Are you shy? Or an introvert?

Introvert. Leonard Pitts writes this in a recent column in the Miami Herald:

The word is not a synonym for “shy,” though as a boy, I was that, too. But where shyness is an outsized fear of other people’s disapproval or of social embarrassment, to be an introvert is to be inward turning, more at home in small, intimate groups than large, boisterous ones. It is to prefer the quiet to the loud, reflection to exhortation, solitude to socializing.

For years, I struggled with that, wondered why I prefer the rainy afternoon spent watching old movies or reading a book to the sunny afternoon at a backyard barbecue watching people do the electric slide. Then, last year, I chanced upon a book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. It was the first time anyone had ever explained me to me. Turns out I’m not the only one. Turns out introversion is perfectly normal.

I think it fits me. How ’bout you?

5 responses to “Are you shy? Or an introvert?”

  1. Yes…I struggled with my introverted personality for years…believing that it was a character flaw. I read “all the books” to fix myself. That didn’t work. When I finally turned to the love and mercy of the Lord, I learned that my personality and my sensitivity and empathy for others are blessings from my Creator. I stopped fighting who I truly am, and try to keep my eyes and heart open to the people the Lord places in my path.

    Have you ever heard of “Highly Sensitive People?” I happened upon this information and it explained so much of what I experience in my day to day life. Although I do not like to label myself or others (because we never know how the Lord will work in our hearts and lives) it is always good to know that we are not alone:-)

    Hope you don’t mind that I posted the link…I found the info very interesting.

    1. Thank you so much. I love that you did the research and shared a link. I’m going to look it up right now. I’m just now (last couple of years) becoming comfortable with this aspect of who I am. I used to so need to be with people, but those years were the aberration. The joy I experience in quiet and solitude gives me the greatest sense of comfort and normality and oneness with our Lord.

      Many blessings on your day.

  2. I’m an extrovert, as are 2 of our children. My husband is an introvert, as are 2 of our children. What we’ve found helpful is looking at this as a question of where we get our energy. The extroverts gain energy from being around others. Introverts gain energy from time spent alone. The simple test for this is asking someone, “After a party, are you amped up or drained?” Extroverts will leave the party energized. Introverts will leave the party exhausted. All may or may not have had a “good time” and none were shy 😀 So, we make sure that our extroverts get to engage with lots of people and that our introverts get down time alone. Funny, as time goes on my extroversion is melding nicely with my husband’s introversion, and vice versa!

    1. I’m not surprised, Angie. Your whole presence, beginning with your smile, gives testament to your being an extrovert. Thank God for you! So good to hear from you. Have a blessed day. Mary.

      1. And thank God for you, Mary! I love my introverts and readily admit that the world needs more introverts and their gifts…especially in America where extroversion is way over-rated 😀

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