Fifteen years ago, I didn’t understand why I didn’t want to be around people all the time.
I had a roommate and lived on a hall full of girls, in a dorm full of girls, on a campus full of people. There weren’t many quiet spaces. And why would I want a quiet space? There’s too much to talk about, too much to do. “Let’s go!” friends would say. And I would, even though it seemed to wear me out much faster than it wore them out.
I didn’t understand why staying in was more fun for me than going out. I figured I just had a middle-aged mindset in the body of a twenty-year-old and pressed on. That’s what college is for, right?
But now I finally feel like I know myself. In 2012, I read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (affiliate link). In 2013, I figured out I’m an INTJ.
Now it’s 2014, and I think it could be the year of the introvert.
All the parts of me that I thought were wrong or weaknesses, turned out to just be character traits. And these traits could be strengths.
I don’t have to feel different or weird. I just need to know myself and pay attention to what makes me feel my best. Like having a little quiet time on Sunday afternoons, after a morning of teaching my Sunday school class and being with our church family. Or, saving time at the end of a busy day to read in silence.
If you think about it, it’s never been easier to be an introvert.
If we want, we can stay home and still work (more and more professions have options to work from home, realizing it can save businesses money). We can communicate primarily through the written word, by blogging, emailing, texting, and updating our social media sites. We don’t have to answer the phone (they can just leave a message). We can order almost anything we need from Amazon.
In fact, we can be more social than ever before, using all the technology at our finger tips. It’s introvert heaven-on-earth these days. With all that time to ourselves to feel charged, we can give more time and energy to the people we love most (including our spouses, who are usually extroverts).
If you’re an introvert, count all the blessings of living in 2014! Celebrate knowing yourself and think about how your gifts can make an impact on others.