About introverts

What a GREAT and helpful discussion we had yesterday about introverts and church!  It should be required reading for pastors, seminarians, and church growth consultants.

I was struck with the number of commenters who said, in effect, “so that’s it!  I thought I was weird or just a bad person; now I know I’m just an introvert.”  Then there was the would-be pastor who was counseled out of the ministry for scoring “introvert” on a personality test.  And, saddest of all, the commenter who said that he had stopped going to church and  assumed Christianity was not for him, not realizing that his introversion is shared by lots of Christians and that it is not a bad thing!

To continue our education about the subject, whether as an exercise in self-knowledge or as an exercise in knowledge about other people, I’d like to thank Stephanie for linking to this article on the subject by Jonathan Rauch published in the Atlantic a few years ago.  Here is a sampling (though you should read the whole thing):

What is introversion? . . . . Introverts are not necessarily shy. Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not. Introverts are also not misanthropic, though some of us do go along with Sartre as far as to say “Hell is other people at breakfast.” Rather, introverts are people who find other people tiring.

Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone. They often seem bored by themselves, in both senses of the expression. Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially “on,” we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. . . .

How many people are introverts? I performed exhaustive research on this question, in the form of a quick Google search. The answer: About 25 percent. Or: Just under half. Or—my favorite—”a minority in the regular population but a majority in the gifted population.” . . .

Are introverts oppressed? I would have to say so. For one thing, extroverts are overrepresented in politics, a profession in which only the garrulous are really comfortable. Look at George W. Bush. Look at Bill Clinton. They seem to come fully to life only around other people. To think of the few introverts who did rise to the top in politics—Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon—is merely to drive home the point. With the possible exception of Ronald Reagan, whose fabled aloofness and privateness were probably signs of a deep introverted streak (many actors, I’ve read, are introverts, and many introverts, when socializing, feel like actors), introverts are not considered “naturals” in politics.

Extroverts therefore dominate public life. This is a pity. If we introverts ran the world, it would no doubt be a calmer, saner, more peaceful sort of place. As Coolidge is supposed to have said, “Don’t you know that four fifths of all our troubles in this life would disappear if we would just sit down and keep still?” (He is also supposed to have said, “If you don’t say anything, you won’t be called on to repeat it.” The only thing a true introvert dislikes more than talking about himself is repeating himself.)

With their endless appetite for talk and attention, extroverts also dominate social life, so they tend to set expectations. In our extrovertist society, being outgoing is considered normal and therefore desirable, a mark of happiness, confidence, leadership. Extroverts are seen as bighearted, vibrant, warm, empathic. “People person” is a compliment. Introverts are described with words like “guarded,” “loner,” “reserved,” “taciturn,” “self-contained,” “private”—narrow, ungenerous words, words that suggest emotional parsimony and smallness of personality. Female introverts, I suspect, must suffer especially. In certain circles, particularly in the Midwest, a man can still sometimes get away with being what they used to call a strong and silent type; introverted women, lacking that alternative, are even more likely than men to be perceived as timid, withdrawn, haughty. . . .

How can I let the introvert in my life know that I support him and respect his choice? First, recognize that it’s not a choice. It’s not a lifestyle. It’s an orientation.

Second, when you see an introvert lost in thought, don’t say “What’s the matter?” or “Are you all right?”

Third, don’t say anything else, either.

via Caring for Your Introvert – The Atlantic (March 2003).

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://RoseFremer@yahoo.com Rose

    Great article. As church librarian, I placed book racks for books, CDs and DVDs near the coffee area. We need to create welcomig spaces for introverts.

  • http://RoseFremer@yahoo.com Rose

    Great article. As church librarian, I placed book racks for books, CDs and DVDs near the coffee area. We need to create welcomig spaces for introverts.

  • Larry

    You know this is a rather timely discussion. Not just the church aspect but the whole “introvert” thing. In my work position and family life I generally deal with a lot of people. It’s constant people input, good and bad. But over the past two years, the time were this has been highest and since I took this new position at work I’ve felt like “I couldn’t just get away and breath”. My wife, a dictionary extrovert and she’d say so, would ask me, “what is it that’s bothering you more.” I told her many times that, “I couldn’t exactly put my finger on it but that it seems to be best capture or express in what I call ‘the weight of people and the need to ‘just not hear another voice for a few hours in the day/week’.” I’m constantly barraged by them in every walk of my life. We moved out further into the country just a few months ago, not intentionally it just worked out that way, but it does help as one can go outside and not see a soul, breath as it were. Usually at work for lunch I go for a long walk at a local park that’s pretty isolated and few if any persons are there – very reviving.

    Now I know why!

    Larry

    PS: Rose, I always loved libraries!

  • Larry

    You know this is a rather timely discussion. Not just the church aspect but the whole “introvert” thing. In my work position and family life I generally deal with a lot of people. It’s constant people input, good and bad. But over the past two years, the time were this has been highest and since I took this new position at work I’ve felt like “I couldn’t just get away and breath”. My wife, a dictionary extrovert and she’d say so, would ask me, “what is it that’s bothering you more.” I told her many times that, “I couldn’t exactly put my finger on it but that it seems to be best capture or express in what I call ‘the weight of people and the need to ‘just not hear another voice for a few hours in the day/week’.” I’m constantly barraged by them in every walk of my life. We moved out further into the country just a few months ago, not intentionally it just worked out that way, but it does help as one can go outside and not see a soul, breath as it were. Usually at work for lunch I go for a long walk at a local park that’s pretty isolated and few if any persons are there – very reviving.

    Now I know why!

    Larry

    PS: Rose, I always loved libraries!

  • Jonathan

    I think that I am an introvert by choice. It’s a learned behavior, just as is any “orientation.” For me, it was probably not enough play dates as a small child. Maybe it is because I didn’t get to nursury school early enough to learn to socialize well. Maybe it was cemented by being spurned or bullied in a social setting in Kindergarten. Regardless of the cause, when I work at it, I can operate well enough in and even enjoy myself in social settings. It is work, though. And I don’t want to always be an introvert. I don’t think God made us one way or the other. He did say, “It is *not* good for man to be alone.”

