Jun 21 2011

Are You An Introvert & Proud To Be One?




Our April ~ May Bi-Monthly Article :
Are You An Introvert & Proud To Be One?

On The Matter of

The Hidden Gifts Of Being Introverted . . .

by AfraShe Asungi, LCSW, MSW, MFA ~ April ~ May, 2011

Having had to learn to SheCreate™ a viable lifestyle that jived with and enhanced my own unique gift of introverted “being” very early in my own life [as I imagine others have also had to do]; upon coming across this topic on a peer chat site, I was clear that this was a topic VERY close to my own heart. And as such, an area of specialty that has piqued my interest from a very personal place, since it was the first time I had encountered this particular Inner Character Strength identified as a social and transpersonal “gift” rather than as a social “burden”.

While I am clear about the ways that my gift has guided my life path, I have also found that others [who were extraverts]  were forever attempting to “convert” me into a more public lifestyle. The following articles will offer insight to all and any who are family, friend or colleague of my co-introverts, that they may gain greater insight in how to encourage and appreciate the gifts of being a more inwardly-centered being.  I’m also including the web address of the original article source . . . Enjoy . . .


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‘Hidden Gifts Of Introverted Child’ ~ Insight And Advice For Parents Of Introverts

NEW YORK, March 6, 2006  by Polly Leider

Having an introverted child can be a cause for concern. Some parents worry that their kids will be left behind because of a lack of social skills. Author, Dr. Laney offers advice in her new book.

Author Marti Olsen Laney on The Early Show  (CBS/ EARLY SHOW)

(CBS)  Having an introverted child in today’s fast-paced world can be a cause for concern. Often misunderstood as shy, rather than introverted, this personality type requires a little special attention and understanding.

A new book, “The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child,” offers insight into the special talents of introverts and offers parents some valuable advice. Author Marti Olsen Laney joined The Early Show on Monday to discuss the book with co-anchor Rene Syler.

Laney outlined some of the characteristics shared by most introverts.

  • They enter new situations slowly
  • They speak softly and sometimes hunt for words
  • They need time alone to re-charge
  • They have one or two good friends

Olsen also emphasizes that introverted children should not be confused with shy children.

“Shyness is really when your threat system is easily triggered so that you feel afraid or threatened by people or situations,” she explained. “So either extroverts or introverts could be shy and, actually, more extroverts are shy.”

What separates introverts from extraverts is their reaction to social situations. While extraverts thrive on social interaction, introverts are exactly the opposite. “Everything they do in the outside world takes energy, drains energy,” Olsen said. “For extroverted kids, everything they do in the outside world gives them energy. That makes a big difference for people.”

Olsen offered tips for how parents can help their introverted children thrive and make the most of their hidden talents.

Don’t try to turn your introverted child into an extrovert
“They are hard-wired, their brain and nervous system, so that they have a certain temperament and it affects a lot more areas than just socializing,” she said. That includes “sleeping, eating, how they do homework, how they learn, how they behave in school.”

Speak like an introvert
“Most parents will be extroverted, since there are many more extroverts than introverts,” Olsen pointed out. “It’s important for them to learn to slow down, pace, have silences, don’t finish their sentences don’t fill in words and listen a lot more. And don’t expect them to talk after school, because they are pooped.”

Be prepared for the party
“A party is very over-stimulating for them. Even if it’s a good friend, you can expect them to need to ease into the party, stand and observe,” said Olsen. “Any kind of social event, they’ll need to stand on the sidelines and observe so they can kind of get their energy calmed down, and it’s really good to have them rested and be sure they have protein beforehand.”


An Excerpt From, “Introverted Child” by Marti Olsen Laney

March 2006, By Polly Leider

“Helping Your Innie Child Reap Introvert Advantages

“Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it.” ~ Doug Larson

Because of the way they’re hardwired, innie children are primed to enjoy the following twelve advantages. Parents can give these children a helping hand so that they can understand and use their potential strengths and brainpower. If they can embrace these advantages and learn to use them in positive ways, introverted children will be well on their way to forging a fulfilling life path.

1. Introverts Have Rich Inner Lives

“Do you believe in God?” seven-year-old Adam asks me when we meet. He goes on to say, “My family isn’t religious, but my friend Kesah goes to church every Sunday.” I respond to his interest in religion and say, “Yes, I do. Sounds like you are wondering about God and what other people believe. People all over the world have many different religious beliefs.” “I’m still thinking about it,” he says. I can almost see the little wheels turning inside his head. “I’m sure you will decide what you believe,” I add. 

Introverted children know they have an interior world. It is ever present and alive for them. Rather than constantly turning to others, they rely on their interior resources to guide them. In their private garden away from the material world they concentrate and puzzle out complex and intricate thoughts and feelings. This allows them to engage with the deeper aspects of life.

They want to know what things mean, why something matters. They’re not afraid of the big questions. They can step outside themselves and reflect on their own behavior. As with many things, it is a double-edged sword: This interiority gives them rich inner resources, but it can also lead to feeling isolated.

