Yesterday I received an amazing gift. Wow.
What was it, you ask? This: Permission to be a happy, contented introvert.
See, for eons, various (pushy) extroverts told me being an introvert was bad. Unbiblical. Selfish. Basically, they insinuated introverted people needed to convert and become outgoing, vocal, crowd-lovers.
Always the rebel, I'd usually push back and try to ignore those who attempted to control me. Yet even so, I learned to just live with this vague sense that, as an introvert, I was less than those wild and crazy extroverts.
But oh my. Yesterday online I discovered that close to half of us on this planet are natural introverts, close to half are extroverts and the rest are ambiverts, people who are basically half of each.
Each group has different strengths and weaknesses. Each group has value.
Now, I'm not talking about shyness--that's often related to fear and I would never recommend living a fear-based lifestyle(!)
No, I'm saying I'm a classic introvert. Crowds make me nervous, and I need lots of time alone to recharge after I've been in them. (This also explains why I nearly hyperventilate when people suggest I look for a job at public places like Target or Tim Horton's.)
When I'm away from home too long, I get antsy to return to my familiar surroundings. I love to be outside alone. I love to be inside alone and I actually love sitting in a movie theater or a coffee shop alone. I basically enjoy my own company, especially since back in 1994, Jesus became a very real part of 'my own company.'
Small-talk bores me and I prefer one-on-one conversations because they tend to be more real. Conversations which go deep, rather than skim the surface, thrill my heart. And on and on.
Fortunately, Tom is also an introvert and I feel we are fortunate that way. (Could some couples' problems be related to his being an introvert and her being an extrovert--or vice-versa? I wonder.) With what I read yesterday, I now understand why Tom and I aren't into long vacations, parties, concerts, mall shopping, busy restaurants--anything which involves traveling for long periods of time or being in large crowds.
Think you may be an introvert, also? Check out these articles--I found them fascinating, freeing and they helped me understand why I still prefer time alone, even after being set free from (most of) my previous shyness:
All About Introverts
13 Rules For Being Alone and Being Happy About It
Top Ten Myths About Introverts
And well, I'll tell ya..... Since God knows what He's doing and since He's a huge fan of balance, it's not hard to imagine why around half of us are introverts and the other half are extroverts. God's got a purpose, a reason for everything He does--if only we could understand that! And if only we would stop trying to turn other people into clones of ourselves, maybe we'd all just calm down in a peaceful air of acceptance and be happy.
Anyway, for the rest of my life I will hold my introverted head up high and never again feel bad about needing zillions of hours alone. You won't hear me apologizing for being an introvert ever again--that would be like telling God He didn't know what He was doing when He thought-up this extrovert/introvert thing to begin with.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." ... Philippians 2:3
"Love one another." ... John 13:24