  • Jonathan

    I think that I am an introvert by choice. It’s a learned behavior, just as is any “orientation.” For me, it was probably not enough play dates as a small child. Maybe it is because I didn’t get to nursury school early enough to learn to socialize well. Maybe it was cemented by being spurned or bullied in a social setting in Kindergarten. Regardless of the cause, when I work at it, I can operate well enough in and even enjoy myself in social settings. It is work, though. And I don’t want to always be an introvert. I don’t think God made us one way or the other. He did say, “It is *not* good for man to be alone.”

  • http://weedon.blogspot.com weedon

    Random thoughts:

    Conferences are torture chambers. No place to escape.

    Running with my iPod is a great way to be alone (sort of).

    Taking “mini breaks” from people – even if for only five minutes or so – can do wonders for not losing your mind.

  • http://weedon.blogspot.com weedon

    Random thoughts:

    Conferences are torture chambers. No place to escape.

    Running with my iPod is a great way to be alone (sort of).

    Taking “mini breaks” from people – even if for only five minutes or so – can do wonders for not losing your mind.

  • Winston Smith

    ” … many introverts, when socializing, feel like actors ..”

    ” … The only thing a true introvert dislikes more than talking about himself is repeating himself.”

    This author knows what he is talking about.

    Now if only someone could tell the guy from yesterday who thinks that introverts who don’t socialize at church are leading a secret (dirty) life and need accountability …

  • Winston Smith

    ” … many introverts, when socializing, feel like actors ..”

    ” … The only thing a true introvert dislikes more than talking about himself is repeating himself.”

    This author knows what he is talking about.

    Now if only someone could tell the guy from yesterday who thinks that introverts who don’t socialize at church are leading a secret (dirty) life and need accountability …

  • Winston Smith

    @Jonathan, being an only child will do it every time. These patterns are formed in our early years, and if your only friends at that age are books and toys, you learn to amuse yourself.

  • Winston Smith

    @Jonathan, being an only child will do it every time. These patterns are formed in our early years, and if your only friends at that age are books and toys, you learn to amuse yourself.

  • Larry Wright

    I’m sorry, what did you did you just say?

  • Larry Wright

    I’m sorry, what did you did you just say?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I seem to remember scoring introvert on my sem exams, but here is the deal. I like long hours of study, two books translated and published should attest to that. I have spent days by myself rarely seeing another soul, and enjoyed the time.
    But I love a party. Conferences are only torture chambers if Calvinists or Arminians are speaking. For the most part though I like them. I hate a Friday night spent at home without guests. I can’t wait for Sunday morning, because then I get to see my congregation and share with them. Of course, most Sunday afternoons I need a nap, if I’m not crossing the state to preach somewhere else. I like that time alone in the car though.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I seem to remember scoring introvert on my sem exams, but here is the deal. I like long hours of study, two books translated and published should attest to that. I have spent days by myself rarely seeing another soul, and enjoyed the time.
    But I love a party. Conferences are only torture chambers if Calvinists or Arminians are speaking. For the most part though I like them. I hate a Friday night spent at home without guests. I can’t wait for Sunday morning, because then I get to see my congregation and share with them. Of course, most Sunday afternoons I need a nap, if I’m not crossing the state to preach somewhere else. I like that time alone in the car though.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Being aware as a pastor how introverts perceive things has never been a problem for me. The only part of the Myers-Briggs, I consistently score in is nearly maxing the introvert score. While at sem, I was counseled about whether or not I really wanted to do this. Obviously, now that I have been in the ministry nearly 5 years the answer was yes, I do. Is it easy being an introverted pastor? No, social situations, counseling are all taxing, and I really don’t like talking on the phone. However, it is doable. One just has to be aware of the tendency and compensate. I find it less taxing to do face to face visits than it is to talk on the phone so I meet people face to face. I spend time with my office door shut so I can be “alone”. I rarely schedule things after Sunday services, I usually go home and collapse, particularly if I preached (we have two of us pastors here). I also take advantage of the social networking sites, my youth love that because they have a pastor who can talk their language and cares to meet them on their turf. Several introverts in the congregation have spoken with me about how they like me posting short devotionals on our congregations facebook group. And though I am new at my current congregation, I am already gaining the reputation of being the guy to talk to if you want theological stuff explained simply (heard that from a confirmation parent).

    The funny thing is because I work so hard to compensate, nobody believes me when I say that I am painfully shy and introverted.

    There is one part about being an introvert pastor that is a blessing. I recognize other introverts for who they are and don’t let them get lost in the chaos that is an extroverted world.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Being aware as a pastor how introverts perceive things has never been a problem for me. The only part of the Myers-Briggs, I consistently score in is nearly maxing the introvert score. While at sem, I was counseled about whether or not I really wanted to do this. Obviously, now that I have been in the ministry nearly 5 years the answer was yes, I do. Is it easy being an introverted pastor? No, social situations, counseling are all taxing, and I really don’t like talking on the phone. However, it is doable. One just has to be aware of the tendency and compensate. I find it less taxing to do face to face visits than it is to talk on the phone so I meet people face to face. I spend time with my office door shut so I can be “alone”. I rarely schedule things after Sunday services, I usually go home and collapse, particularly if I preached (we have two of us pastors here). I also take advantage of the social networking sites, my youth love that because they have a pastor who can talk their language and cares to meet them on their turf. Several introverts in the congregation have spoken with me about how they like me posting short devotionals on our congregations facebook group. And though I am new at my current congregation, I am already gaining the reputation of being the guy to talk to if you want theological stuff explained simply (heard that from a confirmation parent).

    The funny thing is because I work so hard to compensate, nobody believes me when I say that I am painfully shy and introverted.

    There is one part about being an introvert pastor that is a blessing. I recognize other introverts for who they are and don’t let them get lost in the chaos that is an extroverted world.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @Bror

    Ditto, but I like my Fridays alone and translation isn’t my forte. Although I have been doing some research on the image of God in marriage and how it relates to the pastor/congregation image.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @Bror

    Ditto, but I like my Fridays alone and translation isn’t my forte. Although I have been doing some research on the image of God in marriage and how it relates to the pastor/congregation image.

  • http://weedon.blogspot.com weedon

    Dr Luther,

    About the phone, oh triple yes. It is a device from hell! ;) I would so much rather deal with email than a phone call any day. I use my message service a lot…

  • http://weedon.blogspot.com weedon

    Dr Luther,

    About the phone, oh triple yes. It is a device from hell! ;) I would so much rather deal with email than a phone call any day. I use my message service a lot…

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Somehow the listing of Nixon as an introverted political leader does not seem to support the idea that a world run by introverts would be a better place….it reminds me of Frederick of Prussia saying that if he wished to punish a province, he’d have it run by philosophers. :^)

    Which is to say that I agree that the world would be a better place if there were more people who read the right books, not just any books….and I say this as a person who has, and has read most of, 16 good sized shelves of books.

