I don’t know the statistics but for the purpose of this post I am going to use my own made up numbers; 50 percent of the population has a condition and that condition is being an introvert. What is an introvert? “Introvert: A term introduced by the psychologist Carl Jung to describe a person whose motives and actions are directed inward. Introverts tend to be preoccupied with their own thoughts and feelings and minimize their contact with other people.” Blah-dy blah blah. Now let me break down what an introvert really is…okay its a lot like that but let me simplify things.
I. AM. AN. INTROVERT. There I said it. Actually if you know me at all you know this to be true. In this post I hope to give you a little insight into the life of an introvert, my life. Maybe after reading this post you will realize that your friend isn’t actually a hermit, they just get drained by crowds (although there is still a chance that they are in fact a hermit).
“Introverts unite! Separately…in your own homes”
-Someone on the Internet
Introverts Don’t Say Much. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have anything to say. What it means is that what we do say, we feel is important. Most times we carefully consider what to say before speaking. So, when in conversation and there is a lull, pause don’t take over, chances are we are formulating our thoughts. (This is not the same as a “filter” and introverts are not immune to putting their foot in their mouth.) Something else to know is that we may “test” the conversational waters. For example, if asked about my day, I may respond with, “Okay.” Then if asked more or I can tell that the answer is truly of interest to the other person, I will elaborate. The key for conversation is to avoid yes/no questions as this gives us an easy out to avoid conversation. Also make sure not to cut off an introvert or talk over them. All in all though everyone is different so just be polite and conversation shouldn’t be an issue.
Introverts Need To Recharge. To recharge we need to be alone. Introverts recharge themselves. Being around others is draining for an introvert. I worked sales for 3 years and dealing with people was extremely exhausting. I would come home and spend a few hours alone before I felt that I could do anything. Sitting in a chair, reading a book or playing a quick uninterrupted game of Candy Crush works wonders. The definition above seems a little self centered but at times it feels like others a are “stealing” our energy. Actually extroverts are the opposite and they do recharge by being around others so the feeling isn’t that far fetched. So when we say we don’t want to go out, its not because we think your idea of going out is lame, we just need “me time” (Refer to this Article.)
Being An Introvert Can Be Difficult. Sometimes is feels as though my faith and personality are at odds. Why? Well Christianity is all about going out into the world, one just has to look to Matthew 28:19-20, commonly known as the great commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” How do I make this work when I am a person that thrives on my own? Well I have found a loophole to my introveredness (is that a word? oh well.) I find that I can cultivate a few meaningful relationships without the drain. I’d rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies when it comes to friends anyway. Building those few relationships then spill over into the relationships my friends have.
Introverts Are Leaders. Okay well maybe not all of them, but just because you are an introvert doesn’t mean that you are not leader material. In the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking the author makes a point that some of histories most memorable leaders were introverts. She uses the example of Rosa Parks who was not an outspoken public figure but she was courageous and stood up for what was right. She played a huge role in the fight against segregation. The author also makes the argument that Jesus was an introvert. He would speak to crowds but would withdraw to “recharge.” If you are reading this article chances are you know the impact Jesus had on the world. In my own life I have found that in certain situations I thrive in leadership roles and at other times I am a content follower. I do not see myself as a revolutionary leader like those mentioned but I do know that being an introvert is not a limitation.
Being an introvert is not a limitation
I am an introvert and that is who I am. You may or may not be. I hope my look into the life of an introvert helps you to deal with your own situation or better understand those in your life who may be introverts. So to my introvert readers, enjoy this time of recharging while you read, and to the extroverts, thank you for taking the time to be away from the crowds to read. Still not sure what category you fall into? Take this highly unscientific quiz.