I have one of each in my children.  For those who think that extroverts like people and are friendly and introverts are sociopaths, allow me to explain a healthier understanding of the difference between the two.

My son is an introvert (or at least leans that way).  When he gets home from school, he usually wants to play alone in his room without his sister.  He needs that alone time to recuperate from school.  And in general, he enjoys playing alone a lot more than his sister.

My daughter is an extrovert, completely.  When she gets home she wants to be with you and tell you all about it.  She comes home from church and school wired after having played with friends. Whatever she is doing she wants you to do it with her, whether watching TV or playing.

That is the main difference.  Where/when do you get energized?

Does social interaction drain you or energize you?

In Christian circles, introverts are often looked down upon because they aren’t as social but there are three things to keep in mind:

  • They need alone time to function well
  • They do like people and enjoy being with people.  Introvert does not equal shy.
  • Extroverts are actually getting pumped up by being with others.  Not to question motives, but to point out that it is a lot easier and not necessarily because he/she is a better Christian/more spiritual.

9 thoughts on “Introverts/Extroverts

  1. Social interaction drains me if I have to actively participate in a group. If I can get away with sitting back and listening, then it is not so bad. But, if I do not get that quiet time, I will mess up big time before long. I have to work real hard on my attitude with others when I have not had much time to myself. I find I am not the best with my communication, and my facial expression can easily reveal I am annoyed. I do love people, but I have to have that alone time to recharge.

    One thing I have noticed is I get drained like I do when I am with people if I engage on the internet by blogging, e-mailing, facebooking, etc. during what should be my alone time. I have to either pray, meditate, or do soemthing physical to have time to reflect.

    Or, just read my Bible and some comic books.

  2. Carl Feril

    The extrovert is energized by the party but the introvert rather than being a party pooper is pooped by the party.
    I find that I am more aware of myself in my strength (extroversion) & more aware of God in my weaker area (introversion). But we all have both needs.

  3. Data processing has a lot to do with it. Introverts process data internally, while extroverts process data externally. Seriously, extroverts NEED people to visit and interact with in order to think. I’m extremely extroverted, and frequently cannot get my head around something unless I talk it over out loud.

    Earlier this week I was scolded by an introvert for thinking out loud. I was putting together a strategic move for a ministry, but needed input and processing from others. This person was offended at some of my thoughts and took a territorial position about her ministry rather than engaging with me in open dialog. She told me “God made us so we could think in our heads before we speak.” I told her that was true for a little more than 50% of people, but for the other 47% or so we need to think outside our heads.

  4. brian

    wow, glad to know there is at least a little extrovert persecution in the church. ahhahahaha

    yeah, introverts like to be alone to think

  5. checkingthemail

    It is hard for introverts to imagine that extroverts have to process outside their minds. I tell others I will say anything because I have to hear it to know if it “rings true”. It isn’t quite that extreme but almost.
    To most extroverts, the introvert can be offensive when they announce conclusions without giving the rest input into the decision making process. We E’s have the need to decide in out E world and take it back into our I world.
    Each of us have to have the capacity to trust our own process and to value the process of others.

  6. As an Extrovert, I think the Scriptures about how words must be weighed, etc are torture…and a good reminder. I used to think Introverts had it easy b/c they didn’t talk as much. THEN I learned the fact that they are thinking the words I’m stupid enough to be saying aloud. If it were up to our tongue (either by stopping the words at the brain or just tossing them out there), we’re certainly all Hell bound. I’m glad we have Jesus!

    It is so great that God made people different! I’ve read part of Introverts in Church and need to pick it up again.

  7. I’m an innie, I guess. Used to see it in college: my roommate wanted to gather a bunch of guys and study together; I wanted to shut myself in a closet and learn the material alone.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

  8. Interesting discussion. I never realized before the difference that Brad pointed out about processing things internally vs. externally, but that explains so much! That’s one thing that my husband & I haven’t really “gotten” about each other – why I say things as “suggestions,” but he takes it as a decision. Why he doesn’t talk things over with me exhaustively.

    I have always known that I get energy from being around people, even when I’m not necessarily in the mood to be social and talkative – I just like having people around me. One thing that I will be interested to see is how this plays out in my kids. I think we have 2 extroverts and one introvert, but they all get equally excited about going to church and being with their friends.

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