    On the other hand, too many extroverts have given me the unfortunate predisposition to reflexively distrust the person who seems “too friendly.”

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Somehow the listing of Nixon as an introverted political leader does not seem to support the idea that a world run by introverts would be a better place….it reminds me of Frederick of Prussia saying that if he wished to punish a province, he’d have it run by philosophers. :^)

    Which is to say that I agree that the world would be a better place if there were more people who read the right books, not just any books….and I say this as a person who has, and has read most of, 16 good sized shelves of books.

    On the other hand, too many extroverts have given me the unfortunate predisposition to reflexively distrust the person who seems “too friendly.”

  • Karyn

    I read this article by J. Rauch when Pastor Weedon cited it in his blog some time ago and this particular observation caught my eye:

    “Female introverts, I suspect, must suffer especially. In certain circles, particularly in the Midwest, a man can still sometimes get away with being what they used to call a strong and silent type; introverted women, lacking that alternative, are even more likely than men to be perceived as timid, withdrawn, haughty. . . .”

    I hereby testify, this is most certainly true. :)

  • Karyn

    I read this article by J. Rauch when Pastor Weedon cited it in his blog some time ago and this particular observation caught my eye:

    “Female introverts, I suspect, must suffer especially. In certain circles, particularly in the Midwest, a man can still sometimes get away with being what they used to call a strong and silent type; introverted women, lacking that alternative, are even more likely than men to be perceived as timid, withdrawn, haughty. . . .”

    I hereby testify, this is most certainly true. :)

  • Sandi

    Let us assume that Christ is the perfect balance between the two social comfort zones. Should we not all be moving towards the opposite direction. Doesnt the introvert need to die to his/herself in order to serve. Just as the extrovert needs to die to self and spend more time in reflection?
    Regarding this topic, what does it look like to be an ambassador for Christ?

  • Sandi

    Let us assume that Christ is the perfect balance between the two social comfort zones. Should we not all be moving towards the opposite direction. Doesnt the introvert need to die to his/herself in order to serve. Just as the extrovert needs to die to self and spend more time in reflection?
    Regarding this topic, what does it look like to be an ambassador for Christ?

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    I suspect that blogging/e-mail/Internet chatting are the perfect media for introverts.

    What do you guys think?

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    I suspect that blogging/e-mail/Internet chatting are the perfect media for introverts.

    What do you guys think?

  • Jerry

    I’m sorry Sandi, but we’re all different because we have different functions in the church. My wife keeps reminding me that some of us have to be introverts just because the church wouldn’t function if it were all extroverts.

    That said we’re all called into various functions at different times. Extroverts get their energy from others; introverts are drained of their energy by others. We do ned to know where are trust is based, and not worry about if we will have sufficient energy, but as you suggest die to self, and trust that God will provide us with the necessary energy in the role that he has us at that moment.

  • Jerry

    I’m sorry Sandi, but we’re all different because we have different functions in the church. My wife keeps reminding me that some of us have to be introverts just because the church wouldn’t function if it were all extroverts.

    That said we’re all called into various functions at different times. Extroverts get their energy from others; introverts are drained of their energy by others. We do ned to know where are trust is based, and not worry about if we will have sufficient energy, but as you suggest die to self, and trust that God will provide us with the necessary energy in the role that he has us at that moment.

  • A.D.P.

    “Female introverts, I suspect, must suffer especially. In certain circles, particularly in the Midwest, a man can still sometimes get away with being what they used to call a strong and silent type; introverted women, lacking that alternative, are even more likely than men to be perceived as timid, withdrawn, haughty. . . .”

    Yup. Agree with the article, agree with Karyn.

  • A.D.P.

    “Female introverts, I suspect, must suffer especially. In certain circles, particularly in the Midwest, a man can still sometimes get away with being what they used to call a strong and silent type; introverted women, lacking that alternative, are even more likely than men to be perceived as timid, withdrawn, haughty. . . .”

    Yup. Agree with the article, agree with Karyn.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Winston (@6) said, “being an only child will do it every time”. Sorry, no. I’m an only child, and I’m definitely not (just?) an introvert. Not so sure how strong of an extrovert I am (I still enjoy “amusing myself”, just like I used to as a kid — I don’t require social interaction), but I don’t think you can say all only children are extroverts. My wife’s more of an introvert than me, and she has two sisters (one of which is also an introvert, and one of whom is definitely not).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Winston (@6) said, “being an only child will do it every time”. Sorry, no. I’m an only child, and I’m definitely not (just?) an introvert. Not so sure how strong of an extrovert I am (I still enjoy “amusing myself”, just like I used to as a kid — I don’t require social interaction), but I don’t think you can say all only children are extroverts. My wife’s more of an introvert than me, and she has two sisters (one of which is also an introvert, and one of whom is definitely not).

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Rev. McCain asks a good question. We could take a head count here.

    I hadn’t thought of it this way, that the medium suits introverts better. It takes some courage to be out there. I worry about it. I always thought it an extroverted activity.

    I prefer the medium, when I do, because of its precision. You can talk to the right person about the relevant matter you care about in hopefully the most constructive way, and at a time that is suitable.

    In “real” life it can be hard to find someone who wants to talk about what you want to talk about when you do. So many people just drone on and on.

    And then when it has to do with religion they don’t want to talk about it at all. You mention Jesus in most conversations and people are ready to fall over just like in the gospel.

    But no use stereotyping. Many extroverts like books, quiet, liturgy just as much, I’d wager. There is just a different balance point. On the other hand, if someone has to spend a lot of time with people during work, it would be natural that they crave quiet.

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Rev. McCain asks a good question. We could take a head count here.

    I hadn’t thought of it this way, that the medium suits introverts better. It takes some courage to be out there. I worry about it. I always thought it an extroverted activity.

    I prefer the medium, when I do, because of its precision. You can talk to the right person about the relevant matter you care about in hopefully the most constructive way, and at a time that is suitable.

    In “real” life it can be hard to find someone who wants to talk about what you want to talk about when you do. So many people just drone on and on.

    And then when it has to do with religion they don’t want to talk about it at all. You mention Jesus in most conversations and people are ready to fall over just like in the gospel.

    But no use stereotyping. Many extroverts like books, quiet, liturgy just as much, I’d wager. There is just a different balance point. On the other hand, if someone has to spend a lot of time with people during work, it would be natural that they crave quiet.

  • Cheryl

    My husband is an introvert. I spent the first 15 years of marriage thinking something was wrong with him that I could somehow change. Once I understood it is how he was wired by God and that it wasn’t some kind of “deficit”, things went much smoother; I quit trying to change him. It helped him to do research on and understand his particular personality. A really good book he found, probably 20 years old though, is called “Solitude: A Return to the Self” by Anthony Storr. He makes the point that some of the most brilliant thinkers were people who craved solitude: Newton, Descarte, Kant, Pascal, and Nietzche were all introverts, craved solitude, which was most likely essential to their creative genius.
    I worked for a very successful pastor who was introverted. He could get up on Sunday morning and give wonderful sermons and for all intents and purposes appeared extroverted. However, on a one-to-one basis or in general he was quite introverted which came across as arrogance to some who didn’t know him and didn’t understand, causing him to be judged unfairly. What he was doing was “extroverting” his gift for teaching, but his gifts and talents demanded he be alone to recharge, study, write, etc. Introversion is not a “pathology”, but an essential lifestyle. Perhaps those who are comfortable in solitude are heathier than those who crave constantly being around people, and living a frenzied lifestyle.

  • Cheryl

    My husband is an introvert. I spent the first 15 years of marriage thinking something was wrong with him that I could somehow change. Once I understood it is how he was wired by God and that it wasn’t some kind of “deficit”, things went much smoother; I quit trying to change him. It helped him to do research on and understand his particular personality. A really good book he found, probably 20 years old though, is called “Solitude: A Return to the Self” by Anthony Storr. He makes the point that some of the most brilliant thinkers were people who craved solitude: Newton, Descarte, Kant, Pascal, and Nietzche were all introverts, craved solitude, which was most likely essential to their creative genius.
    I worked for a very successful pastor who was introverted. He could get up on Sunday morning and give wonderful sermons and for all intents and purposes appeared extroverted. However, on a one-to-one basis or in general he was quite introverted which came across as arrogance to some who didn’t know him and didn’t understand, causing him to be judged unfairly. What he was doing was “extroverting” his gift for teaching, but his gifts and talents demanded he be alone to recharge, study, write, etc. Introversion is not a “pathology”, but an essential lifestyle. Perhaps those who are comfortable in solitude are heathier than those who crave constantly being around people, and living a frenzied lifestyle.

  • An extrovert

    My husband and I have been discussing this all day–I guess that’s what married extroverts do to process information! It is true that most of us extroverts simply don’t understand introverts and therefore don’t know how to best interact with them. But how does one separate introverted behavior with un-friendliness. We have a solid liturgical, confessional church, for which we praise God. But it pains us the number of people who look past us on Sunday mornings. Not a greeting in passing. Often not a smile. I doubt they know our names. As “newer” members, it is disappointing for us to keep having to initiate conversation if we are seeking that at all.

    We often tell lonely people to seek out Christian fellowship within the Church. That is often a challenge.

  • An extrovert

    My husband and I have been discussing this all day–I guess that’s what married extroverts do to process information! It is true that most of us extroverts simply don’t understand introverts and therefore don’t know how to best interact with them. But how does one separate introverted behavior with un-friendliness. We have a solid liturgical, confessional church, for which we praise God. But it pains us the number of people who look past us on Sunday mornings. Not a greeting in passing. Often not a smile. I doubt they know our names. As “newer” members, it is disappointing for us to keep having to initiate conversation if we are seeking that at all.

    We often tell lonely people to seek out Christian fellowship within the Church. That is often a challenge.

  • Jonathan

    “Once I understood it is how he was wired by God and that it wasn’t some kind of “deficit”, things went much smoother; I quit trying to change him.”

    If one can be “wired by God” this way for a certain type of social interaction “orientation”, then why is there such a dispute about other types of “orientation” and whether God also “wires” some for a certain type of “orientation” there?

    I think intro/extro “orientation” is a learned behavior and can be changed with work–yes, work. You just have to want to change, get out of your comfort zone, confront your fears.

    Oh, and I’m not an only child, I’m No. 4 of 5. Maybe that has something to do with introversion, being lost in the middle.

  • Jonathan

    “Once I understood it is how he was wired by God and that it wasn’t some kind of “deficit”, things went much smoother; I quit trying to change him.”

    If one can be “wired by God” this way for a certain type of social interaction “orientation”, then why is there such a dispute about other types of “orientation” and whether God also “wires” some for a certain type of “orientation” there?

    I think intro/extro “orientation” is a learned behavior and can be changed with work–yes, work. You just have to want to change, get out of your comfort zone, confront your fears.

    Oh, and I’m not an only child, I’m No. 4 of 5. Maybe that has something to do with introversion, being lost in the middle.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    You know as a pastor I often have people say something to the effect that they find the other people not to be friendly because no one said Hi. But from my perspective I think, yes that is the problem, you didn’t say hi. Cut’s both ways. I know for the newer people there is often a timidity, unfamiliar ground and what not, but… say hi.
    And then when new people do come remember what it was like. It isn’t that the people aren’t being friendly. They maybe just don’t know any better. But I moved a lot when I was a kid, and found that it’s just that way.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    You know as a pastor I often have people say something to the effect that they find the other people not to be friendly because no one said Hi. But from my perspective I think, yes that is the problem, you didn’t say hi. Cut’s both ways. I know for the newer people there is often a timidity, unfamiliar ground and what not, but… say hi.
    And then when new people do come remember what it was like. It isn’t that the people aren’t being friendly. They maybe just don’t know any better. But I moved a lot when I was a kid, and found that it’s just that way.

  • Stephanie

    For everyone who says you can change from introvert to extrovert (why is no one suggesting that people should change the other way?) – maybe it is possible, if you are only slightly introverted. But in most cases what a person is changing is the way he acts. Not the way she feels. Introversion is not being shy. It is not being quiet. It is not avoiding other people. Introversion is when being with other people tires you out. So sure, I could be the life of some party, but that would not mean I had turned extrovert. It would mean I ended up exhausted – physically, mentally, emotionally. This sometimes causes introverts to be quiet and avoid large groups of people. But simply going to parties and acting extroverted doesn’t mean you have become an extrovert.

