I am an introvert. This is one of the reasons why I blog: it is a quasi-social interaction that occurs without anyone else actually around. It’s on my terms and it’s not really emotionally demanding of me. I get tired out if I’m around people for too long.
And yet, I am fully cognizant of the absolute necessity of community. One of the reasons I’m at SSU in the first place is because of its ingrained insistence that community is a fundamental component of the learning process.
So, I find myself caught in this tension: I know that I need people and community. I also know that I need my own space. Too much of either of these does bad things to me. I refuse to invoke the “b” word (balance) here because I don’t believe it exists. At the same time, I wonder if any other introverts out there have gained some wisdom in this tension?
7 responses to “An Introvert in Community”
Same boat. I will watch the responses with interest. And it is pleasing to see someone else suspicious of “balance”.
Geoff: it appears that our introverts, true to form, are hiding away from committing themselves to the community of conversation around this topic.
And yeah, I think I’ll make a post some day about how “balance” is a four-letter word.
Tension, I think, is a better word. Like reading the biblical text both for and against ourselves. Community interaction is essential and personal space constructive, but as we go on, perhaps that which is constructive leads us to greater community involvement so that we’re streched in new ways we never thought possible.
Greg, I think that you’re on the right track there.
I wonder if Jesus was an introvert. When we read the Gospels, it’s eash to blame the strain of his vocational work for draining him, but maybe he was by nature like some of us– he had to go away for prayer and solitude to recharge.
He was so focused on his mission that he strategically spent himself when necessary and strategically withdrew when necessary. That goes beyond balance and tension to Wisdom, perhaps.
Wisdom, yes, that’s what I’d like.
[…] I am an introvert, I’ve wondered in the past about how to be an introvert in community. Perhaps something that would help is to get all the extroverts to read this […]