to read this , it’s great information and I will definitely be more understanding. However, as an extroverted parent, its very hard to understand and know what to do at all times. I would listen, but sometimes there is only one word answers or a nod of the head. ? Also, should I be taking the phone away when in school/sport groups? I don’t want her on the phone texting her one small group of friends when with team or other school friends but when I make her put it down she just sits there. ? Then I feel bad for taking her phone away. Any advice here is helpful!
I hear you! I’m an extroverted parent of a 16 yr old introverted, extremely sensitive daughter. It iincredibly difficult to know what to say or do because it’s seems I’m always upsetting her. Lately our interactions have been rough as she is short with us which to me is plain rudeness. She seems very angry most of the time and I just don’t know what to say or do anymore – help.
Rules that worked with my teen.
Don’t give up. Lose the ego and Stick it out. SHe is worth it. Concentrate on the person she can and will be. SHe is hard to handle but easy to manage because for her to get what she wants she must do what we want first.
Do not get so preoccupied with the child’s willful behavior that U ignore your own.
Listen and empathize keep advice to a minimum. Be a sounding board not a prescriber.
The Child will sense emotional availability. Then only will she come to you.
Make suggestions only once and don’t use money to buy goodwill.
We are More likely to get a response if you can help your child remember she likes you.
Repeat – Effective parenting is possible as the positive connection between me and child is now reestablished.
Attune to the teens mood. If you come on bubbly when she is pensive you ll be met by stone silence.
Parenting is possible only if you are your child’s secure base. If not then the gap will be filled in with a peer group.
U may Need to do repair work to get your child’s attachment base focused back on you. Do it.
Remember- the Hallmark of adolescence is resistance. It exercises their reasoning skills. Rather than trying to prevail or curtail it we need only strive for connection.
Be strong, consistent, loving gentle and focused. No exception: we don’t have second chances with them.
Be calm and don’t engage. Teens solve problems by lying because it’s a short cut. So be alert.
Nothing works better than available unintentional time.
Have a healthy sense of humor
Disagree but don’t criticize character.
The opposite of love is not hate it’s not giving a damn.
Parents who engage in power struggles with their willful child usually end up empowering the child’s insistence and opposition. The development of willfulness is not naturally endowed but is learned from experience of family life often from the very parents who wish such willfulness would subside. Good luck. It will take two years: but hey no effort then no relationship. And be aware about depression. They don’t tell parents they talk to peers.
My daughtet is 30 and we just cant get along. She is the introvert and when things are not her way or go wrong she has panic attacks and becomes disrespectful and blames me at that moment as to why something went wrong and then goes back in her mind of her up bringing in how wrong i was to her and i havent a clue about what she is talking about.
Had run into same with son and friends. I am somewhat in the middle personality wise, but always had been concerned that not talking will cause an explosion in the future. When this happens I jokingly say; “guys don’t stop making so much noise..” I will try to make/solicit a conversation. So, for example, if we are driving to drivers ed. I will ask about what they learned what to do in a specific situation etc. Usually, If I don’t circome to their silene, it works. I feel I have to make the effort, and it mostly works.
Me too, I am also finding my introvert teenage son enigmatic. Thanks for your tips. Sometimes extroverts find it difficult to accept they might be at fault. It’s good to see too that I might be part of the solution in helping our introvert/extrovert relationship.
