It’s OK to be an Introvert

The Internet abounds with jokes about introverts – usually jokes that introverts came up with in the first place. We know who and what we are, after all, and we know you extraverts really have a hard time understanding us. You know what’s funny? We have a hard time understanding you, too.

Interestingly, a session in one marriage conference I attended shocked a lot of us. Most of the couples in the meeting were made up of one introvert and one extravert. It really made me wonder if most successful, well-balanced couples do comprise both.

What shocked me even more than that, though, was how many of the others in the group didn’t even know which they were, or they thought they or their partner was one when in fact they were the other! I’ve known about the two for so long that to me it seemed like common knowledge, something most people have a pretty good grasp of. Based on a recent conversation, however, I’m really not so sure anymore.

In this conversation, I was gently corrected for calling myself an introvert. The person urged me to not talk about myself that way, that I’m not an introvert anymore – as if being an introvert is a bad thing.

It’s not! In fact, you can’t really switch from being an introvert to an extravert (or vice versa) without something very unusual happening to trigger it. Here’s the thing…

The primary difference between introverts and extraverts
is in how we recharge our batteries.

That’s it! It’s not that introverts are shy or afraid of people or have a phobia about crowds. In fact, those who know me in person generally assume I’m an extravert because my lifestyle has led me to learn how to adapt and act like everyone expects me to. We introverts, while we do generally prefer quiet and value our alone time, are usually quite able to be involved in society.

We’re not “sick” or “weak” or lacking in any way. Once I’ve talked myself into it, I can go to your big, loud party and have a good time as much as the extravert next to me can. The difference is that your big, loud party energizes the extraverts, leaving them charged up and ready to take on the world, while everything about it is draining my batteries.

It’s ok, my batteries can handle the drain. I can also arrange to minimize it. For instance, rather than moving constantly around the room, working the crowd so to speak, I may park myself off to the side and enjoy visiting with a few, select people for a while.

I simply have to know myself, and ensure I have a chance to recharge. Depending on the situation, I may not do a thing different than anyone else. On the other hand, you may see me disappear into the bathroom or onto the back porch for a bit of alone time. It doesn’t usually take all that long; just finding someplace away from all the activity and noise for a few minutes is generally sufficient to enable me to get back out there and have more fun.

And then I go home and bask in the peace and quiet that I need to fully recharge.

And that’s good too.

So, introverts, don’t let anyone make anyone make you feel “less than.” We’re ok!

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

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