Friday, April 12, 2013

Innie or Outie?

Which applies to you? Wait! Please, don't tell me about your belly buttons. I don't really want to know that. I want to know if you are an introvert or an extrovert.

Mike and I are opposites here. I am an extrovert, although not a very strong one. He is an introvert...a VERY strong introvert.  Weird, huh? He's a pastor! Who would have thought? I think most people would expect that a pastor would have to be an extrovert. They work with people all the time, they speak in front of crowds and they rarely have time to themselves. Well, Mike is a good pastor and he is an introvert. Labels don't define us now, do they?

Sometimes people think of introverts as being very shy. I wouldn't call Mike shy. One description  that helped me understand this was that  an extrovert gets energized by being around people and an introvert gets energized more by spending time alone. An introvert can spend time with others and even enjoy it, but they need to be alone to kind of fill up their gas tanks. That basic idea comes from the book Please Understand Me, which uses the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. We've had lots of family members take this test. It is certainly a great conversation starter! It goes way beyond introverts and extroverts.

Another book I would recommend if you are interested in learning more about introverts is this one...

This book theorizes that our society values an extrovert over an introvert. I think that is probably true. However, it goes on to tell why we need introverts in this world. Their ability toward introspection and observation can lead to a lot of great things. I love that Mike is an introvert and I think I always have. When an introvert opens up and shares their thoughts with you, it is pretty wonderful.

One of the lessons in the book was to encourage introverts to be sure to carve out their much needed alone time. Remember, that is how they are energized. That was quite a shock to me early in our marriage as Mike needed that alone time more than I did.  Now, I've come to value it myself even though I am technically an extrovert. See, we can learn from each other! We need each other.

I leave you today with this quote from Hermann Hesse. I just really liked it.

"Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary 
to which you can retreat any time and 
be yourself."


Anne Marie said...

I am most definitely an innie.

Maria Rose said...

Extrovert to the max! Innie belly button though.

Pam said...

Loved the title to this... great way to draw you in... I am an innie on both counts.

Michelle said...

I, too, am an innie. I've long recognized my need for alone time, or just time in my own home, after being in a "people rich" environment. I've started reading a book named "Quiet" by Susan Cain, which sounds like it has a lot of the same kind of info as the books you mention. One thing that I was struck by in her book is a discussion of the trend in many churches to work up a lot of excitement and emotion in services, which leaves the introvert feeling alienated, left out, out of step, or devaluated. She has a subheading called "Does God love introverts?" Your blog has reminded me of this book, which I need to finish reading.

Sue said...

I would have guessed that.

Mom said...

To the max?
I already knew about your belly button but good for everyone to know.

Sue said...

Thanks, Pam. Good to know!

Sue said...

I'll be waiting for your book report, Michelle!

Allen said...

Extrovert without a belly button. Must explain, with all the surgeries I have had it no longer

Tina said...

I always thought of myself as an outie; but,as much as I LOVE being around other people, I really love coming home, putting my feet up, and doing something quiet. So maybe I am an innie. ???????? The older I get, the more I like being able to come home and chill.

elizabeth said...

ben and i are like you and mike.
a lot.
ben is a wonderful leader, but he is definitely an introvert.
i think those innie-leader husbands definitely benefit by having lovely extroverted wives. ;)
i too have learned some valuable lessons that ease some of the extreme extrovert ummm, foot-in-mouth on occasion) sorts of situations i could get myself into . . .

Sue said...


Sue said...

I think you are an innie... or maybe a hybrid mix like me!

Sue said...

Oh yes, that does sound like us. I most certainly have done plenty of the foot in mouth things!

Anonymous said...


You, of course, know that I am an introvert because you urged me to take the Myers-Briggs assessment. I have read The Introvert Advantage and have Quiet on my "to-be-read" list. Here is my reaction to the Introvert Advantage book:

rating 3 of 5 stars

review: I was much more impressed with the descriptive elements of this book than I was with the prescriptive ones. It is comforting to know that as a left-brain introvert it is quite understandable that I:

am lousy at snappy repartee and prefer substantive conversation.

prefer to talk to only one person if I have to be at a party.

spend too much time anticipating what might go wrong in a social situation.

replay bad experiences excessively.

have a phone phobia.

take time to make decisions and have "to sleep on it".

move in slow motion in the morning.

In contrast to Mike, I am a shy introvert. However, I am gradually, occasionally overcoming the shy aspect and actually initiate conversations in certain circumstances.


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