Skip to content

2 Introverts and 1 Extrovert – Living Together in a House

August 1, 2013

My daughter, Sophie, and I pulled up at the entrance to the park on a warm afternoon. I put the car in park and glanced around to see what awaited us at the playground. Staring momentarily at the masses of kids and families happily playing together, I immediately thought to myself, “It’s so crowded! Maybe we should come back later or find another park.”

Like a burst of energy from the back seat of my SUV, Sophie gleefully shouted, “Look at all the kids! I bet I’ll make so many new friends!” And on that note, she hoped out of the car and ran off to play.

I often describe that scenario when I’m asked about my daughter’s personality and I how I mesh with it. It perfectly sums up our personalities: I am an introvert, and my daughter is an extrovert.

I like being an introvert . From a very young age, I craved solitude and found so much joy finding ways to entertain myself with books, playing school, reading, and the like. As a kid I would entertaining myself for hours in my bedroom and I never saw anything wrong with that.

I still love being an introvert. I could go days at home, writing, and reading books, without talking to anyone except my dogs and cats. Dogs and cats, by the way, are great companions for introverts because they don’t talk back and they love you regardless. In fact, this post pretty much sums me up.

Bryan is also an introvert. Our perfect date is dinner and then spending hours in a bookstore. And we’re not browsing books together, mind you! Like me, Bryan is perfectly content going days at home reading and just being quiet. In fact, he needs it even more than me.

Sophie, on the other hand, is an extrovert. She is constantly talking, singing and expressing her every thought at the moment she has it. She is the one who will call out answers and interrupt conversations, and has to be reminded to wait her turn to talk (even among the three of us). When she is solving a problem or making a realization, she will talk out the entire thought-process and will get frustrated if she’s cut off before she finishes. She will also strike up a conversation with anyone anywhere, even complete strangers.

She is very social and craves interaction with others, whether it’s other kids or me. We could be out with people all day, arrive home, and Sophie will want to go to the park or play with more friends (Bryan and I would sooner hide in a cave).

Sophie expresses her emotions openly. When Sophie is sad or angry, she cries or yells. She’s not doing it to be immature; her instinct is simply to express emotion outwardly. This is a tough one, especially if teachers, or example, are introverts. They don’t understand the outward display of emotion and often mistake it for whining, crying wolf, or being a “cry baby.” I have to constantly remind myself of this because my instinct is too work out my emotions internally first. I’ll be honest when I say it’s been hard to keep myself from saying, “Stop crying!” (I still sometimes do it – I’m not perfect.)

I know Sophie’s extroverted qualities will serve her amazingly well as she grows. But this is where an introvert parent raising an extrovert is tough. I often find myself worn out by her need for interaction, with me or with other people. At those time, I will utilize our mutual love of movies to help us through.

I’m still not sure how two introverts created an extrovert. Only time will tell how far on the extrovert pendulum Sophie will swing. But in the meantime, we’re all learning new skills together. Sophie is learning that she needs to play by herself at times and give mommy a break, while I’m embracing the fact that Sophie NEEDS that playtime interaction with me. And so I will play school or tea party with her even if it’s not what I innately want to be doing. The bottom line is understanding is key, and we are all better people because of our differences.

For those of you that are introverts raising extroverted kids, what helps you manage? And for those of you extroverts raising introverts, tell me what that’s like! 

introverts extroverts

Thank you to my amazing photographer and designer friend, Courtney, for taking this beautiful shot. And yes, Sophie is holding a cafeteria tray.

Other posts you may like:

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    August 1, 2013 2:24 am

    That is a wonderful picture of the 3 of you! Sophie is such a happy person, loves being with others and can amuse herself for long periods at a time. She’s darn near perfect in her grandmother’s eyes. You and Bryan are great parents and have raised a beautiful child 🙂

  2. August 1, 2013 3:51 am

    Such a beautiful family! Sophie just radiates joy, oh how I love to see that in a child 🙂

    Hubbs is In, I am out, and we have 2 boys who are a mixture of us. Our solution, when they were little, was to have “no talk times” — times for quiet reading, Lego building, play-doh, etc otherwise Hubbs might implode w/o a quiet time. It worked. Both grew up being able to entertain themselves and play happily — one was happy in his room, coming out to see us every once in a while .. the other always wanted to be near us so he set up his train sets in the living room.

    They’re still that way. Both are great talkers but they’ve learned to be good listeners, too.

    Cheers! MJ

  3. August 1, 2013 4:07 am

    Great post and gorgeous photo. I’ve never really thought about this in terms of parenting.
    I’d say that I’m more of an extrovert, my husband more intro, the kids- a mixture– oldest son and daughter are extro and 2nd son more intro. But certainly as they grow the needs change as they enter school, join teams, and then enter the work force. Fun to think about!

  4. August 1, 2013 8:25 am

    What a fun photo of the three of you. I confess: I’m a Sophie. My sister was an introvert. Not sure how MY parents created two people SO different and on opposite ends of the scale.

  5. August 1, 2013 10:26 am

    Our house is interesting, too. Two extroverts, one introvert. My husband is the introvert. I’m not sure how he puts up with us. 🙂

  6. August 1, 2013 11:22 am

    My husband and I are both introverts and we have one introvert-almost-extrovert and one extrovert child. I love that my son is an extrovert because he is always willing to be the family ambassador! And my daughter has gotten more extroverted as she’s gotten older, but still is very happy to hunker down and watch TV with me when home. I love the I/E balance and living vicariously through them!

  7. August 1, 2013 1:10 pm

    Love this post and especially the picture! I am an introvert married to an extrovert. When we get home on a Saturday night from going out with another couple he wants to keep talking forever. Usually around the time we get in bed I pick up a book and say, “Okay. I’m done.” Then we both laugh (usually). My kids– I think we have two of each!

  8. August 11, 2013 9:00 am

    I especially loved this line of this post: “And we’re not browsing books together, mind you!”

    lol. I so get that.

    What a gorgeous photo of the three of you! Great post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: