Extraverts Need Introvert Friends

I am 99.9% extraverted. My overt extraverted nature is energized by people. From large social events to small group gatherings, unlike an introverted disposition who tends to walk away from a social event ready for some restorative alone time, put me with a group of people, and I will come out feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world, (and probably ready to talk some more, just ask my husband for clarification ;). I don’t mind the spotlight, making small talk, or, for that matter any talk, with anyone and everyone who I come in contact with, I tend to over schedule my social calendar, overshare my personal life and wear my heart on my sleeve. I am clearly in need of some introvert balance! Thankfully, recent life events have helped me to understand this truth.

As I struggled to adjust to temporarily slowing down my career ventures to raise our little men, God opened a beautiful door of self-awareness. The awareness of my unhealthy habit of seeking affirmation from these “big beloved groups,” realizing my deep attachment to external things, and my ignorance of the interior life. To the example of my amazing introverted husband and newfound introverted friends He used in the process, I am forever grateful. 

Opposites attract for a reason. It is more common to see an extravert marry and introvert, and it is this beautiful design of the body of Christ that celebrates these differences and pulls us toward those we can learn from most. Developing our God-given personality is also about finding balance and working to develop our less dominant traits. For my fellow MBTI junkies, keep in mind they say Jesus is the perfect 50/50 center of the 4 functions. Hence, scoring 99% on one function isn’t necessarily a good thing.

So although I have generally gravitated toward other extraverts in my female friendships, I can now celebrate and honor the amazing introverted mamas in my life! You teach me so much, and I want to be more like you in more than one way. 

Calling all extraverts, be sure you have some solid introverts in your life! We can learn so much from them, here are a few: 

  1. Think before we speak. Most of the time when I press for a quick answer or opinion my introverted friends will respond, “let me get back to you,” “let me think about it.” I’ll often get a text or personal response from an introverted friend long after a conversation once they had time to think about it. Your desire to think before responding is exemplary.
  2. Personal discretion. Everyone really doesn’t have to know everything I am thinking and doing. Introverts teach me to consider who and what I am revealing. And it just so happens this practice is straight up biblical. 
  3. Saying no. I think its their natural intuition of their interior opinions that make it easier for them to use prudence in external commitments. Since extraverts are energized by people, we are more likely to say yes to everything and not realize it until we are burnt & fried, when our introverted friends predicted the overload and confidently said no in the first place. 
  4. Interior and home life confidence. In my experience, introverted mothers are naturally more confident in their motherhood and home life decisions. They have an easier time understanding the tempo and needs of a home, unlike extraverts, who are tempted to constantly be thinking of things outside. Similar to #3, their ability to say no also greatly benefits their husband and children inside the home. 
  5. Accepting others. Your differences teach us to be more accepting. You teach us to be better listeners, more understanding of why others might avoid being put on the spot, might not be responding in the way we anticipate, or why they are saying no to something. 

Thank you for being you, dear introvert friends, and thank you for putting up with our obnoxious and overwhelming nature. We hope our next party invitation will make up for it…and we really really hope you come ;)  

In Joy, 

Alex