Christian Counseling: Good News For Introverts

"Hooray, your'e an extrovert" and "Too bad you're an introvert" is the general consensus of our American society and our Christian culture about these two personality traits. But things are changing. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. A more balanced perspective on the in's and out's of them are coming to light through research. It is my hope that studies will influence a redefining of introversion and extroversion and minimize the current, severe, black and white splitting between the two that focuses on the good in extroversion and weakness of introversion.


The contemporary definitions are: 

Extroversion--those who are oriented toward the outer world of others and things and are more out-going, sociable and openly expressive. (Nothing negative here.)

Introversion--those who are oriented toward their own inner world and more reserved, quiet, skeptical, selfish and tend to be loners. (Nothing really positive here.)

Ambivert--an equal balance between introversion and extroversion.


It is important to keep in mind that the following comments on the downside of extroverts and the good news for introverts are generalized. Not every description with fit every person and the degree to which it is a weakness or strength will vary from person to person.


NOT SO GOOD NEWS FOR EXTROVERTS

 

Extroverts have many relationships, but they are superficial, are poor listeners, love the limelight, more apt to be addicted, inattentive to details, not good predictors of future events, are impulsive and don't adequately consider consequences. There are several myths surrounding the ability of extroverts, such as, extroverts make the best leaders. But research shows there is only a modest correlation between leadership ability and extroversion.


GOOD NEWS FOR INTROVERTS


Introverts typically have deeper relationships, are humble, modest, sensitive, deep thinkers and reflective. Research shows that many large company CEO's are introverts and one study found the eleven highest performing American companies all had introverts for CEO's.


So, you don't have to try and be more extroverted or ashamed of being an introvert anymore. Both have their place in relationships, the business world and in church leadership, even the pastorate.  


(This blog only highlights a few of the particulars about introversion and extroversion. If you want the full article and a more comprehensive research review and suggested readings on the subject, please return to our website and sign up for our bimonthly Navigator Newsletter. That Newsletter article will be emailed on April 1st, so be sure to sign up before that date.)


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