    I am moderately introverted. And I am not an only child (oldest of 5). I love my family dearly but when I visit, the people all around all the time… I have to escape to a quiet room now and again.

    When I first read Rauch’s article what opened my eyes is that it explained *extroverts* to me. I have a friend who will tell me one week that her career plans are to move to city A and adopt kids and her husband will stay home with them because her salary would support them but his wouldn’t and… The very next week she’s going to stay in city B and can’t, therefore, afford to raise kids. She would convey each item with total confidence. This is what we *will* do. Not might. It used to drive me batty. Make. up. your. mind. Now I realize that she is just playing with the ideas. Out loud. Incessantly. And “will” mean “maybe.” And when I leave the table to use the bathroom the fact that her cell phone is in her hand before I stand more than half-way up is not insulting or rude. It is just her extroverted personality.

  • Stephanie

    For everyone who says you can change from introvert to extrovert (why is no one suggesting that people should change the other way?) – maybe it is possible, if you are only slightly introverted. But in most cases what a person is changing is the way he acts. Not the way she feels. Introversion is not being shy. It is not being quiet. It is not avoiding other people. Introversion is when being with other people tires you out. So sure, I could be the life of some party, but that would not mean I had turned extrovert. It would mean I ended up exhausted – physically, mentally, emotionally. This sometimes causes introverts to be quiet and avoid large groups of people. But simply going to parties and acting extroverted doesn’t mean you have become an extrovert.

    I am moderately introverted. And I am not an only child (oldest of 5). I love my family dearly but when I visit, the people all around all the time… I have to escape to a quiet room now and again.

    When I first read Rauch’s article what opened my eyes is that it explained *extroverts* to me. I have a friend who will tell me one week that her career plans are to move to city A and adopt kids and her husband will stay home with them because her salary would support them but his wouldn’t and… The very next week she’s going to stay in city B and can’t, therefore, afford to raise kids. She would convey each item with total confidence. This is what we *will* do. Not might. It used to drive me batty. Make. up. your. mind. Now I realize that she is just playing with the ideas. Out loud. Incessantly. And “will” mean “maybe.” And when I leave the table to use the bathroom the fact that her cell phone is in her hand before I stand more than half-way up is not insulting or rude. It is just her extroverted personality.

  • kerner

    When my wife and I took my son to his duty station (from which he will eventually deploy to Afghanistan), my wife hugged my son and tearfully said goodbye. I then shook his hand and told him, “Don’t forget to duck.” My wife seemed dissatisfied with this and said we should hug each other (we might not get another chance). My son and I said, almost in unison, “We don’t hug.” Well…we don’t. My son and I don’t take long walks in the moonlight together, either; so what? My relationship with my father was similar.

    Extroverts tend to express their feelings in overt ways. Just because introverts reject the flowery demonstrations of affection doesn’t mean we don’t have feelings, it just means we experss them differently.

    This is particularly true among men. The Yiddish word “Menschkeit”, means “an understanding between men”. Its the kind of mutual respect and love men can have among themselves and understand without emotional demonstrations or even words. Women, who in my experience tend to be more extroverted on average, should keep in mind that this is how introverts relate to one another.

    This is not to criticize people who give, and want in return, overt demonstrations of affection. It’s just that introverts tend to do things differently, that’s all.

  • kerner

    When my wife and I took my son to his duty station (from which he will eventually deploy to Afghanistan), my wife hugged my son and tearfully said goodbye. I then shook his hand and told him, “Don’t forget to duck.” My wife seemed dissatisfied with this and said we should hug each other (we might not get another chance). My son and I said, almost in unison, “We don’t hug.” Well…we don’t. My son and I don’t take long walks in the moonlight together, either; so what? My relationship with my father was similar.

    Extroverts tend to express their feelings in overt ways. Just because introverts reject the flowery demonstrations of affection doesn’t mean we don’t have feelings, it just means we experss them differently.

    This is particularly true among men. The Yiddish word “Menschkeit”, means “an understanding between men”. Its the kind of mutual respect and love men can have among themselves and understand without emotional demonstrations or even words. Women, who in my experience tend to be more extroverted on average, should keep in mind that this is how introverts relate to one another.

    This is not to criticize people who give, and want in return, overt demonstrations of affection. It’s just that introverts tend to do things differently, that’s all.

  • Josie

    Totally agree that women suffer more in this area and especially in the church. After all, we have more pressure to be part of bible studies where we must share our deepest needs and emotions, throw parties and other functions such as “romantic” Valentine’s dinners, teas etc. and then, if that’s not enough, we have to go on special retreats with…tons of other women! Mind boggling and very very tiring for those of us who consider a quiet dinner at home with hubby to be romantic and a retreat to be something enjoyed alone.

    Don’t agree though about the whole “only child” thing causing this…My own son was an only for 10 years and we got to know plenty of others…he was usually the only introvert in the group – most of his friends like lots of attention and being the center of that attention. Also, you might want to consider that rather than school causing the introverted tendencies, it only made you more aware of those tendencies.

  • Josie

    Totally agree that women suffer more in this area and especially in the church. After all, we have more pressure to be part of bible studies where we must share our deepest needs and emotions, throw parties and other functions such as “romantic” Valentine’s dinners, teas etc. and then, if that’s not enough, we have to go on special retreats with…tons of other women! Mind boggling and very very tiring for those of us who consider a quiet dinner at home with hubby to be romantic and a retreat to be something enjoyed alone.

    Don’t agree though about the whole “only child” thing causing this…My own son was an only for 10 years and we got to know plenty of others…he was usually the only introvert in the group – most of his friends like lots of attention and being the center of that attention. Also, you might want to consider that rather than school causing the introverted tendencies, it only made you more aware of those tendencies.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    So, with 86 comments so far on the two posts about introversion — the vast majority of them from self-proclaimed introverts — it would seem obvious that introversion does not apply to online communication, as others have noted. In fact, it would seem the introverts are somewhat extroverted in this way. This means something.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    So, with 86 comments so far on the two posts about introversion — the vast majority of them from self-proclaimed introverts — it would seem obvious that introversion does not apply to online communication, as others have noted. In fact, it would seem the introverts are somewhat extroverted in this way. This means something.

