Last summer, my six-year-old daughter was the flower girl at my brother's wedding. She was totally in her element. She made friends with all the bridesmaids, dominated the dance floor, and basically decided she was the day's main attraction (thank goodness my sister-in-law adores her and didn't mind sharing her bridal spotlight).
My longtime suspicions were confirmed: I have a serious extrovert on my hands.
Extroverts, like my daughter, thrive on social interactions and being around people, and according to Psychology Today, they make up 50 to 74 percent of the population. If you're trying to figure out whether your child is a true extrovert, here are 11 characteristics you should look for.
If your kid meets them all, you probably have a little social butterfly on your hands, so start planning those play dates and signing them up for group activities pronto!
- They were never shy as an infant or toddler. If your child has always loved being around people and discovering new things without really needing time to "warm up" to an unfamiliar face or situation, they're probably an extrovert.
- Sleeping, especially naps, never comes easily. Since extroverts don't like to be alone, it can often be hard to get them to nap or go down to sleep. They crave social interaction and being around other people, so submitting to an unconscious state isn't easy for them.
- They love being the centre of attention. Is your kid always putting on a show for teachers, childcare workers, grandparents, and maybe even a stranger in the checkout line? Wanting to receive attention as much as possible is a sign that your kid is an extrovert.
- They're always up for an adventure — even if it's to the grocery store. Extroverts love to be on the move and out in public. Does your kid thrive on being out and about, whether it's going to the park, a kid class, or just to run errands? That's because social interaction fuels their extroverted personalities.
- They talk . . . a lot. Extroverts tend to be super chatty, sometimes even interrupting you and their teachers because they have so much to say. Thinking out loud is part of the way extroverts process the world around them.
- They want you to come along, even to brush their teeth. Being alone can be draining for extroverts, so they'd much prefer to have company for all their activities, even ones that you'd rather they do alone.
- They love a party. Since social interaction is an extrovert's main idea of fun, events that are all about being social (birthday parties, weddings, and family get-togethers) are heaven for them. You might even notice that they continue to stay hyped up long after the party's over, still riding high on all that socialising.
- They aren't afraid to take on a leadership position. Extroverts love being in charge, so if you notice your kid acting as the ringleader on every playground or volunteering for additional responsibilities in the classroom or clubs, odds are they're an extrovert.
- They get bored easily. All kids love to announce that they're bored, but an extrovert really means it. Without social interaction and stimulation to keep them occupied, they can feel adrift.
- They put their emotions out on the table. Extroverts tend to be better at showing and expressing their emotions than introverts. Happy? Sad? Angry? You'll know exactly how your extroverted child feels almost as quickly as they do.
- They are well-liked by their peers. Extroverts tend to make friends easily. Because they enjoy social interactions, they're more willing to open up and attempt to make connections with other children. Also, being extroverted has been shown to have positive effects on others' moods, making the people who extroverts interact with happier, a surefire way to attract new friends.