A therapist had me read “The Sensitive Child”, a chapter in a book about challenging children. The advice that helped the most was to hold her at least 20 minutes each day. She is now 16. When she is angry and depressed and yelling and obviously hurting and on overload, I open my arms. It is always difficult to do. For both of us. But a silent hug, where I murmur “I love you.” Helps her. At first stiff, she eventually starts to relax. I let her cry and snot all over me. Eventually we start talking. Then laughing. Last night I held her for 90 minutes in a recliner. She had just come home from the High Honors dinner and was an emotional wreck, claiming it was all awful. Eventually she was able to talk about it – we came to the topic sideways, after talking about other things. We started using words to comment on our cat, who plopped down near us purring loudly and demanding pets. From there to other non-threatening, inconsequential things. Then I told her about my crazy day. And eventually she opened up about her evening. I was glad she was able to do so. Even to share some humor about the evening. It was 10:30 when she finally went to bed. She had left me a couple times during this process to sit on the couch, each time she started crying again, so I invited her back into my arms. Please note, I open my arms and she comes into them. I do not force a hug on her. I have done so only a few times when the situation was critical and she was curled up in a nonresponsive fetal position. I try to get to her before that occurs. I liken it to the build up of static electricity when you walk over a rug. Sensory overload. She needs to diffuse it. Or defrag. She can’t function when she is on overload. Since I am an extrovert, I get energy from other people, so I don’t get overwhelmed like she does. And, yes, it REALLY frustrates me that she can’t deal with it. I get angry and yell and she says I think she is a coward. So we aren’t perfect. But in the middle of my yelling and pushing and telling her all the things she needs to do and change, I remember that book and that I should give her a hug. I need to shut up and just be present for her. Hardest thing I do as a parent. And always works. Frankly, would much prefer that she do what I tell her to do, because, of course, I am always right! ?
I’m an introvert. My parents call me a ‘hermit’ when I stay in my room. Everyone in family are all ‘normal’ and I just like to play video games and watch videos in my room. I get bored at the fact that I have to go to a party. And I am only social at school with friends or friends who live near me.
Lol I am literally the only introvert in my family so extroversion is kind of the norm and they think i have a mental illness or there is something wrong with me. Honestly it really hurts so much. I am not a teen (i am 21) but my family is very loud and energetic. They always call me things like ‘hermit’ and ‘wallflower’ because I like to do everything alone.
This is how my teen is too, and at least I understand, as I am an introvert. I get it and like Extroverts, Introverts offer so much to this world. If Introverts are not pressured to, then just maybe they will share themselves and all their gifts with the world.
This sounds like my son, 14. He has friends at school and a few in the neighborhood but he would rather just hang out at home with us. I’m having a really hard time accepting that he is a introvert. He has his phone but doesn’t use it much for social media except to watch videos. I hope by reading thesebi can learn to be ok with my son just wanting to keep to himself once he isn’t at school.
“Introverts get tired of extroverts talking AT them.”
Yes exactly, I remember when I was younger (I’m 17). My mom used to say it’s not good to be introverted or reclusive, I didn’t understand what the word meant at the time. But the way she said it, it was almost felt like a curse word. Now, as I’ve gotten older she’s not talked about it. If I had to guess I’d say she’s an ambivert, because I also noticed she’s ok with having her alone time, but when out she is definitely a social butterfly. We’ve actually bonded over it, she likes her peace and quiet at home too. The only concern which she told me recently that explained why she was pushy was that she was worried that I wouldn’t have friends and that is important. There was a time I was hanging around a lot of bullyish extroverts as a freshman because I was in denial of who I am and honestly began to believe the people who said I was simply shy. I eventually decided to leave them but since they were the “populars” that meant I had to spend some time alone. Last year I just accepted who I am and my introversion (though I wasn’t aware what that was at the time) and I ended up having some of the best friends that year. So I believe teaching an introvert to acknowledge his/her strengths, and “to be a leader not a follower” as my mom has always taught me and they will do well. I have a lot of extrovert friends but they are the type of extroverts who don’t care and are just themselves so you also feel free to be yourself too.
I raised an introverted daughter who also has social phobias. Upon meeting with her for the first time, people think she’s spacey and checked-out, but she is whip-smart and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from a top U.S. university.
She decided to go visit the top US research facility for social anxiety and met with one of their psychologists twice for private counseling. This was a fantastic experience because she was able to see that introversion is good, and that she was doing all of the right things to deal with her phobias. For example, she should only work in jobs that that she is passionate about, even if it mean volunteering.
That was her ticket to getting a paid job with a boss who understood her and believed in her. He was willing to train her in an area she had never considered. Now she is well paid and very happy. The social phobias never disappear 100% but now they are easier to live with and she has intimate friends and a meaningful career.
