Introvert vs Extrovert: Who Has A Harder Time Parenting?

Okay, all my introverted parents out there…

Who is having a hard time with quarantine?  

Are you craving some alone time?

Needing a little break from the chatter?

Feeling tired of being touched?

Or is it just me?

I’m a major introvert, so if you have been feeling any of the above things, know that I can totally relate.  My kiddos are 5 and 3 and want to constantly be attached to me. That can be really, really draining if you identify as an introvert.

Extroverts might be having a hard time with this quarantine too.  They’re probably missing going out and having regular social time.  Facetime might not be enough for them.  The only social time extroverted parents are getting is likely their spouse and kids.

Don’t worry! In this post, I will give some tips to help both types of parents feel less anxiety during this stressful time.

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Classic introvert traits

According to Very Well Mind, “People who are introverted tend to be inward turning, or focused more on internal thoughts, feelings and moods rather than seeking out external stimulation.”

They also list 8 signs that you might be an introvert if you aren’t sure where you fall.

  1. Being around lots of people drains your energy.
  2. You enjoy solitude.
  3. You have a small group of close friends.
  4. People would describe you as quiet, and hard to get to know.
  5. You get overstimulated easily. 
  6. You are very self-aware.
  7. You like to learn by watching.
  8. You are drawn to jobs that involve independence.

Many introverts also find that they take on the emotions of others they spend time with.  It begins to influence their own mood, and they need lots of space to recover.  This is called being an empath. 

I myself am an introverted empath.  Being around people, even those I love very much, is incredibly draining.  I pick up on a lot of toxic energy and find it hard to put up emotional boundaries.  I have to unfollow a lot of people on social media because it gets to be “too much.”  (For reference, I am a 4w5 on the Enneagram.)

Does that sound like you? Let me know in the comments!

introvert vs extrovert

Classic extrovert traits 

On the other hand, extroverts love social time!  Healthline says: “Extroverts are often described as the life of the party. Their outgoing, vibrant nature draws people to them, and they have a hard time turning away the attention. They thrive off the interaction.”

Think you might be an extrovert?  Here are some things to look out for:

  1. You enjoy social settings.
  2. You don’t like or need alone time.
  3. You thrive around people.
  4. You’re friends with many people.
  5. You prefer to talk out problems or questions.
  6. You aren’t afraid of risk.
  7. You’re flexible.

My husband is an extrovert.  Here is what he had to say about being an extrovert during quarantine:

“I really miss being able to hang out with friends at a restaurant or bar.  It helps me be less stressed to change up my environment. After a while, I start to annoy people in the house because I’m constantly looking for interaction.”  

Mr. Diffusing the Tension

(For Enneagram nerds like me, he is a 3.)

Are you an extrovert? Tell me more about you in the comments!

Introvert vs extrovert- Parenting troubles

There are different pitfalls for both sorts of parents.  An introverted parent likely experiences the following issues during quarantine:

  • Needs way more alone time than normal
  • Feel “touched out” at the end of the day
  • Has trouble multitasking, and gets easily overwhelmed
  • Needs peace and quiet after a bunch of chatter from kids
  • Enjoys doing housework while the kids play more
  • Throws their child at their spouse when they’re done working

Extroverts might be dealing with the following:

  • Incessantly seeks feedback or approval
  • Text blasts friends nonstop
  • Posts more than normal on social media
  • Seeks out activities that involve chatting virtually with friends
  • Says the phrase, “Do you have a minute to talk?”
  • Sometimes crippling loneliness

Tips to cope for an introvert parent

You are going to need tons of extra care in this season. I have had to do all of the following to be able to cope with this quarantine. (When is this going to end, anyway?) Check out these tips and let me know which one you plan to try first!

Daily self care

This really needs to be a priority. I’ve had to speak up for myself and explain to my extroverted, social butterfly husband that being around the kids all day is super draining. I need some time to just process, and enjoy the quiet.

If self care is new for you, you can try the following:

  • Spend 15 minutes walking around the neighborhood alone.
  • Give the kids to your partner for the evening, and take a bath.
  • Start a new book in a series you like.
  • Finally finish that season of TV you started ages ago.

Readjust expectations

You might need to spend some time reminding yourself that this is only temporary. Life will not be this way forever. You will be able to go back to your introverted ways soon enough.

For now, things are going to be a little different. You’re going to be in close quarters with the people you live with. Kids might be more on edge, or clingier, due to the change in routine.

Hang in there. Samwise Gamgee said, “But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.”

Start a journal

Journaling is a really effective method of self care. It helps you to process negative feelings and figure out a lot of things you might be wrestling with.

Here are some ideas for things you can journal about if you’re struggling. Extroverts might need this too!

