Hey there BCU Family!
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In a post on random things about me, I revealed that I was a little shy and introverted–which some may have a hard time believing since I teach for work AND for the Lord–on a social media platform no less! Well, much research has been done on introverts (typically quiet and introspective) and extroverts (basically outgoing and expressive) down through the years, so I thought this would be an interesting topic to dive into.
This nifty site, IntrovertDear.com, is where I learned quite a bit on introversion. Here are a few things that especially stood out to me about me:
1. You enjoy spending time alone
Most introverts enjoy social time too, but all introverts enjoy the solitude of spending time alone. If alone time feels refreshing, peaceful, and helps you recharge, you’re probably an introvert.
2. You do your best work alone
Introverts rarely work well in crowded environments. The more secluded you are, the more likely you are to focus deeply and produce great work. You may feel more creative, focused, or productive, or you may simply be able to do more in a shorter time. It doesn’t mean you can’t work on teams, but you like to retreat somewhere quiet once the collaborating is done. In an open office, noise-canceling headphones are your friend.
3. You’d rather hang out with a few close friends than a large group of people.
It’s a myth that introverts don’t like to socialize. Sitting with a few close friends, you may enjoy chatting all night, and you may even “seem” like an extrovert. For whatever reason, these types of interactions don’t drain you the way others do. But once you get to a party or large group setting, you know it’s only a matter of time before you feel wiped out.
4. You prefer to stay out of the spotlight
There are exceptions to this, but many introverts prefer not to speak up in large group settings — and would rather hand off speaking roles to someone else. Of course, many introverts are creatives and performers, and some even love getting on stage. Others are business leaders who speak in front of teams or audiences all the time. Introverts are fully capable of learning and mastering these skills, but if your natural inclination is to avoid group participation, you may be an introvert.
5. You’re better at writing your thoughts than speaking them
You may or may not be a natural novelist, but if writing something is more comfortable than saying it in person, it’s a strong sign you’re an introvert. Introverts take time to think about what we want to say, and while that can slow down a live conversation, it makes for very clear and expressive writing.
6. You dive deep, both in your relationships and interests
What exactly do you do with that alone time you like to have? It’s time for self-reflection, of course! You might spend it thinking about your life, the people you love, your career, or the “big questions” in life. Or, you might spend it reading, researching, or creating art. All of these things give you a tendency to go deeper than others into the topics and pursuits that interest you. (Of course, you also spend some of that time just relaxing and recharging.)
7. You have a vivid, rich inner world
You might spend a lot of time pondering, and even dreaming. Or, you might just prefer to think things through before you act. Not every introvert is a dreamer or creative, but almost all have an entire inner world that they find just as comfortable as the world around them.
Important note: There’s No Such Thing as a Pure Introvert
No two introverts are exactly alike. What’s true for one introvert may be be quite different for another. Each introvert has a different level of tolerance for socializing and other types of stimulation.
Above all, there is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. “Such a man would be in the lunatic asylum,” the famous psychotherapist Carl Jung once noted. Introversion and extroversion are on a spectrum, meaning, they are not all-or-nothing traits. Everyone acts introverted at times and extroverted at other times. It’s all about what your preference — in general — tends to be.
When I read this through, BCU Fam it explained things from a historical and even hereditary perspective. My dad—a wonderful man of God and retired transit system operator, interacted with us at home of course, but was generally a quieter, introspective, reserved man. In speaking with some of his co-workers and people who rode his bus, he was pretty much in constant chat mode as a part of his occupation. After a full 8-plus hours of all of that interaction, when he arrived home from work, his conversations were light in content! We used to lovingly tease about that, but I now know that he needed time to recharge from the day.
Similarly, as a facilitator, I spend most of most of my days instructing, and after a full day, I need/prefer a lot of quiet time before heading conversations and social settings. Now, even after talking most of the day, depending on the situation, I can and am often up for a conversation, and as a servant of God, I have to be available to people, as the Lord leads. So if I am not fully recharged, I ask the Lord for some help. He always comes through!
My questions for you: did anything on this list resonate with you at all, BCUFam? Or are you the opposite? Maybe you are a combo (ambivert)? Are you unsure? Take the quiz! Then, let’s continue our conversation in the chat box below!
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