Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Introvert vs Extrovert

We just returned from an amazing Friends Vacation. 
3 couples + 3 kids + 1 puppy in a beach house in North Wildwood, NJ.
We had a fantastic time. 
Sure, there were a lot of children meltdowns, 
and we were all exhausted by like 9pm, 
but it was great. 

One of the things that really struck me about our time was witnessing the differences in personality types between two extremes of introversion and extroversion. 

Zach (3) is most definitely an introvert with a capital I. 
Aaron (2) is most definitely an extrovert with a capital E.  

First scenario: hanging the house. 

At any one time, you could find Aaron in the dead center of action. 
If everyone was in the kitchen, he was too. 
Everyone on the couch, he was too. 
At one point, my friend Erin was on the stairs with her 1.5 year old, 
and I was standing talking to her. 
Aaron takes the iPad from the couch and walks over to sit with us on the stairs. 
He just wanted to be where the action was. 
(And I was so amused that I snapped a photo)

Zach, on the other hand, would most often gravitate towards his bedroom upstairs. 
And when down with everyone, he was pretty quiet and reserved. 
Not to say that extrovert kids can't be shy, 
or introvert kids can't be outgoing, 
but watching where the kids gravitated to day-after-day was just fascinating to me. 

Second scenario: the beach 

Of course Zach would join us in digging in the sand too, 
but overall he was most content wandering around the water's edge with just his dad. 

Aaron, same as before, was wherever the action is. 
Everyone in water? Aaron in water. 
Everyone on sand? Aaron on sand. 

Final scenario: Boardwalk 
(otherwise known as Aaron's dream come true) 

Aaron is energized. 
He's running around shouting, laughing, playing. 
At one point, he's running circles around Zach. 

And then, in the most classic introvert manner ever, 
Zach walks up to his mom and declares: 
"I need a break" 
He just couldn't deal with people anymore. 

Unfortunately, we were out on the Boardwalk, far far away from the townhome, 
so there was no break for Zach. 
And sure enough, just 15 minutes later while playing black-light-mini-golf, 
he had a total complete meltdown of epic proportion. 
His mom apologized profusely, of course, 
but we all knew there was no need to apologize. 
The poor kid was just drained, 
and at 3-years-old, there was no way else to express it. 

It goes without saying that Aaron also had meltdowns, just different scenarios. 
His biggest temper tantrum was when we made him get dressed, 
because he wanted to run around naked in the other guest rooms. 
I mean, what terrible parents are we that we demand clothing?!?!

I constantly think how if we have a second child, and he/she is an introvert, 
 I'll have to change so much about my parenting behavior. 
Accepting that my child may not be excited for endless parties. 
Being willing to walk away from a social situation because my child needs a break. 
And setting aside time on our crazy packed weekends for my child to recharge. 
These are all little mental notes that I make when I watch the Introvert-Extrovert interaction. 

Le't's just hope I remember them all when the times comes! 
(Not pregnant, btw)

1 comment:

  1. Pretty interesting little social experiment! Sometimes I think I have the twins pegged wrong... I used to think Clara was an extrovert, but her social anxiety issues make me think that might not be right. I still think Colby is an introvert, but it's interesting to me that he's perfectly happy to be in a group setting/around other people- he just won't necessarily be interacting with all of them or participating in group activities because he's too busy doing his own thing!