1. Is energized by time alone in her room or favorite place.
2. Concentrates deeply if a book or project interests him.
3. Dislikes being interrupted when speaking or involved in
a project; rarely interrupts others.
4. Prefers to observe for a while before joining in games.
5. Becomes irritable in crowded places or if she shares a
space with others for long periods of time, particularly if
she is tired.
6. Listens attentively with good eye contact, but his glance
tends to drift away when speaking.
7. Keeps her face and body still or shows little expression,
especially if tired or in a large group of children.
8. Sometimes has delayed, hesitant, or low-key responses.
9. Needs time to think before answering a question and may
need to rehearse before speaking out.
10. Listens more than he talks, unless the topic is of personal
interest. In this case, he may talk up a storm, especially
if he's in a comfortable setting.
11. Doesn't boast about her knowledge or achievements; she
may understand more than she lets on.
12. Feels overwhelmed, rather than energized, by an activity-filled
13. Sometimes has word-retrieval problems and often speaks
in a quiet voice, marked by pauses.
14. Is highly tuned into her own perceptions, ideas, thoughts,
feelings, and reactions.
15. Doesn't like to be the center of attention.
16. Can seem unpredictable: chatty at home or in other comfortable
settings and subdued elsewhere; energized one day, low energy
17. May be regarded by classmates as quiet, calm, withdrawn,
reserved, or aloof.
18. Is observant and sometimes picks up on details others
-- even adults -- don't see.
19. Likes consistency, and does best when given ample transition
20. Feels anxious when presented with deadlines for a project
or a test.
21. May "zone out" if too much is going on, or when
watching TV or a video.
22. Has one or two close friends, but may know lots of kids.
23. Has an affinity for creative expression and quiet, imaginative
24. Feels drained after parties or group activities, even
when she enjoyed them.
the True answers. If you tally between:
17-24 Trues: Your child is introverted. It
is extremely important to understand how to help keep his
energy flowing. He will need to conserve energy and spend
it wisely in the outside world, and likely will need your
help learning to do this. It's also important to show that
you understand and accept his temperament.
Trues: Your child falls in the middle range. Like
being able to use her right and left hand, your child is both
introverted and extroverted. She may feel torn between needing
to be alone and wanting to be out and about. Try to assess
when she feels energized by outside activities and when she
needs quiet time by herself to recharge, so that you can help
her develop a schedule that is best for her.
Trues: Your child is extroverted. He is energized
by people, activities, and things. Try to keep him busy, but
also help teach him to value downtime and reflection.
still not sure if the child (or any person) you are thinking
about is an innie or an outie, ask yourself: Does he need
to reduce stimulation by creating time alone (or with a special
person) or to reflect in quiet in order to feel refreshed
most of the time? If so, he is more introverted. It's not
that innies don't enjoy being with people; it's just that
they need time alone. Likewise, if a person tends to withdraw
under stress, he is probably more introverted. If your child
is generally peppy and craves outside activity with or without
people most of the time, she is probably more extroverted.
from The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child: Helping Your
Child Thrive in an Extroverted World by Marti Olsen Laney,
Psy.D. Copyright © 2005 Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D. Published
by Workman Publishing; December 2005;$14.95US/$19.95CAN; 0-7611-3524-3.
Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D., is the author of The
Introvert Advantage. A marriage and family therapist
based in Portland, Oregon, she is one of America's foremost
authorities on introversion. Please visit her website at www.theintrovertadvantage.com.