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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, June 6, 2011

Introvert

I'm in a bit of a confessional mood today I guess. Today I'm going to share something that isn't exactly a secret but that not everyone entirely "gets" about me: I'm a radical, off-the-charts
introvert

This week as I’m thinking about sharing some information on spirituality types with the folks at Port Elgin next weekend, my thinking has led me into the territory of personality types. Psychologists Katherine Briggs and Isabelle Briggs-Myers major body of work provided me lots of helpful stuff back in a previous life teaching management concepts and has continued to be most helpful in knowing myself and others generally. The Spiritual Types model is based on the same research.

Just briefly, one and only one area of interest is the Extroversion/Introversion characteristic. The terms are used somewhat differently than most folks do who refer to people of particular social aptitude or shyness, or just volume of communication by the terms extrovert or introvert. Myers-Briggs are speaking about where or how one gets her energy.

Extroverts get energy from other people. They love being in crowds. They have and enjoy lots of friends. And if they’re not with their friends, they’re loving being with whomever they’re with. My granddaughter Tiona is just such a person. Even at her tender age of not-quite-five, she can work a crowd like nobody’s business. Waiting on the sidewalk outside her big brother’s school choir concert she quickly surveyed every other kid near her size, knew all their names and ages, had shared her name and details of her upcoming birthday, let everyone know she will be starting school soon and enquired of their academic status—attending? Yes/no? Which school? etc., etc.

Introverts need alone time to find energy. While they may be quite socially adept, not necessarily shy with strangers, enjoy a party with the best of them (when their energy levels are high) and even have decent public speaking skills, they become tired from those activities and will need some alone time to re-energize. Talking with just one or two people feels more comfortable. They’ll prefer to be alone if the company isn’t interesting or engaging. Re-booting the energy levels is preferable to draining one’s battery on small talk or not-so-necessary interaction. Sometimes they’ll even turn down an opportunity to be with someone or ones they really enjoy and love being with if their energy is low.

In North America, at least, introverts are in the minority. We often need to protect ourselves from the majority expectations that “everyone” is or wants to be extroverted. That just is not so.

A couple of good sources of information or help on the topics are these: Quiet: The Power of Introverts and Introverted Church If this is new for you I recommend you take a look around you. Do you recognize any of these descriptors in your friends and family—maybe even yourself? Think about it. It might explain a lot.

Posted by Marion

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