Introverts. They’re the worst. And by “worst” I mean the most intuitive, sensing, caring people I know.
And, in a stroke of brilliance (i.e God’s unfailing grace in my life) I married one of em. Turns out, he’s the worst of them all! So here are a few observations on introverts, through the eyes of a thankful extrovert.
Things to know before proceeding:
1) I am deeply in love with my husband, an introvert.
2) My role model is an introvert (and is related to me to boot!).
3) My best friend/college roommate is an introvert.
4) Most of my closest friends are… introverts.
In a word, I am – surrounded. Those sneaky introverts. You can always hear an extrovert coming into your life, like a bellowing bull charging the streets of Spain: “WE WILL BE FRIENDS AND YOU WILL LIKE IT!!” Whereas, with introverts, you’re just sitting at a park bench reading. They sit down next to you. A few months pass and before you know it, you can’t seem to live without them! Crafty little boogers.
Extroverts usually get credit as being the “initiators” of relationships. That’s understandable seeing as we experience less trepidation at the thought of talking with people we don’t know. But if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to have a relationship with someone that was meaningful and life-changing you know that it has to go past the initial, “Hi!” This is usually where extroverts are indebted to the stubborn fortitude of introverts.
In my experience, it’s been the patience and quiet persistence of introverts that feeds the depth of a friendship (or marriage). While I jabber on about the weather, my to-do-lists, and random musings about spiritual truths they tend to listen patiently, graciously laugh where appropriate, and as I take a breath they ask questions like, “So, how are you doing?”
I’m not saying this is true of every extrovert but I can confess to it: I am a professional smoke-blower. My theatrical storytelling (sometimes including a smattering of onomatopoeia) and animated facial expressions usually make for a good time and I soak up the limelight like a cat in its favorite sun-soaked window sill (Truth be told? I really like being an extrovert!). I admit that my stories and ramblings are not always a way of deviating from real heart issues — but the people who notice the smoke are usually the ones listed above. And I am so grateful for them.
Yet let’s not make the mistake of painting introverts as a bunch of quiet, genteel, whispering poets. Some of them are just plain bonkers. In my opinion, no one is more fascinating to watch than an introvert in their comfort zone. Extroverts can give the appearance of always being in their comfort zone but don’t be fooled — we’re just as in need of a place to be ourselves as introverts. And when we find an introvert who invites us into their little world of crazy, we often feel at home too. 🙂
Entering that little world of crazy feels like entering into an underground club full of snarky commentary, hilarious stories, and quirky hobbies. When you get in the club all you want to do is observe in delightful fascination the people you thought you had all figured out. My husband is a great example of this. He was sweet and funny when we first got married but I have come to discover he’s actually hilarious in ways I never saw coming!
Extroverts have no trouble being crazy in public, but for introverts you have to earn their trust before you see their crazy. I could learn a thing or two about that method. I usually become quite self-concious and anxious if my crazy is not readily accepted by the crowd. Introverts, however, choose their crowd and know them well. Isn’t that interesting? It’s brilliant, in my opinion! If you only pull your pants down among friends you’ll all get a good laugh. Conversationally speaking, of course. 😉
So thank you, introverts. Sometimes we think you’re weird with your “I just need to be alone” times, we don’t always pick up on your bizarre sense of humor, and we’re still trying to break the mindset that being quiet isn’t always a sign of being moody or angst-filled (but it looks like it ok?). We love you guys, and if we’re honest with ourselves – we need you.