Wow thank you so much for sharing your daughter’s story. I know there are a lot of introverts with social anxiety who will benefit from reading this. I find it very interesting that one of the things you highlighted was the importance of finding a job she was passionate about. I think this is important for everyone, but I didn’t know it was so crucial for people with social anxiety. Thanks for enlightening me!
Dear anonymous, thanks for your post. Do you mind sharing what US research facility for social anxiety your daughter attended for private counseling? I too have an adult daughter who is very bright and just graduated from a top university. Struggling with job search, but volunteering in an interesting medical specialty right now. I think she could benefit from meeting with a specialist to counsel her on social anxiety, although she hasn’t admitted outright that she has phobias.. Would appreciate your advice. Many thanks, extroverted and worried mom
Where is that research facility? I would love to get help for my daughter and I!
Hi, my introverted 18 year old son graduated Hs in June. Very proud that he stuck with getting his diploma. However, it was a long road. He wasn’t picked on throughout his years in school, but he never made close friendships. He is choosing not to go to school right now and decided he needs a job. That is great and I encourage him to do so. It is going to be a difficult thing to do since he has no work experience and he is extremely quiet. His voice is very monotone. I’ve tried to encourage him over the years, but now I am just scared for him. At this point… What can I do to help?
Hi Shelly. I think a lot of parents of introverted teens have similar concerns. The thing to remember is that your son, though he may be quiet, probably has a number of other gifts. Sure, being charismatic is great for customer service jobs, but there are plenty of other jobs where it doesn’t matter. What is your son passionate about? What are his strengths?
I’m an 18 year old female introvert and I am the only introvert in my family. My parents don’t understand my wanting to be alone and read all the time and my older brother (21) makes fun of me. My parents don’t know that I am an introvert and they try to push me into doing things I don’t want to do, like spend time with them or go to public places. To be honest, they most likely don’t even know what “introvert” means. They’ll probably think it’s an excuse for me to get out of things or call my a hypochondriac like they normally do. Is there anyone out there who can help me explain all this to my parents? Please??
I think you should just tell them the definition of an introvert, that you are drained by being with people. Explain what it’s like from your point of view. Have them understand what it’s like and then it’s up to them to accept. Was there any thing else I didn’t address?
I’m the mom of an introverted teen. She is a lovely, gentle, charming, funny girl, but has had a lot of trouble maintaining friendships. She opted to homeschool this year because school is draining her and her grades were terrible. She is much happier not going to school each day, but she is painfully lonely. She only has a few friends, and they’re online. She yearns for the kind of friends you see in the movies or read about in books – that best friend who truly gets it. My heart breaks for her when she sees people she thought were friends ignoring her on Facebook and social media. She tries to reach out but feels snubbed.
I really don’t know how to help her. We are moving to another state in 5 months and I truly want to help her find some friends who “get” her and treat her with the affection she deserves.
Thank you for this article – it really describes the beautiful, deep personality of an introvert.
Hi, it sounds like a tough situation. When I was in high school, I made most of my friends at church or on Students’ Council. There are plenty of teens who feel like they don’t fit in, so if she can reach out to some other outsiders she might have an easier time.
Hi. I’m just wondering if you still check this site/reply comment? I have a daughter – similar situation, and was just wondering how things were going for you both? We also moved towns 3 years ago – she is 16 1/2 now. If you are willing to talk please reply.
Wow. I am an extroverted parent who has been doing it pretty much all wrong with my introverted teen. (He’s 13). But he’s young enough that I can learn to do things differently, and hopefully salvage our relationship. I’m so glad I found this article!
I’m glad you found it helpful, Jenny. 🙂
I’m an extroverted parent too and just realized today that I have been doing everything wrong for my 15 year old son. I feel so bad about it because all I wanted to do was help him. I never truly understood what introversion is like, but after reading several articles, their comments and of course this one too, I have a much better understanding. I realize I have been trying to encourage my son to be and think like me, an extrovert, and ENFJ.