  • Gratitude list
  • Positive affirmations
  • Your perfect day
  • Negative thoughts and their positive counter-statements
  • What you love about yourself
journal, introvert vs extrovert
Click here to start journaling today!journal, introvert vs extrovert

Ask your partner for help

I told my husband point blank, “These kids make me crazy. HELP.” Sometimes, your partner isn’t always aware of how you’re feeling unless you explicitly tell them. No one’s perfect, even my awesome husband. They might innocently assume if you don’t say anything, things are fine.

This is why it’s so important tell them what you need, as specifically as possible. For example, “I need you to put the kids to bed 3 nights a week so that I can have some uninterrupted quiet time.”

Seek joy in the little things

I know it sounds hard, but try to see the joy. Enjoy your little ones’ giggles. Take a whiff of their freshly washed hair when you snuggle. Watch them sit in the corner reading together. It’s so cliche, but although these times are challenging, there might be things you miss about them when they’re gone.

Tips to cope for an extrovert parent

Are you bursting at the seams with the desire to ROAM?

You need to explore.

You need to hug. To chew the fat. To toss your head back in laughter at your friend’s stupid joke.

It makes you feel empty inside when you can’t spend time with friends and family. If this sounds like you, check out the following tips for making it through quarantine.

Schedule regular Facetimes calls

I know it’s not the same, but hey, it’s something! It’s a way to talk, and joke, and interact with loved ones, during times when physically being together isn’t possible. Facetime, Zoom, and Skype are all free options for connecting virtually that are pretty easy to use.

Turn that once a month guy’s night into a virtual bar crawl! Sometime soon you will be back to your favorite haunts.

Readjust expectations

Just like introverts, extroverts need to readjust some expectations, especially if they live in a house with an introvert. Not every has the same needs. Both types of people need to be aware of these in stressful times.

Click here to download this list of Self Care Ideas for stressful times.

Take up a new hobby

It might help you get out some mental energy to take up a new hobby. Better still, if you can involve a partner or child. You could look up some resources for learning a new language, or take up watercolors.

Using water colors as an example, you could both copy the same reference image and then have your kids judge which one they think is better. Making it as fun as possible should satisfy most extroverts, at least temporarily.

Join a Facebook group

There are a lot of online communities with regular engagement where you can meet new people that have the same interests as you. You don’t have to exchange IRL details if you don’t feel comfortable. But these groups often have daily posts where you can share ideas, and memes, and things going on in your life.

Learn to enjoy time with YOU

Believe it or not, it is possible to enjoy spending time alone. Take it from an introvert, there is nothing like setting up a comfy little sitting spot with a fluffy blanket, your favorite snack, and a Netflix series you’ve never watched.

Allow yourself to get lost in it. Over time, the characters might begin to feel like old friends.

We can all get through this.

This has been a really hard season. Whether you are super outgoing, or more introverted, I’m honestly not sure which one has it harder right now. I think that might depend on the person. But whatever your struggles might be, there are things you can do to survive.

Here is one of my favorite quotes to leave you with:

“I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature.” ~Paulo Coelho

Whether you’re an extroverted parent, or an introverted parent, just know that you are not alone.

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Related articles for introverted parents:

Amazing Self Care Ideas

6 Important Mental Health Facts

How to Challenge Negative Thought Patterns

What causes anxiety?

What self care REALLY is

66 thoughts on “Introvert vs Extrovert: Who Has A Harder Time Parenting?”

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. As an introvert, I’ve had to commit to going on a 30 minutes walk daily to clear my head and recharge. I’ve also started a daily video call with my twin sister and it has been helpful during this period.

  2. I am a combination of an introvert and extrovert. I sometimes enjoy to be surrounded with friends and sometimes I want to be quiet and be alone. As a parent, I can say that this is a timely advice to received today most especially this pandemic days.

  3. This pandemic is hard on everyone, and I’m sure it is especially hard on parents with young children. It seems like you offer great advice to help deal with the stress for both extroverts and introverts.

  4. Parenting is interesting and it’s amazing how parenting changes you. These are great tips for both Extroverts and Introverts. Keeping journals, going for a walk alone and starting a new book are things I love to do.

      1. For awhile, I believed this might be harder on extroverts (my husband) and tried to think of ways to help him stay engaged. Now that we’re several months in, I’m realizing the toll it has taken on me. I do miss my friends and family, but it is the constant feeling of being overstimulated by my kids that is getting to me. By 6, I am short, exhausted, and noised-out. It is probably a good idea for me to set aside some self-care time after bedtime. Thank you for this!

  5. sara lafountain

    I think that all parents, introverts and extraverts are having a hard time during quarantine. These are unprecedented times and no one really knows how to deal with them. Thanks for sharing your practical tips for all parents.

