There are several myths about kids who are introverts—

  • They are nervous
  • They don’t like other people
  • They don’t want to be social
  • They are basically shy people

If your child is an introvert, they are not anti-social, they just react to their environment differently than other kids. They are certainly not shy—in reality, there is a notable difference between introversion and shyness. Shyness manifests when you’re scared of being judged negatively. An introvert is someone who prefers quiet or less stimulating environments—someone who recharges his or her energy by getting plenty of alone time.

Because society often tells us that we can get ahead by coming out of our shells, or being go-getters, introverts can sometimes feel like they are the only ones who want to sit quietly and think. But introversion is actually very common. In fact, it’s thought that up to half of all people are introverts. That means if there are 30 kids in a class, around 15 of them may actually be introverts! And each one of them has superpowers.

Here are 11 superpowers of introverted children—

1. They have deep friendships

You may feel overwhelmed or tired at a big, noisy party, but you love spending time catching up with very close friends. You are a very good listener, making close, even lifelong friendships. This one of the great rewards of introversion.

2. They are great readers and writers

Introverts tend to love reading as part of their quiet, alone time. And the more you read, the better you write. Reading gives you inspiration and a better command of language, which they can show off in their imaginative and well-thought-out writing.

Timed writing assignments may not be their forte because they like to have space to carefully reason out an argument before writing it. But they have the capacity to write stories with detailed descriptions of the characters, surroundings, and the conflicts. They may agree with what Isaac Asimov, a prolific science fiction writer and author of I, Robot once said, “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”

3. They are careful and conscientious

Sure, sometimes risk-taking pays off, but they see the value of looking before they leap. In fact, information takes a longer journey through an introvert’s brain than through that of an extrovert. Since they tend to hang back and study new situations before jumping right in, they give themselves the chance to make good choices.

4. They have amazing ideas

By giving themselves the time to be quiet and listen to their thoughts, they end up having lots of interesting ideas that might not have come to them if they spent all their time in a rowdy group.

5. They make a great leaders

This one may come as a surprise, but they have incredible leadership qualities! Introverts leaders project calmness in times of crises, think before they speak, and they ask great questions. These are all hallmarks of an effective leader and doer.

6. They are talented problem solvers

They have larger, thicker gray matter in your prefrontal cortex (the command center in your brain responsible for complex problem solving, information processing, and decision making) than their extroverted peers. When they face a challenge, they thrive on the energy within their brain to work out thoroughly reasoned out solutions. Their brains are literally built to ponder on things.

7. They are observant

Introverts like to spend time in quiet thought. This means thinking about all kinds of things, including noticing and investigating their environments. Since introverts think through situations thoroughly and tend to create worlds in their own minds, they also tend to remember events and details vividly. This makes introverts awesome at recalling their own stories and the stories of other people.

8. They are reliable

Chances are, even if they don’t always show it, the adults in their lives have confidence in their reliability, and value and depend on their trustworthiness. Because they are organized—keeping their promises and plans is easier, because they usually think through their actions before they make them.

9. They are fair

They are terrific listeners and tend to listen to all parties and circumstance before judging a situation. People love to have a friend that will really listen to what they have to say and provide equitable opinions. They are great at listening with their whole brains and not just their ears.

10. They are peaceful

Introverts are rarely bullies, because rather than picking a fight, they are more likely to be found thinking out how to explain their point of view through words. Since they’re terrific listeners, introverts can often solve conflicts by talking it out rather than getting physical. Introverts tend to calm other people down who are around them. That’s not to say introverts don’t get excited or a little crazy sometimes, but they tend to stay calm and help other people around them stay calm, especially in tough situations.

11. They know who they are

Because they like to spend time alone and enjoy their own thoughts, they know a lot about themselves and how different things are likely to make them feel. Spending time thinking about who you are and what matters to you is a great way for an introvert to use their traits to help themselves grow.