I just sat down and apologized to my son about my mistakes and how I realize now that what I was doing was not helping, but harming. I promised him I would respect his preferences and listen to him and his needs from now on. I pray that I can develop a better relationship with my son and that he will forgive and learn to trust me someday. Thank you so much for this article and all of the comments.
Hi Hauata. I can see why your parents would be confused. They simply don’t understand what an introvert is. It might help them to show them a couple of articles from this site, including this one: //introvertspring.com/resources/introvert-definition/
I get messages from parents who say that they read my emails and articles to understand their introverted teen better. xo
I’ve been taking my 17 year old son to a psychologist for about a year because I was concerned that he was spending too much time in his room, didn’t go to parties and didn’t socialize with friends outside of school. I had never heard of an Introvert until the psychologist mentioned it. I have read many articles and believe my son is an introvert. I feel so guilty for trying to change him instead of accepting him. I always felt embarrassed when he wouldn’t talk to,people I wanted him to talk to. Have I done any damage by taking him to a psychologist? I now understand him so much better..
It’s obvious that you care a great deal about your son and only wanted the best for him. I have heard from many parents who reacted similarly to the behavior of their very introverted children. The most important thing is that you let your son know that you understand him and you accept him unconditionally.
I’m an extrovert mom with an introvert 14 year old daughter. I discovered that she is definitely an introvert & definitely have struggled with her before and after knowing. I so want a better relationship with her and to see her happier so it pains me to no end that we don’t seem like it’s remotely close. I think this article was extremely helpful but I’d more suggestions on activities I could offer her. I can’t get her to church or clubs so finding similar personalities is difficult. Ideas? Art projects used to Capture her attention but not so much now.
Does your daughter have any friends? If so, it’s okay for your daughter to do less structured activities with one or two friends – sleepovers, dinners, and just ‘hanging out’. A lot of introverts struggle with intimacy later in life because they relied to heavily on structured group activities for socializing early on. Your daughter needs love, acceptance and companionship. The activities are just there to facilitate that.
I have a shy, introverted 14 year old son. He is very athletically talented in every sport but his personality gets in the way of his performance and it is easy to get into his head and then he just shuts down. How do we, at least, build his confidence so he can play to his fullest potential? We do everything that is described above already but he doesn’t ever want to make himself be the center of attention. He frustrates everyone because they all see his talents being wasted…any suggestions would be much appreciated.
I have an introvert son aged 19 and this article has been amazing to read. I’ve always felt guilty that maybe I caused him to be this way as I suffered from severe depression when he was young. I used to always be trying to encourage him to go out and party but he’s happiest in his room or with family. I do feel bad that maybe he is lonely but he’s a lovely young man and goes to college and works at weekends. Thank you for making me realise that this is his normality and I should just love and encourage him to be himself. X
I am the mom of a 16 year old introvert. My son is a fantastic student and gets great grades. He has told me he is an introvert. My husband and I and our 2 daughters are all extroverts. My son enjoys spending ALL his time alone and has no real friends. He does have “friends” at school but no one he hangs out with in the weekends. He plays his video games and is on his computer ALOT! My husband and I are considering having a visit to a phychologist but first I decided to look up info on introverts and I happened upon this website. It has opened my eyes to how his world is . I am now rethinking going to a phychologist and just really trying to embrace what an awesome kid I have while respecting his need to be alone. Thanks for a great article!!
So happy to hear that Francine! Glad you found me. 🙂 xxo
I am a mom to a 15.6 year old son who is also an introvert and your story sounds exactly like mine. My husband and I as well as our other two boys are extrovert and love and crave social encounters and gatherings. My oldest has his video games and when he’s on them, he comes alive. The folks on the other end of that screen are his friends. They are the ones that get him. I have always thought because he was alone all the time that he was depressed and lonely so I pushed and pushed for him to meet friends at school and of course this school year I forced him to join clubs. Get involved. Stop sitting around all alone. He’s been seeing a therapist for apprx 5 mos and things have improved somewhat but the big eye opener for my husband and I was yesterday when we had a visit with the same therapist and we discussed our son being so introverted. When I began to look into this today, it truly opened my eyes as to what we’ve been dealing with and seeing in him. I’ve wanted to take the video games for years and burn them but they are for sure his escape. It’s were he goes to energize and be in a world that is comforting to him.