  • A.D.P.

    tODD, online interaction doesn’t require the same kind of energy as face-to-face. ‘Nuff said.

  • A.D.P.

    tODD, online interaction doesn’t require the same kind of energy as face-to-face. ‘Nuff said.

  • kerner

    Yeah tODD, online, nobody knows I’m here. I can lurk until I have something to say. I’ve never taken a test so I don’t know my introvert quotient. But if I had to guess I would say I lean toward being an introvert, but not all the time. I’m not afraid to share my opinion, as people here know.

  • kerner

    Yeah tODD, online, nobody knows I’m here. I can lurk until I have something to say. I’ve never taken a test so I don’t know my introvert quotient. But if I had to guess I would say I lean toward being an introvert, but not all the time. I’m not afraid to share my opinion, as people here know.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD
  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD
  • CRB

    I believe that Luther said that our Christian life is something shaped by God.
    Would not the above also apply as to whether one is an introvert
    or extrovert and whether God might move us in one direction or
    another?

  • CRB

    I believe that Luther said that our Christian life is something shaped by God.
    Would not the above also apply as to whether one is an introvert
    or extrovert and whether God might move us in one direction or
    another?

  • Bob

    I think the figure that 25% of us are introverted is quite low.

    The author of the book linked below did a study and discovered that actually, over 50% of us can be described as introverted.

    Introverts, rise up…but quietly and behind the scenes if necessary!

    “The author reveals that 57% of the U.S. population identify as introverts and are so commonly misunderstood because many of them have become adept at mimicking extroversion (becoming a “Socially Accessible Introvert”) to get by.”

    http://www.amazon.com/Introvert-Power-Inner-Hidden-Strength/dp/1402211171/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265993092&sr=1-1

  • Bob

    I think the figure that 25% of us are introverted is quite low.

    The author of the book linked below did a study and discovered that actually, over 50% of us can be described as introverted.

    Introverts, rise up…but quietly and behind the scenes if necessary!

    “The author reveals that 57% of the U.S. population identify as introverts and are so commonly misunderstood because many of them have become adept at mimicking extroversion (becoming a “Socially Accessible Introvert”) to get by.”

    http://www.amazon.com/Introvert-Power-Inner-Hidden-Strength/dp/1402211171/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265993092&sr=1-1

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in exile

    I’m an extrovert, but I seem to be surrounded by introverts so much so that it seems like 75% of the population is introverted. I love my introverts and try to understand them. :-) I find the much of modern life, however, is geared toward the introvert. It’s hard for me to find occasions to get in enough social interaction b/c I’m a stay-at-home-mom and an on-break artist. Too much aloneness in this world for my taste, but I’m happy to leave you alone.

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in exile

    I’m an extrovert, but I seem to be surrounded by introverts so much so that it seems like 75% of the population is introverted. I love my introverts and try to understand them. :-) I find the much of modern life, however, is geared toward the introvert. It’s hard for me to find occasions to get in enough social interaction b/c I’m a stay-at-home-mom and an on-break artist. Too much aloneness in this world for my taste, but I’m happy to leave you alone.

  • http://www.pmlc.org Pastor Art Going

    I write as an introvert/pastor. I certainly appreciate the challenges of being an introvert in the church. But the need to find solitude to replenish one’s energy dare not excuse one from being a Christian-in-community. I think of Bonhoeffer’s definitive discussion in Life
    Together of not only the day alone, but the day together. Much 0f what the epistles say about church (the “one another” passages) assumes a rich fabric of relationships. One simply cannot be a Christian in isolation from others.

    So to casually bless individualistic behavior by chalking it off to introversion is anti-church. It may be that liturgical churches offer special advantages to the introvert. And that seeker churches, with their overbearing friendliness (but, caution: don’t assume too much about such churches!) are a danger zone for the introvert. The real point is that, in spite of our differing personalities we are nonetheless called to love one another, bear one another’s burdens, etc. I can’t any of that if I experience the liturgy and then slink out quietly.

    We used to tell our introvert son that being introverted is no excuse for rudeness or unsociability.

    Let’s think harder about this issue.

  • http://www.pmlc.org Pastor Art Going

    I write as an introvert/pastor. I certainly appreciate the challenges of being an introvert in the church. But the need to find solitude to replenish one’s energy dare not excuse one from being a Christian-in-community. I think of Bonhoeffer’s definitive discussion in Life
    Together of not only the day alone, but the day together. Much 0f what the epistles say about church (the “one another” passages) assumes a rich fabric of relationships. One simply cannot be a Christian in isolation from others.

    So to casually bless individualistic behavior by chalking it off to introversion is anti-church. It may be that liturgical churches offer special advantages to the introvert. And that seeker churches, with their overbearing friendliness (but, caution: don’t assume too much about such churches!) are a danger zone for the introvert. The real point is that, in spite of our differing personalities we are nonetheless called to love one another, bear one another’s burdens, etc. I can’t any of that if I experience the liturgy and then slink out quietly.

    We used to tell our introvert son that being introverted is no excuse for rudeness or unsociability.

    Let’s think harder about this issue.

  • Larry

    I don’t think anyone is attempting to “casually bless individualistic behavior by chalking it off to introversion is anti-church or being introverted is no excuse for rudeness or unsociability”. Tha’ts getting stuck on externals only.

    The great irony – and I know I COME from exuberant Rick Warren style churches and a strong SB background in which this extroverted style has been crafted to perfection – is that these churches are with their highly extroverted styles ARE highly individualistic. My experience coming INTO a confessional liturgical Lutheran church from THAT was just the opposite. The congregation as a whole is more introverted than those I used to attend, but the great irony is that my former denomination (which I’m well versed and experienced in) and their churches present the warm atmosphere for the extroverted “style” and the cold shoulder to the introverted “style” but yet are HIGHLY individualistic in nature, emphasis is ON individual conversion, experience, growth, etc…and the rudeness and unsociability nature of such churches comes with a smile on its face and a good firm handshake. The common saying in most standard SB churches especially those influence by those like of Rick Warren is “you won’t be just a pew sitter here and last long”. That’s a VERY common saying, so common as to be an identifier in those ministries (We have many family in the SB ministry). Conversely upon coming to a highly liturgical confessional church which for all intensive purposes is introvert “friendly” in at least style, THAT church is actually less individualistic and more warmly friendly. EVEN my wife who is the very iconic dictionary definition of an extrovert to tenth power has observed this fact. In fact I knew MANY SB churches and their ministers who drove out the elderly because they could not keep up with the more extroverted worship styles and where not “on fire for the Lord” by doing, doing, doing ad nausem in the church yard like everyone else. The few, damn few, good more pure Gospel preaching SB pastors I knew personally well observed this when the extrovert style came to town. The first thing they do is “weed out” the “dead wood”, usually the introverts and elderly because they won’t “sell the product” well. Lutherans be WELL WARNED of this “fresh wind” when it comes your way and tempts you from those of us who have actually BEEN THERE before and DEEPLY immersed in it.

