Posts tagged with "Introverted"

Babies show introversion at four months old

April 23, 2019

Whether you are an extrovert or an introvert, chances are that you already know you were born that way. But did you know that, according to Dr. Marti Olsen Laney, author of “The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child,”babies begin showing signs of introversion or extroversion around four months of age—and they generally remain true to their nature as adults?

Thus, once an introvert, always an introvert, Psychology Today reports in a story on Dr. Laney’s work.

So what are introverts like as kids? No two introverts are exactly alike, but introverted children tend to share some characteristics—and their tendency to keep to themselves initially may worry their parents.

Indeed, Dr. Laney says, introverted children are often misunderstood. Engaged by their interior world, they’re often regarded as aloof. Easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation, they can be seen as unmotivated. Content with just one or two close friends, they may be perceived as unpopular.

Parents fret that they are unhappy and maladjusted. But the truth is quite different: Introverted children are creative problem solvers. Introverted children love to learn. Introverted children have a high EQ (emotional IQ) and are in touch with their feelings. They take time to stop and smell the roses, and they enjoy their own company. They are dependable, persistent, flexible, and lack vanity.

Overall, they tend to share seven strong psychological characteristics—among them:

  1. They have a vivid inner world. It’s always alive and present for them. They rely on their inner resources rather than constantly turning to other people for support and guidance. “In their private garden away from the material world they concentrate and puzzle out complex and intricate thoughts and feelings,” writes Dr. Laney. Introverted children enjoy imaginative play and they prefer playing alone–or with just one or two other children. They often spend time in their own room with the door closed, doing solitary things like reading, drawing, or playing computer games.
  2. They engage with the deeper aspects of life. Introverted children are not afraid of the big questions. They want to know why something is the way it is or what it means on a deeper level. Astonishingly, even at a young age, many of them can step outside themselves and reflect on their own behavior. Often, introverted children want to understand themselves—and everyone and everything around them. They might wonder, what makes this person tick?
  3. They observe first; act, later. Generally, they prefer to watch games or activities before joining in. Sometimes appearing hesitant and cautious, they stand back from the action and enter new situations slowly. They may be more energetic and talkative at home where they feel more comfortable.
  4. They make decisions based on their own values. Their thoughts and feelings anchor them inwardly, so they make decisions based on their own standards rather than following the crowd. This can be an extremely positive aspect of their nature because it means they’re less vulnerable to peer pressure. They don’t do things just to fit in.
  5. Quiet initially, it can take time for their real personalities to come out.  Just like introverted adults, introverted kids warm up to new people slowly. They may be quiet and reserved when you first meet them, but as they become more comfortable with you, they come alive. Like introverted adults, introverted kids are generally good listeners—paying attention and remembering what the other person says. They may speak softly, occasionally pause to search for words, and stop talking if interrupted. They may look away when speaking to gather their thoughts but make eye contact when listening.
  6. They struggle in group settings. Sadly, the standards of being outgoing and assertive have been woven into every school and institution that an introverted child encounters. At a younger and younger age, children are spending time in group daycare and preschool. When they begin formal schooling, they may spend 6-7 hours a day with up to 30 other children, all the while being encouraged to participate and work in groups. This is challenging for introverts, who do better at home during their early years and adapt better to group settings as they grow older, writes Dr. Laney.
  7. They socialize differently than extroverts. They may have just one or two close friends and count everyone else as an acquaintance because introverts seek depth in relationships rather than breadth. They probably won’t spend as much time socializing as extroverted kids, and they’ll need to go off on their own after a while to recharge their energy. Like introverted adults, introverted kids have limited social energy. Too much time spent socializing might result in tears, meltdowns, and bad moods.

If you’re the parent of an introverted child, the best thing you can do for your child, Psychology Today reports,  is to honor his or her temperament. Help your child understand why they feel tired and cranky after socializing. Teach them that there’s nothing wrong with needing to spend time alone.

Above all, don’t ever let them think there’s something wrong with them because they’re introverted. When we embrace introverted kids for who they are, we give them the confidence they need to fully show up in the world.

Research contact: @PsychToday

The unkindest cut: Why some people hate hair salons

February 5, 2019

A friend told me recently that she hates going to the hairdresser. She is an introvert and doesn’t feel comfortable engaging in the small talk required; nor does she appreciate the aggressively hands-on, eye-to-eye aspects of the encounter.

What’s more, she has been insulted twice by stylists: Once, a hairdresser stage-whispered to the professional working at the next chair, “Finally, she’s growing those bangs out!”  Another time, a stylist picked up a lock of hair at the side of her head and reproved her loudly enough for everyone in the salon to hear, saying, “Do you see how your hair is thinning in this area?”

“How was I supposed to respond to those remarks, except by feeling shamed and even a little bit guilty?” she asked me.

She did not return to those stylists—or to their salons. But, clearly, what was supposed to be a relaxing, treat-yourself experience had turned into a distressing, even mortifying, time on the hot seat.

And certainly, she’s not the only one who enters a salon with timidity, unsure how the next session will go.

An article posted on the website Mic addressed this issue, noting that there are several major reasons why both women and men might avoid the hair parlor or the barbershop—among them:.