Hey, I’m a fifteen year old and I’m pretty sure I’m an introvert. This article helped me see that it’s not wierd that I like being by myself. My parents and grandparents are constantly trying to get me to go out more and find more friends, even thought I think that I have enough good friends.
Any ideas on how I can get my parents to see this without being too obvious about it?
Hi Annelynn, perhaps you could show them this article. Or mention that you’ve been learning what an introvert is, and that it’s not what you thought. Then you could explain that an introvert is someone who needs more time alone to feel at their best. There is nothing wrong with it. It’s just a different personality type with different needs. 🙂
I’m 17 years old. I’m Introverted or have an Introverted personality, however my mom and her boyfriend are both strongly extroverted. This has caused many problem between us as after getting home from school my first reaction is to go to my room and spend some time to myself. As those who know about being Introverted I do this as after spending 8 hours around large crowds of people at high school I tend to find myself very worn out and like to have time to recharge. My mom and her boyfriend see this as odd as they constantly compare me to themselves when they were my age. The believe my behavior is weird and that there is something wrong with me. They constantly pressure and argue with me to go out more and hang out with more people. To make more friends, go out to parties, ext. I’ve tried to explain to them in the past why I behave this way with little luck. I plan on showing them a few links and websites, including this one, to better educated them about why I behave this way and how theirs nothing wrong with me, its the way I am. I accept me and all my Introverted ways and hope they will too one day.
Excellent! I am the extrovert parent trying to force my introvert daughter to meet more people and get out of her dorm room at college! I needed this!!
My 14 year old freshman son is an introvert. I guess he gets it from me. I am somewhat of an introvert as well. I understand where he is coming from. He has expressed lately that he is lonely. He values his alone time but feels like he is missing out on a lot of fun. I want to help him but don’t know where to turn. We don’t have the best communicative relationship (“Two introverts walk into a bar…”). Not sure where to turn. School guidance counselor? Therapist? Even though I empathize with his introversion, it pains me to see him unhappy.
Thanks for writing this. My 16 yr old daughter is super introverted and content to stay in her room and not socialize for the weekend. She is lucky enough to have some good friends who understand and call her their “pet cat”. I am considering having her take an etiquette class to learn some social skills for interviews and social obligations she can’t get out of. (i.e. eye contact, firm handshake, small talk starters) because I want her to be able to be comfortable and prepared in those settings if she has to be. Have you ever done anything like this, or have you ever struggled in situations like that?
I don’t know if I am an introvert or have social anxiety problems or both but I just have problems with hanging out with people outside of my family. I usually get my social interaction with my family and at work (which drains me). I occasionally hang out with some friends and recently just got comfortable with a couple of friends from my high school track and cross country team but we barely hang out. I use to not want to hang out and would force myself but now when they invite me it sounds fun (like my family, but sometimes I say no when I want to be alone). But today i have had a complete break down. I’ve been hanging out with a guy once and awhile and we have gone for ice cream and saw some movies. One time I forced myself but the first time I was fine because we seemed to have a lot in common. But then a week ago he invited me to go kayaking 5 days away. Of course I tell my mom and sister and they just keep asking about it and being like “ooo you are going out with ‘his name.'” It just makes me not want to go and they don’t understand that. It made me go over the edge and on the day we were suppose to go, i didn’t really want to go. My mom kept saying go you will have fun and that I wasn’t going to sit on my butt all day. It makes me feel so guilty and worthless and I cried for hours uncontrollably. I work, I have my nieces and family I’m around all the time, occasionally hang out with friends, what else does she want from me? She acts like I dont do anything. I don’t think I’m that bad, am I? I have something everyday almost and that is good enough for me. I told the guy and he even understands me (even though I still feel so guilty). It’s hard and frustrating but i find myself to be a very unique person and I don’t mind talking about that. I go to parties with my family and have fun,and we camp and go on four-wheeling trips. I stayed home and went to community college and after that, I plan to go to a 4 year college and want to go far away just to force myself to make friends. Im trying but I just don’t know if I try enough.
