First of all, make sure you’ve got one. This is a pretty handy checklist for those that aren’t sure.
The Munchkin is not 100% introverted, and there are actually probably very few who could be described that way. But he falls just on the majority side of introverted, and that’s good enough for me.
First of all, know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert, even as our society rather absurdly celebrates the extroverted, who apparently are always ready to flip over tables and dance drunkenly on camera.
I try to keep his introvert tendencies in mind when we go places and not force him to do things he doesn’t want to do. But, that doesn’t mean I will allow him to never have to address or speak to people, which I think is an important life skill. Well, to do it politely and efficiently, anyway.
So a while ago when he wanted to purchase something with his own money, I made him go to the cash register and pay for it himself. He freaked out. I informed him that the people working at the store were nice people who were not going to bite his head off, in fact, quite the opposite. He continued to freak. We struck a bargain where I stood beside him the entire time, but he was the main contact with the employee.
It worked well, and since then he has somewhat overcome his fear of cash registers, and has no issues with paying for things by himself.
Wait until he learns I want him to join Toastmasters.
I would classify myself as someone who used to be more introverted, but somehow became extroverted. First my Dad helped me out of my shell when I was young and too terrified to speak to adults I didn’t know well, and then my husband (a bona fide extrovert) pushed me over the edge into extrovert territory. Or at least someone who is able to fool people into thinking I’m an extrovert. Pretty soon I was talking to anybody and everybody, and soon found myself able to easily conduct employee trainings for large groups of people with aplomb.
So I know the path my son walks, and I’m here to help guide him through it. I don’t expect him to be an extrovert any time soon, but if I can get him to the point where he doesn’t freeze at the thought of talking to strangers (i.e. employees in a store) and can carry on a brief but interesting conversation with almost anybody, then I will consider my job to be done.
If he grows up and would rather stay home and read rather than go out clubbing, then I might just thank my lucky stars.