Are you an Introvert?
I was looking forward to a lunch date with my beloved. I stood at the spot we’d planned to meet in Rundle Mall, waiting for my date. People of all shapes and sizes whizzed past me, intent on their business. Tall folk, short folk and plenty in between. Cool air swirled around me. Clouds ambled leisurely across the sky and a slice of blue sky beamed.
I watched the world go past, energised by all I beheld. Life cruised in my veins and I felt a sense of deep joy. The thing is, I enjoy two opposite kinds of atmosphere. Nature’s serene green stillness has always been one of my favourite pick-me-ups. But strangely enough, a very different kind of ambiance also refreshes me. Seven years ago, when we spent three fabulous weeks in America, I thrived in NewYork. The pulse of that famous city is incredible. Experiencing its vitality was a never to be forgotten experience.
My other favourite city in the US was a total opposite to New York in atmosphere. Santa Barbara wrapped her quiet arms around me as we enjoyed its mountains and swirling seas, its resplendent Spanish architecture, clean streets, fresh air and serenity. Two very diverse cities, but they both filled me. It’s like the two opposing experiences of life which bring me vitality. Spending time alone is something I need often for renewal. But being with people invigorates me too. So which am I? An introvert? Or an extrovert?
Are YOU an introvert? Or a lively extrovert? Perhaps you’re like me – a walking talking ambivert? As I get older, the introvert side of me seems to kick in more strongly. I crave silence and solitude. I dislike the phone. I enjoy face to face interactions with others and like communciating via writing. Conversations only on trivial matters can leave me feeling dissatisfied. Communicating on deeper insights and spiritual truth bring me joy. I love walking, listening to music, reading and writing. I enjoy being home alone.
Perhaps the introvert side of my nature is taking over? What do you think? Some time ago, I read a helpful article on introversion which dispelled a few myths and resonated within me. Extroverts get their energy from other people. Introverts find energy in their own company. Being introvert doesn’t mean one is selfish and self absorbed. Neither does it mean one is anti social. So to set the record straight – no – introvert does not mean shy, boring and too quiet. It does mean reflective, creative and with a vibrant interior life. I find myself gravitating easily to introverts – perhaps because I can have in-depth conversations with them. Not that I dislike extroverts. Far from it. They add life to the party and I need them. They brighten the world and get us all connected.
The world needs both the extroverts and the introverts, don’t you think? And please don’t forget us ambiverts. I've just done an online test to settle the matter and yes, I am (as I suspected) smack bang in the middle – an ambivert. God’s created us all very different to one another with purpose. Imagine a world filled with only bouncy talkative individuals. Who would listen to them if there were no quieter folk around? Or imagine a world filled with people who are so silent that no one talks to anyone? The mind boggles!
The truth is that no matter how noisy or how quiet, every person on earth has significance. We are all created by the same God. We are all loved equally by Him. Jesus died for every one of us—the extroverts as well as the introverts, and oops, let’s not forget us ambiverts. Often, introverts are made to feel lesser beings, so a correction on that score is perhaps needed. Are you an introvert? If so I am very glad to make your acquaintance. Are you an extrovert? Thank you for adding life to my journey. Perhaps like me you are an ambivert? If so, welcome to the club.
Today I celebrate our differences and our oneness in Christ. Created by God, for Him and for each other.
So … extroverts, introverts and ambiverts – rejoice.
We were all made for each other.
Let us fulfill our calling.
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:5, 7