web analytics
April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Quiet Time: When Is Shyness An Advantage?


Schonfeld-logo1

Share Button

Four-year-old Naomi stayed in the block corner every day during playtime, building an intricate tower. She rarely spoke except when spoken to during circle time. In the yard, Naomi enjoyed swinging calmly and watching the other children jump rope or kick the ball.

However, in a one-on-one conversation, Naomi was comfortable and proper. When she walked into school on Mondays, her teacher would often ask her, “Naomi, how was Shabbos?” and Naomi would respond with something like, “My Shabbos was great. My mother and I baked challah on Friday and we delivered it to some neighbors. Then, when we ate it on Friday night, I kept thinking about how delicious it was and how our neighbors were enjoying it too! How was your Shabbos?”

At first, Naomi’s parents had been worried about her socially, but they had come to accept that Naomi simply did not like big groups. She was great on individual playdates or with her younger siblings. Eventually, they recognized that Naomi was not delayed socially; she was an introvert.

Introverts vs. Extroverts

Introverts are people who prefer to be alone, enjoying the lack of stimulation and noise. On the other hand, extroverts thrive off of other people’s conversation and energy. While introversion and shyness often overlap, people who are shy experience anxiety when faced with social situations. In contrast, “Introverted people aren’t bothered by social situations,” says Louis Schmidt, director of the Child Emotion Laboratory at McMaster University in Ontario. “They just prefer not to engage.”

By some counts, roughly thirty percent of people fall into the introverted temperament end of the spectrum. And, while we might think that introversion and extroversion are choices we make, a study at Harvard University illustrated that even four month old babies exhibit tendencies towards introversion and extroversion that correlate with their personalities when they get older.

Benefits of Introversion

While American culture values extroverts, there are some key benefits that introverts possess. Firstly, because introverts spend less time talking, they are wonderful listeners. Listening is an essential element in nonverbal communication, perhaps one of the most important skills when going on a date, making friends, or interviewing for a job. Recent studies show that introverted CEOs of major companies are most successful because they are able to listen to the creative ideas of their employees, instead of asserting their own ideas on a consistent basis.

Another benefit of introversion is good decision making. By nature, introverts are less likely to take excessive risks and therefore are more likely to weigh their decisions carefully before acting. Susan Cain, the author of the book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts explains “Extroverts are much more likely to get really excited by the possibility of a reward, but because of that, they won’t always pay attention to warning signals. Introverts are much more circumspect.”

Yet another benefit of introversion is the skill mastery, which has to do with the introvert’s ability to spend significant patches of time alone. Studies done on chess masters, concert violinists, athletes, and even regular university students preparing for exams demonstrated that the more deliberate time spent practicing or studying alone, the more skilled the person became. Florida State University psychologist reasoned, “You gain the most on your performance when you work alone. And the introverted temperament might make some kids more willing to make that commitment.”

Disadvantages of Introversion

While introversion does have benefits, there are some very real disadvantages as pointed out by a new study published in the Journal of School Psychology.

The study looked at the social and academic progress of children aged 3 to 5 throughout the school year, following over 4,400 pre-kindergarten children in the Head Start program in a large northeastern urban school district. The study found that children who were extremely socially reserved or withdrawn were at risk of falling behind in math and reading once they reached kindergarten.

The reasons behind this phenomenon may include teachers overlooking students who are not active in the classroom and therefore failing to identify the gaps in their knowledge. Alternatively the students could be struggling with math and reading and thus becoming withdrawn.

In addition to this academic issue, introverts also face problems when they enter the workforce. Most modern offices are laid out in a style that does not allow for personal space. Instead of enclosed individual offices, cubicles or open-plan offices are the norm. While teamwork thrives in these arenas, introverts will often struggle with the lack of personal space.

Traditionally, extroversion is valued over introversion in our communities. We tell our children, “Don’t be shy.” We grade our students on class participation and sometimes take off point for not participating enough. We call silences in conversation “awkward pauses.” Perhaps, though, we need to figure out how to strike a balance with our children, teaching them the value of following their natural dispositions while occasionally pushing past their discomfort every now and then.

Some tips include:

Check in with teachers. Introverts are often overlooked in the classroom. But, if you sporadically check in with your child’s teacher, the teacher will know to look out for your child, even if he is quiet. This will ensure that his progress will be monitored.

Encourage moderate risks. What feels like an easy task for you might be a daring adventure for your child. Therefore, discuss with your child what feels comfortable for him or her and what slightly pushes the limits. For instance, if your child refuses all playdates, suggest having a short playdate with only one other child in the comfort of your home. Then, create a signal for your child to let you know when he feels the playdate is over. Taking moderate risks will help your child become more at ease when he is forced into difficult situations.

Respect boundaries. Don’t push far beyond what is comfortable for your child. Listen to him if he says that he cannot do what you are asking of him in social situations.

Perhaps the main idea parents can take away from this article is that shy is not inherently bad. In fact, there are some wonderful things about being shy. However, because shy children often float under the radar, just make sure someone is keeping track of them!

Share Button

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation,, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@verizon.net. Visit her on the web at rifkaschonfeldsos.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Quiet Time: When Is Shyness An Advantage?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The interior of the El Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba, Tunisia, in 2009.
Tunisian Jew Stabbed in Djerba
Latest Sections Stories
Tali Hill, a beneficiary of the Max Factor Family Foundation.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Yeshiva Day School of Las Vegas’s deans, Rabbi Moshe Katz and Rabbi Zev Goldman, present award to Educator of the Year, Rabbi Michoel Paris.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

Your husband seems to have experienced what we have described as the Ambivalent Attachment.

The goal of the crusade is to demonize and hurt Israel.

The JUMP program at Hebrew Academy was generously sponsored by Evelyn and Dr. Shmuel Katz.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

Schonfeld-logo1

The key to kindness and acceptance is empathy. A lot of people argue that you cannot teach empathy. While I agree that it is difficult to teach empathy, I believe it is possible.

By multiple intelligences, we mean that people have different intelligences in different areas.

Explosiveness is not confined to a type or a gender. It comes in male and female children, and in all ages, shapes and sizes. Some blow up dozens of times a day, others just a few times a week. Some “lose it” only at home, others only in school, and still others in any conceivable location.

The truth is that you never know what’s going on in a house until you live in it.

Q: What does twice exceptional or 2e mean?

Shimon quickly shoveled a forkful of rice into his mouth, while attempting to scribble the right math equations into his workbook. “(2 x 34 -11)2” he said between mouthfuls. “Mommy, I got some rice on my paper, but I have to finish this before it is time to go in the shower,” Shimon choked out.

First, it is important to establish a diagnosis for your child. Perhaps his struggles with reading are associated with ADHD or a processing disorder.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/quiet-time-when-is-shyness-an-advantage/2013/03/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: