Friday, March 13, 2009

Owning my introvert

I talk a lot. When I go to parties, I leave wired. If I know that people are getting together without me, I'm bothered. These facts have led me to think that I am somewhat extroverted. Yet I have never been able to identify myself in that way because in other ways (for example, I'm really never all that excited to meet new people) I seem introverted. I've always said, "I'm on the line" even though according to Myers-Briggs you're one or the other.

Well, today let me declare that I am an introvert. Several things have made me realized this lately. They say it's really how you're energized right? Well, when I leave a group of people and I feel wired, it's not because I'm energized. I'm unsettled. I need at least an hour before I can go to sleep, during which I want to just settle back into myself. In the morning, I wake up early not just because I am a morning person, but because I need an hour of silence before I have to interact with others. If I don't, I'm unsettled all day long. The talking? I'm a communicator. It's not about being energized, it's about expression. And in recent years, I've discovered that part of my need to be included in social times stemmed from a fear of being unloved or unaccepted. The more I've sunk into my belovedness as a child of God, the more I'm fine being by myself. I feel, in the words of Brennan Manning, "safe with myself."

So last week, when Erik left, and the busyness of the previous month faded away, I found myself energized in a way I haven't for a long time by periods of silence and solitude. It was glorious. This week, I'm missing my husband, but what kind of wife would I be if I didn't?

I think a lot of people mistake me for an extrovert too, and then don't understand why I turn down invitations to social events. Now you know. Also, if you ever ask me to run with you and I say no, don't take it personally. It's just the way I'm energized.


Heather said...

I feel like you summed up precisely how I am. A lot like you G. And for your information, I've always known you more of an introvert. You should have just asked me...

Juli said...

Gina - I can totally relate! Thanks for reminding me that I'm not completely crazy and it's ok to feel some of those things. And, I too prefer to run by myself rather than with other people. It's my time to connect with myself.