Wow. That was honestly a breath of fresh air for this introvert. Though sometimes I get a disconnect calling myself an introvert, because I grew up being known as the girl who loved people (and therefore being called an extrovert). And I do love people. But I have always, always, always gained my energy by being alone with my thoughts. It’s interesting to be labeled as one thing when you know deep down that you’re absolutely not that thing and in fact are opposite to it.
I think we need both to open up when we want to be enthusiastic, and have something we really want to say! And at times be alone to just be quiet with our own thoughts. I remember a girl at a teen party commenting that ‘I was so quiet’, when I just wanted to be that way then, because at the time, I had nothing to say! Then, when I had something to say, like at a Christmas family time catch up chat with a favorite aunt, ( I was her only niece and the only girl in my generation on my dad’s side of the family ), I was telling her everything I could think of at the time, because I was so glad to see her and she was just as glad to see me too! Another aunt, also in the room then, who had a way with her that I would call ‘ a pail of cold water’, to put it mildly, burst into the middle of my sharing, to shut me down with a judgement of thoughtless, hurtful words ,”You talk too much!” Nice aunt was not impressed. I was hurt and shut up. So it’s an either we are too quiet or we talk too much! Give me a break already. Now I talk so much my husband’s gone deaf! But he loves me anyway! But don’t we gals need both?: Openly enthusiastic and quiet silence?
I’m totally extraverted, but it was very good for me to hear an introvert’s perspective spoken so eloquently.
I have a gregarious, outgoing, introverted child, and a quiet, reflective introverted child. I have to be careful to respect their introvertedness and give them time to themselves to recharge, reflect, regroup. Not an easy thing in a family of seven!
However, I know both my introverts are at their most creative and alive when and shortly after they’ve had their “alone time.” God has gifted them differently than He has gifted me. It is my job to teach them to love and respect the gift of personality they have received and guide them in using and caring for it. It breaks my heart to think that introverts are pushed aside or looked at as less worthy than extraverts by our current society.
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