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."

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