How can I help my introvert son open up?
Q: I am having problems connecting with my son. Every approach I take to get to know him better, he either changes the subject or makes excuses not to take part in a conversation with me. He is an excellent student with high IQ. He cannot make friends easily. In fact, he has no friends. If I ask him why, he says friends are of no use to him. He doesn't take part in family activities and chooses not to talk to his brothers. He always was a quite boy and would never ask for anything from anyone. He doesn't leave the house unless its important or he has school. He spends all day doing nothing but studying. I've gone through his room and found nothing but text books. The only other items I found were a TV, a chemistry set, a computer and a large bookcase filled with books and a few other items but nothing special. He doesn't listen to music or watch much of TV except the news and stock trade. He smokes when he’s only 15. If I question him on this he tells me that it is none of my business. I tried finding out where he got the cigarettes from but was unable. How do I get to know my son better? I've tried talking, sharing common interests, etc. but he doesn't seem interested in having any relationship with me or any one else in the family. Please suggest?
A:It seems to me that your son is managing his life quite well (except for the smoking). If he is quiet by temperament, why not let him be? Some people are extrovert and outgoing, while others are introvert and keep their own counsel. There is no particular virtue attached to any personality type. I feel that it is best to leave your son to do his work at his own pace. He will probably become an expert at stocks and shares. His inclination is possibly to have very little contact with other people. By itself, that is OK. When you say that you want to get to know him, I think you have found out quite a lot about him already. If he doesn't sit and chat with you now, do not treat it as a problem. After he is 18, and he feels an equal adult, he may turn to you for advice. As long as there is no specific problem, leave some room for things to happen, rather than wanting to control everything. If your son knows that you accept him as a quiet and uncommunicative person, he may be more relaxed in your presence. It takes all sorts to make a world.