Today’s Verse: Psalm 139:13-14 says:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
As part of my self-care this Lent, I have been reading these verses from Psalm 139. God has made each one of us in a unique, special way. I would like to focus on one aspect of God’s unique creation today and that is our innate personality traits. In particular, I would like to focus on the distinction between introversion and extroversion. Lately, this become a very popular topic in understanding ourselves and others. So, let’s dive into what makes each of us special and unique in this aspect of our personalities.
Introverted people differ from extroverted personality types in one simple way: they draw their energy from different sources.
Extroverted people draw energy from being around people and activities where they are fully engaged in relating with others. They are great at being around people and relating to them.
Introverted people, on the other hand, draw energy from being away from people and need to “recharge their batteries” by being alone.
Introversion and extroversion can also be seen as the opposite sides of one spectrum. That would mean that while some people are very introverted or extroverted, the majority of us fall somewhere on the line between extroversion and introversion. A very easy way to tell where you are at is to ask yourself where you draw your energy from—is it from being around other people or from spending time alone? Where you fall on that spectrum will be how close you are to being a true introvert or a true extrovert. Those of us who are very close to the middle of the line will benefit from knowing that a lot of introverts score closer to extroversion on personality test simply due to the fact that they have learned a lot of extroverted skills. If you find that you navigate our extroverted world really well but still need time away from people to recharge, you are an introvert at heart!
If you are an extrovert, your strengths include being outgoing, friendly, cheerful, talkative, optimistic, and having the ability to network naturally with people. And you are the envy of all introverts! Introverts bring with them different strengths: introspection, deep thinking, good listening, focus, and creativity.
Because of their quieter nature and need to be away from others to recharge, it is a common misconception that introverts dislike people in general. That is, of course, not true. Many introverts love being around people and care about them very deeply. The helping professions are actually some of the most chosen professions for introverts. They work as teachers, pastors, counselors, doctors and nurses. Even though introverts still love and care deeply about people, they are also exhausted by giving their energy to others, so they need time away from people to recharge. Extroverts are just the opposite—drawing energy from their many and varied interactions with others. They will actively seek out other people in order to recharge their own batteries.
Wherever you fall on the spectrum between introversion and extroversion, remember that those are special gifts that you have received from God. How will you take care of yourself and use those gifts to their fullest effect this Lent and beyond?