Thank you for your article and the on-going comments. My 16 yoa son has a story similar to so many of you. Your sharing is bringing about a revelation in how I can be a better parent. Keep it coming!!!
im a 14 years old introvert girl, my mom is an extrovert, my dad is an introvert, and my older sister was an introvert but she turned into anextrovert person in high school. Iam an out going introverted person and likes to read . Well im open up to my mom but im the opposite to my dad because he’s so quiet and rarely want to talk to me and my sister. My mom didnt want me to be an introvert like my dad and she dnt accept me as an introvert.
Hi Grace, thanks for sharing that! It was great to hear about your life as an innie teen. Sometimes parents worry that life will be harder for you as an introvert. And it sometimes is, but that is changing thankfully! 🙂
what tips can i share with my son who is a new high schooler (freshman) who is introverted, make new friends. like some of the other comments i read, he only has a couple of friends who are extroverts and very outgoing. when he is around those extroverted friends who are then amoung other students, they leave him behind (intentially because he is “boring” to them or unintential because he is easily forgotten). he has started the school year off on a very withdrawn foot, not having much to say. he has even sat alone to eat lunch. i know it may bother me more, but i can tell he is sadden and bothered by it now that he is among a lot more kids now. i hate to see him feel left out. i try my best to offer support, but on top of it all he is going through the teen years where he is even more withdrawn and wanting me to step back a bit so that he can be his own person. while i understand and am trying to give him space, i worry. from what he does say, i can tell he would like to make friends….and searching those friends out seems to be a challenge for him. thanks in advance for your direction!!
My dad hates me because i’m an introvert…
Every time he pushes me to talk to the girl sitting next to me in 8th period (nothing in common, chatterbox, and somewhat annoying.) ticks me off. While he DOSN’T see see talking to my two good friends at lunch, and the girl next to me at art (I like to draw).
It’s like he only sees the bad side of me and nothing else.
P.S. My dad was an marine so talking head is the worst idea imaginable. So don’t suggest me to “talk it out” It makes things worse. I’ve tried…
I am a father of a 16 yr old teen girl
I have known for a while that she is introverted and doesn’t like large crowds or social gatherings. My new partner of 4 yrs is extroverted and doesn’t understand why my daughter isn’t one for family dinners or outings. Hopefully this article will help.
My question is how do I approach my daughter about her personal laziness, appearance and general apathy towards everything? Is that a symptom of being an introvert? Or just a teen thing?
My partner and I are fighting because of it and I may have to one day choose between them.
Any advise would be helpful please
I am a mother of an introverted son. He is 16 years old and a junior in high school. I recently signed him up for an after school program that he was going along with for the most part but now there is a group project and he does not want to attend anymore. He has started saying things like he wish he was mute and that he wish that he could go into a coma for 3 years. Hearing things like this puts me on edge and I start to wonder if I have made a mistake by signing him up for this program. There is also a new teen class at our church that I have told him about trying to prepare him to attend. He would be going with his 15 year old brother that is not an introvert but they are good friends (at times). Am i pushing him to much?
I have a 13yr old Grandson he is the only child,he is a loner and I consider him to be a introvert.When I talk to him it’s almost impossible to talk to him,I ask questions and he answers ,I have to dig for conversation.How do I talk to him?I love him very much but can’t communicate with him.
I am from Albania and I am the mother of a teen boy…. he is 16 years old and although he was a very good student he left school.. after a lot of talks with him I think he has an introvert personality and has a social phobia.. as he does not feel well in public. I tried to seek help to a specialists but my son convinced that it’s not of any worth.. I don’t know what to do or how to help my son ..?