  • Being forced to answer invasive questions: When it comes to women’s hair, a drastic cut may be interpreted as the result of a dramatic life change. But how we wear our hair and why we wear it that way is no one’s business but our own. “When I got my hair cut short the first time, I got so many questions about [whether] I was getting it cut for “any reason” (this never happened before). Like what do you expect me to say?” a reader told Mic, noting that the questions seemed intrusive and she didn’t want to answer them.
  • When your stylist is straight-up rude: The comments that are made when a customer presents his or her body to a professional, even if it’s just for a haircut, can be borderline offensive. Molly, a 27-year-old who suffers from  eczema flare-ups, told Mic, “When I was in middle school I had a hairdresser point out my dry and itchy scalp each time I saw her. She rudely addressed it, when, clearly, I knew I had a bad scalp from eczema.”. Molly always felt worse leaving the salon than she did before the appointment—no matter how her hair looked. 
  • When you’re not sure where to look: At nail salons, which also required intimacy—with the strangers who are cutting and polishing your nails (or even cleaning your feet)—the same issues can crop up. A reader told Mic she hates it, “When you see that your nail artist is trying to make conversation and you really don’t feel like socializing; so you force yourself to watch the crappy video that they are playing in the corner of the room.” 
  • When there’s uncomfortable touching: “Massages while I’m getting my hair washed—or after my nails are done—just freak me out,” said another. “It’s too much intimacy.”
  •  When you just can’t think of a single thing to say: One reader described the situation as, “When you and the stylist have nothing to talk about, so it feels like Christmas dinner with an aunt you never met.” 

Many of these problems are exacerbated by social anxiety. “Social anxiety is fraught with people being afraid of being judged,” clinical psychologist Barbara Greenberg of Katonah, New York, told Mic“Another really common and overpowering characteristic is that they become avoidant. So I would think in many cases, people would avoid doing things to enhance their appearance, like getting their hair colored or getting their nails done, because they would be afraid of being judged.”

And then there is the person on the other side of the equation—the stylist who is socially awkward, himself or herself. “I love regular clients, that I like, but if I get somebody new, sometimes I can tell they don’t want to talk; and that’s fine with me because most of the times I don’t feel like talking, but I will,” Kat, a New York City hairstylist, told the news outlet.

“Sometimes people ask me questions about myself that makes me anxious. Things that aren’t related to hair at all, but like ‘Where are you from?’ or ‘Do you have a boyfriend?’ and it feels like I’m being interviewed. I don’t want to talk about myself,” Kat said.

 Then there are the oversharers: “Once, a fairly regular male client told me a story about how he got gonorrhea from the same girl three separate times!”

So, fixes? You can opt to switch stylists, as Molly did, after her negative experience discussing her exzema.

You also can seek out the now-coveted “quiet chair,” a feature of a U.K. salon that went viral recently. (A salon in Philadelphia has followed suit.)

Finally, to avoid salons altogether, contact Glam Squad ,a service that brings the stylist straight to your home or apartment, so you can stay home and get your hair done in your sweats.

Research contact: @mic

What reading at bedtime reveals about your personality

October 9, 2018

If you hit the books right after you hit the sheets—but before you go to sleep—what does that say about your personality?

According the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator—a free, online personality assessment program designed to help you better understand what makes you tick, how you relate to others, and how you can benefit from this knowledge in everyday life—if you read at bedtime, you just might be an introvert.

Specifically, Dr. Kim Chronister, a licensed clinical psychologist, author, and media commentator based in California, told Elite Daily by email this month, “The most typical personality type that reads before bedtime is an INFJ personality type.

INFJ,” Chronister explains, stands for “intuitive, feeling, and judging.” Basically, she says, INFJs — and people who like to read before going to bed — tend to be more introverted, and therefore more energized by alone time, and they often make decisions in an organized way, based on their own personal feelings and values, rather than as spontaneous or unplanned choices.

Nick Hobson, a behavioral scientist, lecturer at the University of Toronto, and co-founder of PsychologyCompass.com, told Elite Daily that being a voracious reader, in general, might indicate that you’re an open-minded person. “In particular, there is one main character trait from personality science called ‘openness to experience,'” he tells Elite Daily in an email. “People high in this trait tend to enjoy different forms of art and literature, especially fiction. Just as the [term ‘openness to experience’] suggests, these people crave and are open to new situations. And they derive a certain ‘joie de vivre’ from experiencing the novel and the different, including stories and literature.”

As for reading at bedtime, specifically? “To me it indicates a personality that is more conscientious and emotionally stable,” Hobson says. “These people ritualize their reading as a way to bring about some predictability in their life. Orderliness is a natural anxiety-reliever. And feeling calm is a great thing before the head hits the pillow.”

If you’re drawn to reading a lot of fiction, in particular, before you go to sleep, Heidi McBain, a licensed marriage and family therapist and professional counselor, told the news outlet, this could mean you’re looking for a healthy escape from your everyday routine, which can also serve as a great form of self-care.

As long as your fictional escapes aren’t so enthralling that they’re causing you to furiously turn the pages for hours and miss out on a good night’s sleep, McBain says it’s a great nighttime ritual to adopt.

Research contact: @totalhellness