by Bob Whitesel D.Min. Ph.D., 1/21/17.
People often think of introversion as a weakness. And there are aspects of introversion that can keep you from collaborating with others and/or withdrawing from others when under pressure.
However intoversion is also a positive trait. Let me share a short story of two introverts … and extrovert.
The introverts were both INTJs on the Myers-Briggs scale. The “I” stands for introversion. They were close friend with an ENTJ where the “E” designates introversion. All three were working on their doctorates while teaching a heavy work load.
When an introvert (I-NTJ) on the Myers-Briggs scale feelS a need to relax they withdraw and recharge their batteries by being alone or with a very select group of close friends.
All three received very positive teaching reviews from their students. Remember, introverts are not necessarily shy but rather people who prefer being alone when they need to recharge their energy. All three had the gift of teaching ( 1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11-14, Rom. 12:7, Acts 18:24-28, 20:20-21) and all three came to life and energized their students. Students subsequently thought all three must be extroverts. But the three friends knew that two of them were not.
You could tell who are introverts and who is the extrovert because at the end of the day, when they were done teaching, the introverts would withdraw to their studies and work on their research. At the end of the day when the extrovert had finished teaching, he would usually retreat with many of his friends and spend the evening shooting the breeze. This is one difference between how introverts and extroverts relax and recharge.
Not surprisingly, the introverts finished their PhD studies. And the extrovert? He went on to an executive position within his organization. But he never finished his doctoral work. To this day, people love hanging out with him. But his first career path was hampered when years of work did not culminate in the degree he sought.
Most people think I am the extrovert in this story.
But I was one of the two introverts. I love people and enjoy being around them. But often when introverts need to recharge their energy they do so through quietness/solitude … perhaps withdrawing to their books, their Bible and just a few very close friends.
This tale of two introverts can remind us that extroversion AND introversion can be assets … when applied to the right careers.