    1. Thanks! For me, I just miss seeing my mom as often, and I have a close friend that would come hang out like once a week. I miss that. Thanks for reading!

  6. Travelogged blogs

    My mum is an extrovert while my dad is an introvert and I can relate to all the points mentioned here! Love tge examples you provided to make us understand better. Thank you for sharing!

  7. You’re so thoughtful to write about the differences. For me, it comes down to how we manage our own energy, and being locked down at home gives us little options to manage it the way we would like. At the same time, we’re all proving how well we can adapt to the situation and find creative and resilient ways to find a way through. Bravo on starting the conversation!

    1. Thank you for the kind words! I totally agree with you. I think we’re all learning a lot about ourselves during this time. Thanks for reading!

  8. Oooh how I’m such an extrovert and was really mentally suffering when we couldn’t go anywhere or be with friends! And my extroverted son was the same. My hubby is an introvert so not a whole lot changed for him. Thankfully, he has a little casita in our backyard as he’s always worked from home. He now understands why I usually leave the house and am with friends every day! LOL!

    1. That’s good that you are both finding a way to manage, or at least recognizing what your needs are. Keep on taking care of yourself, and thanks for reading!

  9. This is amazing! I am an extrovert married to an introvert and we parent our kids VERY differently! We are also coping with the quarantine differently and I thought it was just us! haha. This makes total sense. THanks!

  10. I am definitely an introvert. Great post and perspective, it’s definitely important to find joy in the little things. I know I can be so exhausting chasing my little one but the second she does something cute or makes me laugh on purpose it all melts away for a moment.

  11. Very interesting, I’m a introverted and I love to learn by reading actually. I barely try to socialize because it’s draining. My alone time means so much to me and I never get bored. Love that you included journaling

  12. This is always an interesting question. I actually think I am somewhere in the middle and go back and forth depending on the day. Over the years I have done the Myers-Briggs type indicator a couple of times. Once I was an extrovert and the other time I was an introvert.

    1. Interesting! I’ve been hearing that from people, that people are a little bit of both. I love hearing people’s personality types! Thanks for reading 🙂

  13. So much interesting info! Right away, I easily label myself as introvert. However after reading more into it, I identify so much with some of the extroverted characteristics! In social situations I’m 100% an introvert. But at home with my family I lean more towards being extroverted. It’s so interesting how these two things can fluctuate and change depending on the day or situation!

    1. That is so very true! Depending on the person I can sort of pretend to be an introvert. With enough self care before and after. Thanks for reading!

  14. I’m definitely an introvert, but I go through random bursts of trying to be an extrovert, which confuses the hell out of people.

    If I was choosing to stay at home, and not see people I’d be happy, but because it’s not by choice I’m seriously missing people, people I haven’t seen for almost a year anyway.

    Thanks for sharing the tips, plenty of things to think about 😊

  15. melissa chapman

    I know I am an introvert but I can act extroverted but I am less comfortable as an extrovert. I really can do well during this quarantining but my friends like to talk to me.

  16. What’s ironic is PRIOR to having kids, I was a major extrovert. However, once my first pregnancy hit me, I became a serious introvert. I have to make sure I get some alone time throughout the week, or it gets me almost sick after a while. Luckily my husband and kids understand this about me and do their best to ensure I get it.

    1. That’s great that you’re aware of your needs, and vocal to your loved ones. I was more social too (still introverted, but more social at least) prior to kids, but now I NEED my space LOL. Thanks for reading!

  17. I suppose I am an extroverted introvert. I have a bubble to maintain. (We adopted 6 kids in two years) I don’t like crowds and don’t like attention….though I crave attention and affirmation from my husband. (And he has always given it freely) However, in my close circles, I am extremely loud and vivacious and confident. I can also take a leadership role easily if needed, but don’t really LIKE to. I’ve also struggled with deep anxiety for years. It’s only been in the last 4 that I’ve begun to heal…. though it never fully goes away. Thanks for the article!

  18. This was a really interesting post. I am a complete split down the middle, as is my partner. We are also very different parents, almost to the point where I am not sure how we work so well, thankfully we do.

    I am going to share this with him as I think he will find it really valuable x

  19. I am definitely an introvert. Honestly, all this inside time is not really affecting my day-to-day much. I don’t go out a lot. I miss the library and the zoo and occasional meetups {with one homeschooling family at a time, not big groups, shudder}. My daughters are both more introverted; my husband and son more extroverted. {Hubby is still going to work most days, so that’s a good thing.} My kids are older, though {14, 12, and 9}. I seriously cannot imagine myself home with them for this long when they were babies and toddlers. That was a completely different era, and I’m not sure how I would have handled a pandemic during that time. I can only imagine it would be way rougher.

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