Quiet people seem smarter

The strength of the silent

Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist (1875-1961), is considered to be the founder of analytical psychology. He defines extraversion as a preference for the direct experience with people and things, introversion as a preference for the inner world with an examination of the meaning of the experiences and interpretive experience.

Silent children do not feel the need to be the center of attention - personal interaction is more important to them.

Introverts are clearly outnumbered. In fact, an estimated 75% of people are extroverted. That is why the so-called "intros" often feel different. You like to be alone and like to be quiet. Quiet children usually have one or more special talents to dedicate themselves to. They love to act creatively by writing, painting, drawing, dancing, making music, singing or otherwise expressing their deep feelings. Because they want to be especially good at what they do, they invest a lot of time in their interests. It has been proven that many "intros" are intelligent above average. Some soak up knowledge like a sponge or they are passionate about reading. They often think and think long before they say something. It is particularly important for these children to have a lot of time for themselves to reflect on their thoughts and ideas and to process, reflect and organize what they have experienced. The strengths that have been scientifically proven and often cited include caution, analytical thinking, concentration, perseverance and a high level of empathy.

Until a few years ago, the characteristics of quiet people were often considered weakness, shyness, or sensitivity. In a society that elevates extraversion, i.e. the ability to socialize and self-expression, to an ideal, a calm temperament is often devalued or pathologized.

Introverts often have the feeling that their idiosyncrasies are more likely to be deficits.

Fortunately, perception is slowly changing: Numerous non-fiction books and studies highlight the strengths of quiet people. Celebrities like Bill Gates profess their introversion. Likewise, the actor Matthias Brandt, who, looking back on his childhood, describes himself as a "very shy boy" and sees himself in his work to this day as someone who slowly and systematically works out a role instead of spontaneously getting started.

"There is a process of awareness taking place," says communication trainer Sylvia Löhken, author of the non-fiction book Quiet People - Strong Effect (Piper2015). Again and again, Löhken experiences in her consultations that introverts can now believe more that they may be normal after all - although they do not like to talk to strangers and cannot endure long meetings or loud parties.

"From this point of view, it is often easier for introverts to accept their idiosyncrasies - and to use them for themselves," says Löhken.

Research shows that temperament is not shaped by upbringing. Introversion is a personality trait and is genetically determined. Jens Asendorpf from the Humboldt University in Berlin did research on the topic and says that personality traits are largely stable throughout life. So temperament can hardly be changed. "So it's about self-acceptance," advises Asendorpf. So it doesn't make sense to yourself

to want to re-educate to a frequent speaker and to admonish oneself to sociability.

Neuroscientific studies show how firmly anchored the silent or loud temperament is. University of Iowa psychologist Debra Johnson studied cerebral blood flow in introverted and extroverted people. She found that the brains of introverts are generally more supplied with blood and are more active. In introverts, blood also flows through many different areas of the brain, especially those involved with planning, memory, and problem solving. In extraverts, on the other hand, there is increased blood circulation in areas in which acoustic, visual and other sensory impressions are processed.

This study re-supports the assumption that introverts think more intensely, incorporate more information and that their thinking processes run longer loops in the brain. Extroverts, on the other hand, think more succinctly and quickly.

These findings reflect what many quiet people feel: They like to think deeply and thoroughly about questions asked and cannot answer immediately.

How introverted children and their parents learn to accept their temperament

Silent children feel hurt when their personality is not understood and recognized. Their nature is often misunderstood, misinterpreted and not valued. Children seem to encounter particularly great resistance with their temperament.

Silent children are not necessarily shy or antisocial. Only when it is clear: "I am an intro and that's a good thing" can you use your strengths and be who you want to be. In order for your child to feel comfortable in their own skin, they need support and an understanding of their environment.

You shouldn't "re-educate" your child when they really have so many talents to offer. If you, as parents, recognize and value your child's personality, they can do so and draw a lot of strength from it - and the calm manner can even become a strength that is also recognized by others.

When people learn to know what is good for them and stand by their needs, they are more likely to find acceptance in their environment.

Quiet people often have the ability to reflect very well, they can ask themselves many questions and they feel the urge to develop further. Putting pressure on introverted children often creates the opposite: they close themselves off or even give up.

They can develop their strengths by doing something they are good at! Introverts have the strength to work independently and independently. Believe and trust your child's strengths!

Susan Cain got after her bestseller "Quiet" countless letters in which one reader wrote: "If I had known all this when my child was still going to school!" The author has therefore written a book especially for children and young people to deal with their quiet temperament:

"Still and Strong. The Power of Introverted Children and Adolescents" (Goldmann, Munich 2017).

It is not uncommon for me to hear the concerns and concerns of parents in my practice: My child does not participate sufficiently in class.

It is difficult for him to respond to questions quickly enough. It feels misunderstood by teachers and classmates. It does not come out of itself enough and cannot show what it is all about.

There are now advice centers and help for highly sensitive people. Learning coaching can also be very helpful in developing your own strengths and potential and strengthening self-confidence.