Referring to myself as an introvert is relatively recent. The reason, I think, is because for many years I had no real idea how to distinguish the differences between an extrovert and an introvert. One person is outgoing, likes people and can talk in front of a large group while the other one doesn’t like being with people and can’t speak in front of any size group… right? Well, it wasn’t quite that bad, but I was in the neighborhood of that sort of thinking.
Since then I’ve learned a better way of understanding a significant difference between the two: What gives you energy versus what depletes your energy. That’s not a scholarly definition, but it sure helps me understand myself a little better. Reading and studying stimulates me. Two hours socializing at a party makes me want to crawl in my bed and sleep for eight hours. I can do both; I can enjoy both… but one pumps me up and the other wears me out. Knowing this about myself can help me strategize how I approach life, ministry, etc.
Now, it is true that, left to myself, I will probably choose to stay in my comfort zone and gravitate toward being alone or with a very small group of people. That’s why I’m so thankful I married a forceful extrovert who occasionally has to blast me out of that gravitational pull and get me out and about more. What a blessing she is to me in this respect!
Over the years I’ve been collecting articles on this subject that have been helpful to me in understanding how being an introvert can influence me as a husband, pastor, etc. I thought you might be interested in reading them as well.
Grace and Truth,
- How Introverted Pastors Love at Desiring God
- Help! I’m an Introvert… and a Pastor at Pastors.com
- Help! I Married an Introvert at Gospel Coalition
- Four Lies About Introverts at Gospel Coalition
- 7 Ways to Help an Introvert Engage at Meetings by Ron Edmondson
- True Confession: Life as an Introvert by Ron Edmondson
- How an Introvert Handles Awkward Situations by Ron Edmondson
- 7 False Assumptions about Introverts by Ron Edmondson (He’s got other posts on this subject as well, but I thought four was enough. You can check out his links for his other great posts.)
- Staying in Community When You are an Introvert at Building Church Leaders
- Leading as an Introvert at Building Church Leaders
- The Christian Introvert by Tim Challies at Crosswalk.com
- Introvert? No Apology Required by Adam McHugh at Crosswalk.com
- Introverts: You Can Evangelize by Whitney Hopler at Crosswalk.com