Innie children want to understand themselves and those around them, to know what makes people tick. They are observers and watch other kids. They are less vulnerable to peer pressure since their own internal thoughts and feelings serve as a base for them. They make decisions based on their own values and standards rather than running with the pack.

It’s important for parents and other key people in introverts’ lives to help them express their thoughts and ideas. Without the experience of talking with others, innies won’t learn how to value, trust, and manage their interiority.

Without enough interaction with similar-minded children or adults they begin to think that other kids don’t share their experiences, that the tenor of their private thoughts separates them from others. Innie children will feel less alone if they are given the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings with other children. When this happens, everybody benefits.

Cherish your innie’s interiority. Chat with [her] about your thoughts and feelings. Ask for [her] responses and ideas, making sure to pause so s/he has enough breathing room to answer. Recognize that innies care about purpose, meaning, and feeling connected to others.

Find ways for [her] to contribute by volunteering in an area of interest, hook [her] up with a pen pal in another country, or encourage [her] to give to a charity in some way that is comfortable to [her]. If you aren’t religious, you can find a mentor or religious person for [her] to talk to about [her] spiritual thoughts and questions. Help [her] make sense of all s/he notices, affirm [her]  appreciation of nature, reduce [her] sense of isolation, and give [her] a means of directing [her] compassion.”

© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Much thanks to CBS News for the original post at:

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What Are Typical Indicators Of Being An Introvert?

Dr. Laney offers some pretty useful information along with a Self-Assessment that can help you to determine whether you or your loved ones are introverts: **

We all use both our introverted and extroverted skills, but we are hard wired to be more one than the other. Look at the lists below and determine which one feels more like YOU!  Not every aspect will fit exactly for you because we are all unique. If you don’t feel like you fit one side more than the other, even by 51% to 49%, then ask yourself this question:

If there is an emergency do you tend to stand still and feel somewhat shutdown or in slow motion? If you have a standstill reaction to stress more often, then you are probably an introvert.

In a crisis do you tend to move your body immediately and feel like taking action, maybe without pausing to think? Then you are probably an extrovert if you react with movement. Under stress we can experience our innate temperament.

Look over the two lists and think about how you ARE, not as you’d like to be. If your still uncertain, as a last ditch effort, ask someone you trust and who is honest to read these and suggest which one sounds more like you.




  • Enjoy time alone
  • Consider only deep relationships as friends
  • Feel drained after outside activities, even if they were fun
  • Good listener
  • Appear calm and self-contained
  • Think then speak or act


  • Like to be in the thick of things
  • Relish variety
  • Know lots of people, considers lots of people friends
  • Enjoy chit-chatting, even to strangers
  • Feel stoked after activity
  • Speak or act then think OR think while speaking

A Self-Assessment for Introverts

** Much thanks to Dr. Laney for the original post ~ Excerpted from: http://www.theintrovertadvantage.com/being.html

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Introverts need to recharge their energy and take care of their unique temperament in many areas of their lives. Check these tips out.


  • Take short rests before you are tired
  • Write in time-outs on your daily calendar
  • Include nature every day, sit in the yard, go for a walk, look at trees or set a soothing outdoor picture on your table
  • Create down time to store energy before any big event
  • Remind yourself its OK to be introverted

At Work

  • Since you may not speak in meetings, write a memo to co-workers/boss afterward with your comments and suggestions
  • Tell your boss you need to think before you can discuss your thoughts
  • Say thank you if someone gives you a compliment
  • Include yourself by coming early to meetings to help set up or clean up afterwards
  • Say hello to people, smile and say thank you to presenters at the end of meetings


  • Leave notes for those you care about
  • Talk about your differences based on your temperaments
  • Discuss how to clear up conflicts
  • You have the capacity to enjoy private time
  • Plan for couple and friend time


  • Choose which events you want to attend, it’s OK to decline invitations
  • Remind yourself you may feel overstimulated at social gatherings and that is OK
  • Stay on the side-lines and observe before you enter festive occasions
  • Decide when you will arrive and leave, you can always stay longer if you feel peppy enough
  • Wear an interesting piece of jewelry or tie (usually guys) as a conversation starter

Dealing with Introverted Children

  • Explain introverted qualities to your child
  • Never correct your child in front of others
  • Let them watch before entering an activity
  • Encourage breaks to recharge
  • Realize they need time to think before responding to questions

The TOP 10 Advantages of Being An Introvert, According to Dr. Laney, Are:

Advantages Introverts Possess:

10) Work Well With Others, Especially In One-to-One Relationships

9) Maintain Long-Term Friendships

8) Flexible

7) Independent

6) Strong Ability To Concentrate

5) Self-Reflective

4) Responsible

3) Creative, Out-of-the-Box thinking

2) Analytical Skills That Integrate Complexity

1) Studious and Smart

** Much thanks to Dr. Laney for the original post ~ Excerpted from: http://www.theintrovertadvantage.com/being.html




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