A Tale of Two Sisters: The Introvert and The Extrovert


More often than not, I find them together. Sisters.

They squabble, as siblings do, but the squabbles are few and far between. These days, I mostly hear them laughing together. Private jokes. I am content not to understand. The sound of their laughter is enough.

I had only a brother. I skulk in hallways, around corners, hoping to catch a few frames of this mysterious sister relationship. What would it be like to have a sister? What will they be like as adults? Will they remember what they laughed about?

My firstborn, nearly 14, is dark, sly, and witty. Like me, she’s introverted, independent, and happy to retreat into a book come nightfall. Unlike me, she’s fearless. She regularly sets aside her preference for solitude to perform astonishing feats like busking with her uke outside the local museum. More often than not, though, her comfort zone consists of a mug of hot chocolate and a Doctor Who marathon with her younger sister.


My second born, 11, is lighter in hair—and spirit—than her introverted mother and sister. She’s always leaping, pirouetting, telling jokes, and hunting the internet for slapstick. A self-described extrovert, she’s one of the few souls who can make her older sister laugh out loud. If it were up to her, she tells me, she would never be without people. Books are boring, she will tell you. People, especially family, are better than any book any day.


I have to agree with her. Daily, I grin to myself as my extrovert child coaxes her introvert sister into watching just one more raucous YouTube video. I listen as my introvert daughter convinces her extrovert sister to try a new book—one with just the right ratio of monsters to fairies. More often than not, these daughters of mine blur the line between introversion and extroversion. And it’s utterly beautiful to witness.