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Introverts need care, too

Introverts need care, too

How do we care for introverts? Jonathan Rauch writes about this “little-undertood group” in The Atlantic:

Caring for your introvert

The habits and needs of a little-understood group

From The Atlantic online

Oh, for years I denied it. After all, I have good social skills. I am not morose or misanthropic. Usually. I am far from shy. I love long conversations that explore intimate thoughts or passionate interests. But at last I have self-identified and come out to my friends and colleagues. In doing so, I have found myself liberated from any number of damaging misconceptions and stereotypes. Now I am here to tell you what you need to know in order to respond sensitively and supportively to your own introverted family members, friends, and colleagues. Remember, someone you know, respect, and interact with every day is an introvert, and you are probably driving this person nuts. It pays to learn the warning signs.

What is introversion? In its modern sense, the concept goes back to the 1920s and the psychologist Carl Jung. Today it is a mainstay of personality tests, including the widely used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. 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. Our motto: “I’m okay, you’re okay—in small doses.”


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Lois Keen

That would be “So we introverts are the white in-between?” (long day)

Lois Keen

Oh Ann, I had no idea! That made me laugh.

So we introverts are the red in-between?

Ann Fontaine

According to the new “style” guidelines from 815 – “The blue and red in the shield are bold and bright. This reflects our extroverted personality trait.” So much for introverts and TEC.

Keith Nethery

I’m a card carrying introvert who gets the “you can’t possibly be one of those lines all the time.” To be fair my Myers Briggs shows me closer to the middle on the I/E rather than all the way to the I side. Having worked in the highly extroverted media field and now in ministry, I have, for much of my life, convinced myself that I could be an extrovert, without damage. In recent years, I have learned that is not possible. As I come to understand what it is to be an introvert, in an extrovert world, I am learning more and more how to put in place the things I need to be well and balanced. Affirmations, such as this article, are important along the way

Maryse Quinn

Adam S. McHugh has written a book called “Introverts in the Church.” He talks about both the difficulties and strengths of having introverts as church leaders, and offers tips on making introverts more comfortable in a church setting.

After many years of feeling as though there was something wrong with me and that I was hopelessly anti-social, it was a relief to find a book like this.

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