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Carol Bainbridge

Shy or Introverted?

By July 13, 2006

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Is your child shy? Are you sure? Maybe your child is actually introverted, not shy. Although people sometimes use the two terms interchangeably, the two conditions aren't the same. When people are shy, they feel anxious or nervous around people. Introverts, however, don't feel nervous (unless they are also shy), but being around people tends to drain them of energy and they often prefer to be alone with their thoughts. Extroverts, on the other hand, are energized by contact with other people. Gifted children who are introverted may be seen as having social problems, so people will try to "help" them become more sociable. While shyness can be overcome, introversion is a personality characteristic that stays with a person for life.

Learn more about the differences between introversion and extroversion and introversion and shyness:
Did you know that about two thirds of the gifted population is introverted while only about one quarter of the general population is introverted?
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