    Now as people BOTH introverts and extroverts can be rude and unsociable or conversely very friendly and sociable (sinner/saints). An introvert can be externally appearing not very “reach outy” but deeply concerned and your deepest long term friend and helper, conversely he/she can be simply an ass too. An extrovert can be a complete rude and unsociable person all the while externally visibly shaking your hand and smiling (in southern culture down here we recognize this more, the south is well known for its fascade of gentile outward friendly extroverted behavior but in reality being crypto-rude and pushy in it, or “you can catch more flies with sugar” as the saying goes and so a great rudeness and self serving reality can be behind a nice external “hello dear friend”). Conversely an extrovert can be equally just as friendly and loving and thus expressing it the way they do well. Introversion and extroversion as to exterior expression of individuals is really neither here nor there, it simply is what it is and somewhat “neutral” in consideration, ill or good can be behind either one.

    In like way C. S. Lewis makes a brilliant observation concerning something like this. He spoke once of what is the difference between an outward glutton and hidden glutton or one that expresses it crudely, openly and outwardly versus the one who does not. The answer is nothing. Why? Because both are addicted to their gluttony! The overweight “fat” person is just sociably less or unacceptable and offensive to society, while the thin diet workout great body guru or dainty prude is sociably more or completely acceptable being not offensive but preferred by society. But BOTH are obsessed, possessed, addicted to their food, gluttony and self, in fact that the later is worse in some sense as they get energy and recharge from society on their visibly preferred appearance. My wife and I on occasion watch that show “Biggest Loser” and one sees this dynamic constantly. There’s difference in Arnold S. in his heyday and the 500 pound man, both are obsessed by food and their gluttony. Anyone whose been around gym rats for any length of time knows this, all they talk about is their eating habits, exercise and bodies just like the heavy folks do, in fact the former are generally more obsessed in the discussions. There’s nothing worse than an ex-over weight person who “conquered” their addiction by “will power”.

    So it is similar with introverts versus extroverts. Generally speaking the later is sociably more acceptable, and of course it would be the very definition of the word “social” appeals to it, to say a “social introvert” even sounds contrary. And thus the “extrovert” gets a pass most of the time in general settings while the introvert gets more often than not called down on the carpet for it because like the exercise guru its more sociably acceptable. But in reality sinners express their sin either way, introverted or extroverted, one just “looks better” and is “more pleasing to the eye” than the other, so the other gets called on the carpet more often than not while the extrovert gets passed off as “friendly” even when they are not being so. Likewise both can express love and affection in their “ways” but rarely does the introvert get recognized as doing so, he/she is usually the silent partner in the equation. They won’t likely get a public accolade for it rather they will probably be the one that calls you when you least expect it and most need it – that’s how the introvert express their love and friendliness. Not that an extrovert does not express love and friendliness when you may need it but their external approach is such that it is WELL recognized, not a fault of theirs, its just the way it is and so they are called more often than not “a friendly person”.

    I have, as do all people, many family and friends who are both. Both can be quite friendly and loving in their own ways, both can be quite evil in their own ways (as can I). My own parents are an exercise in exact introvert/extrovert opposites. My dad the former, my mom the later. I go to them for different reasons, mom comforts in a way dad cannot and she is well recognized for it and should be (that’s not the point). But I go to my dad for different reasons, he hardly ever gets recognized for it (outside of me), in fact he gets tagged as the sour puss, he’s an introvert, comes from the older generation, blue collar, grew up poor, was a marine…due to his introversion he often gets tagged as unfriendly…but I know better, I see his strength, its not the flashy extrovert and when ALLLLLLL the chips are down he’s the one you want in the fox hole with you. He’s the one you’ll want when your mortally hurt or in danger of dying. But he’ll never get recognized for it because it’s not as socially pretty and is more functional and earthy (and that’s the point).

    Introversion is NOT being less social or interconnected, often its social connection and fabric is hidden underneath. It’s just as wrong to blanket accuse introversion as unfriendly which is often the case, as it is to blanketly accuse extroversion as being shallow. Yes, both CAN BE that way, that’s their negative side, but both can be just the opposite and neither recognized for it because the TENDANCY is to get stuck on mere externals either way.

    Larry

  • Larry

    I don’t think anyone is attempting to “casually bless individualistic behavior by chalking it off to introversion is anti-church or being introverted is no excuse for rudeness or unsociability”. Tha’ts getting stuck on externals only.

    The great irony – and I know I COME from exuberant Rick Warren style churches and a strong SB background in which this extroverted style has been crafted to perfection – is that these churches are with their highly extroverted styles ARE highly individualistic. My experience coming INTO a confessional liturgical Lutheran church from THAT was just the opposite. The congregation as a whole is more introverted than those I used to attend, but the great irony is that my former denomination (which I’m well versed and experienced in) and their churches present the warm atmosphere for the extroverted “style” and the cold shoulder to the introverted “style” but yet are HIGHLY individualistic in nature, emphasis is ON individual conversion, experience, growth, etc…and the rudeness and unsociability nature of such churches comes with a smile on its face and a good firm handshake. The common saying in most standard SB churches especially those influence by those like of Rick Warren is “you won’t be just a pew sitter here and last long”. That’s a VERY common saying, so common as to be an identifier in those ministries (We have many family in the SB ministry). Conversely upon coming to a highly liturgical confessional church which for all intensive purposes is introvert “friendly” in at least style, THAT church is actually less individualistic and more warmly friendly. EVEN my wife who is the very iconic dictionary definition of an extrovert to tenth power has observed this fact. In fact I knew MANY SB churches and their ministers who drove out the elderly because they could not keep up with the more extroverted worship styles and where not “on fire for the Lord” by doing, doing, doing ad nausem in the church yard like everyone else. The few, damn few, good more pure Gospel preaching SB pastors I knew personally well observed this when the extrovert style came to town. The first thing they do is “weed out” the “dead wood”, usually the introverts and elderly because they won’t “sell the product” well. Lutherans be WELL WARNED of this “fresh wind” when it comes your way and tempts you from those of us who have actually BEEN THERE before and DEEPLY immersed in it.

