A Quiet Kind of Kid

My introversion nearly held me back in school. As a child, I was what we used to call “shy”—I could answer questions (but only raised my hand when I knew I knew the answer). I actually had no trouble preforming in front of a crowd, like in a school or church play, for example. However, I was petrified of getting up in front of my class and saying anything.


When my third grade teacher at the beginning of the year had every student in class read a passage aloud to figure out reading placement, I did very poorly. (Having a “reading” vocabulary didn’t help, either—I frequently mispronounced words that I understood perfectly). Back home, I was very upset at my placement in the lower reading group when I had left second grade in the highest reading group. My mother correctly surmised that I stumbled because I had to read out loud in front of the entire class—not because I was having some trouble with reading.

Thus can be the troubles of an introvert in a world that values extroverts. However, studies estimate that “one third to one half of Americans are introverts. … We live with a value system that I call the Extrovert Ideal—the omnipresent belief that the ideal self is gregarious, alpha, and comfortable in the spotlight,” wrote Susan Cain in Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. “We like to think that we value individuality, but all too often we admire one type of individual—the kind who’s comfortable ‘putting himself out there.’ … Introversion—along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness—is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology.”


"The article is beautifully stated. And the comment that gender roles are last millennium is ..."

What Makes a Man a Good ..."
"A good parent is a good parent.All those gender roles are sooooooooooooooooooooooo last millennium."

What Makes a Man a Good ..."
"We enlightened ones hope more women move away from the Bible in managing their lives ..."

The Struggles of Modern Moms

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment