The Gifted Introvert
IN WESTERN society,
extraverts outnumber introverts 3 to 1, are more vocal than introverts
and are more understandable than introverts. However, it appears
that introversion increases with intelligence so that the majority
of gifted children are introverts.
Introversion and extraversion
are personality types: two complementary ways of operating in the
world. The extravert's main interests are with the outer world of
people and things while the introvert is more involved in the inner
world of concepts and ideas. People have both introversion and extraversion
in their personalities but they have a natural preference for either
introversion or extraversion rather like a preference for right
or left handedness. The preference can be slight or quite marked.
Introverts are naturally
cautious, reserved and reflective. They need time and space to themselves.
They prefer to work with people individually rather than in large
groups. Introverts tend not to learn by trial and error. They will
observe, take in information and perhaps ask a few clarifying questions.
They will not frequently interrupt with questions and comments as
most extraverts are prone to do. Introverts need time to consider
and reflect before answering questions or engaging in activities.
Introversion is perfectly normal and does not need "curing". We
should not try to turn introverts into extraverts.
Introverts tend to...
- Get energy from inside themselves
- Real world is the inner world of ideas, understanding and meaning
- People of ideas and abstract invention, difficult to understand,
- Have a public and private self
- Intense and passionate, tend to bottle up emotions
- Feel drained by people, need privacy
- Have a few close friends
- Quiet in large groups, fear humiliation
- Can concentrate intensely
- Mentally rehearse before speaking, need time to make decisions
- Learn by observing, live life only when they understand it
- Go from considering to doing and back to considering
Extroverts tend to...
- Get energy from
- Real world is the
outer world of people and things
- People of action and
practical achievement, east to understand, often sociable
- Are the same in public
and in private
- Expansive and less
impassioned, show emotions as they go along
- Feel energised by
people; feel drained by being alone
- Make lots of friends
- Outspoken in groups,
- Can be distracted
- Think out loud, make
- Learn by doing, understand
life after they have lived it
- Go from doing to considering
and back to doing