    Now as people BOTH introverts and extroverts can be rude and unsociable or conversely very friendly and sociable (sinner/saints). An introvert can be externally appearing not very “reach outy” but deeply concerned and your deepest long term friend and helper, conversely he/she can be simply an ass too. An extrovert can be a complete rude and unsociable person all the while externally visibly shaking your hand and smiling (in southern culture down here we recognize this more, the south is well known for its fascade of gentile outward friendly extroverted behavior but in reality being crypto-rude and pushy in it, or “you can catch more flies with sugar” as the saying goes and so a great rudeness and self serving reality can be behind a nice external “hello dear friend”). Conversely an extrovert can be equally just as friendly and loving and thus expressing it the way they do well. Introversion and extroversion as to exterior expression of individuals is really neither here nor there, it simply is what it is and somewhat “neutral” in consideration, ill or good can be behind either one.

    In like way C. S. Lewis makes a brilliant observation concerning something like this. He spoke once of what is the difference between an outward glutton and hidden glutton or one that expresses it crudely, openly and outwardly versus the one who does not. The answer is nothing. Why? Because both are addicted to their gluttony! The overweight “fat” person is just sociably less or unacceptable and offensive to society, while the thin diet workout great body guru or dainty prude is sociably more or completely acceptable being not offensive but preferred by society. But BOTH are obsessed, possessed, addicted to their food, gluttony and self, in fact that the later is worse in some sense as they get energy and recharge from society on their visibly preferred appearance. My wife and I on occasion watch that show “Biggest Loser” and one sees this dynamic constantly. There’s difference in Arnold S. in his heyday and the 500 pound man, both are obsessed by food and their gluttony. Anyone whose been around gym rats for any length of time knows this, all they talk about is their eating habits, exercise and bodies just like the heavy folks do, in fact the former are generally more obsessed in the discussions. There’s nothing worse than an ex-over weight person who “conquered” their addiction by “will power”.

    So it is similar with introverts versus extroverts. Generally speaking the later is sociably more acceptable, and of course it would be the very definition of the word “social” appeals to it, to say a “social introvert” even sounds contrary. And thus the “extrovert” gets a pass most of the time in general settings while the introvert gets more often than not called down on the carpet for it because like the exercise guru its more sociably acceptable. But in reality sinners express their sin either way, introverted or extroverted, one just “looks better” and is “more pleasing to the eye” than the other, so the other gets called on the carpet more often than not while the extrovert gets passed off as “friendly” even when they are not being so. Likewise both can express love and affection in their “ways” but rarely does the introvert get recognized as doing so, he/she is usually the silent partner in the equation. They won’t likely get a public accolade for it rather they will probably be the one that calls you when you least expect it and most need it – that’s how the introvert express their love and friendliness. Not that an extrovert does not express love and friendliness when you may need it but their external approach is such that it is WELL recognized, not a fault of theirs, its just the way it is and so they are called more often than not “a friendly person”.

    I have, as do all people, many family and friends who are both. Both can be quite friendly and loving in their own ways, both can be quite evil in their own ways (as can I). My own parents are an exercise in exact introvert/extrovert opposites. My dad the former, my mom the later. I go to them for different reasons, mom comforts in a way dad cannot and she is well recognized for it and should be (that’s not the point). But I go to my dad for different reasons, he hardly ever gets recognized for it (outside of me), in fact he gets tagged as the sour puss, he’s an introvert, comes from the older generation, blue collar, grew up poor, was a marine…due to his introversion he often gets tagged as unfriendly…but I know better, I see his strength, its not the flashy extrovert and when ALLLLLLL the chips are down he’s the one you want in the fox hole with you. He’s the one you’ll want when your mortally hurt or in danger of dying. But he’ll never get recognized for it because it’s not as socially pretty and is more functional and earthy (and that’s the point).

    Introversion is NOT being less social or interconnected, often its social connection and fabric is hidden underneath. It’s just as wrong to blanket accuse introversion as unfriendly which is often the case, as it is to blanketly accuse extroversion as being shallow. Yes, both CAN BE that way, that’s their negative side, but both can be just the opposite and neither recognized for it because the TENDANCY is to get stuck on mere externals either way.

    Larry

  • http://blogstuhl.blogspot.com Rev. Joel A. Brondos

    In John 19:38-39 we hear about the two greatest introverts of the Bible: Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.

    Joseph is described as “being a disciple of Jesus but secretly for fear of the Jews.”

    We are also reminded that Nicodemus “first came to Jesus by night,” (John 3) probably for the same reason.

    And yet after most all of the other disciples of Jesus had fled forsaking Him, one betraying, one denying, there are these two introverts taking the body of Jesus down from the cross, preparing His body for burial with myrrh and aloes, strips of linen and spices — laying Jesus in Joseph’s tomb (a tomb which can no longer hold Joseph any more than it held his Lord).

    Those who are prone to demean, belittle, and underestimate introverts would do much better if they kept in mind the patron saints of the introverted: Joseph and Nicodemus.

  • http://blogstuhl.blogspot.com Rev. Joel A. Brondos

    In John 19:38-39 we hear about the two greatest introverts of the Bible: Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.

    Joseph is described as “being a disciple of Jesus but secretly for fear of the Jews.”

    We are also reminded that Nicodemus “first came to Jesus by night,” (John 3) probably for the same reason.

    And yet after most all of the other disciples of Jesus had fled forsaking Him, one betraying, one denying, there are these two introverts taking the body of Jesus down from the cross, preparing His body for burial with myrrh and aloes, strips of linen and spices — laying Jesus in Joseph’s tomb (a tomb which can no longer hold Joseph any more than it held his Lord).

    Those who are prone to demean, belittle, and underestimate introverts would do much better if they kept in mind the patron saints of the introverted: Joseph and Nicodemus.

  • Tom Hering

    If you’re an introvert and single, you’re really never going to feel like church is meant for you.

  • Tom Hering

    If you’re an introvert and single, you’re really never going to feel like church is meant for you.


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