Sorry for the long post, but I need some suggestions or ideas…
I have a 16yr old daughter who is quiet, reserved, soft spoken, a homebody, and a little awkward at times. She has been playing volleyball since she was 11yrs old and loves it! She has always stayed on the court and naturally picked up setting. She now is the setter on her competitive club volleyball team that travels nationally to compete. She has been followed by some top D1 college volleyball programs and to date has received a couple offers as a sophomore. Even though she’s been a great player since she was young, the reoccurring comments to this very day are…”you need to talk”…”speak up”…”make eye contact”… “be more vocal”
“you’re the captain “…”you’re the quarterback of the team”…”you’re the leader”…”huddle the team”…”encourage your teammates”, etc. As a setter, quarterback, or captain or leader of any sort, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with those statements or expectations…it just goes with the territory. But for a person (whom after much research) that i discovered is a introvert, those are paralyzing statements. When she was younger, my husband and I didn’t think about it too much and just thought with maturity and confidence she would grow out of it. It is still a struggle for her and we are running out of ideas as to how to help her. Before the start of every season, we let her know that playing vball is up to her and if she doesn’t want to play she doesn’t have to. We’ve had many heart to heart conversations with her thru out the season to see what’s holding her back from being more vocal and a leader. We’ve asked, how can we help her. Her coaches have been great and kind of handle her with kids glove. They’ve been patient and modified her leadership role to make her more comfortable. She’s even seen a sports psychologist. They’ll come up with a plan, but she wouldn’t consistently follow thru on it. It might appear that she is stubborn or uninterested but I feel like there is a level of fear and anxiety about being a leader even though she’s been with the same group of girls for a few years. They adore her and look up to her because she is a hard worker, good setter, and consistent. She has told me, that she goes blank and the words just won’t come out and then she feels stupid. She gets stone faced, teary eyed and cries sometimes when we sit her down to discuss it. We’ve told her if it’s too much pressure, she doesn’t have to play club and just play in high school if she wants to. She states she wants to play in college, but is just having a hard time being vocal and a leader. College coaches wonder if she can lead their team. It doesn’t matter to us if she plays vb in college or not nor if she goes to a small or large school, we just want her to be happy, comfortable, and confident in whatever decision she makes. It’s too late in the game to change positions nor does she want to change positions. Playing on a lower team would not be competitive enough for her and not worth the expense, time, and energy. I just don’t know what else to say or do. I’ve verbalized my concerns to her, the coaches, and the sports psychologist, but now that I’m discovering that she is possibly an introvert, I welcome any suggestions or ideas. Thanks in advance!!
I am extraverted the same with my first two daughters, then I had a 3rd daughter and I knew as a baby she was different then what I was use to. I also have to say this child has a different father than my first two daughters, and my youngest daughter is just like her father. I don’t mind that she is different, I love that about her, but her father would tell her “we don’t like people do we”? As she was growing up, and now she says she don’t want people talking to her or bothering with her. I want her to have fun, inter-act with all kinds of people, be herself but learn from people too. I can’t get her to come out of her room, and when I give her things to do, IF she does it she’s right back in her room again. If I tell her to do something she just don’t want to do she rolls her eyes and stomps to her room. She LOVES dancing and is even going to a school for dance, but now she don’t want to dance any more and I’m just worried. I wonder about drugs but she’s never out of the house except for school. I am planning on taking her to different things and doing things together but sometimes she says things that hurt my feelings or just wants to do what SHE wants, no compromise, and I feel like why keep trying if I can’t make her happy? Could it be that she’s just a spoiled brat? Her father has given her more than she needs in her life, but I don’t do that unless I think she deserves it. I don’t make the $ her father does. She is very intelligent too but don’t try as hard as she could for good grades. If she tryed harder she would ALWAYS have straight As. But I don’t get on her too much about that, just try to get her to understand what she COULD be. Idk. Maybe it’s just not that she’s introverted, maybe she has something else? I just don’t want her miss diognosed with depression. Anyone out there have any ideas or suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Hello I’m hoping to Any suggestions for parenting, 17 yr old recent graduate? In a transitional phase. Not going to college just yet. Kind of lost without the daily routine. Oh, and of course doesn’t have a lot of friends he’ll reach out to.