I’m coming out today. I am an introvert.
There, I said it and I feel better. This article has been a huge help to me – by Thom Rainer. He says that the worse thing a pastor can do is to be an introvert and keep quiet about it – which when you think about it is kinda funny and ironic.
I’m an introvert.
I get energized by being alone or in nature or in a small group. I try my best to be friendly and outgoing – but it doesn’t energize me. I have to gear up for that. It doesn’t feed an introvert’s soul being around large groups of people.
Here are Thom’s 7 tips in italics, my comments underneath:
You just have to mingle sometimes.
He’s right. Small talk is difficult at times, particularly in larger groups but it is necessary. People who ALWAYS avoid mingling come across as rude, arrogant, detached bozos. We’re not but I get how it can come across that way. So Thom’s right here.
You just have to counsel people sometimes.
Thom said he avoided counseling people for years. I think the bigger frustration for pastors in regards to counseling is we either get involved WAY to late and the damage/decisions are done OR we can’t always articulate in the moment what needs to be said. Why? Because we are more process/writer kind of people than in the moment – say it kind of people.
You just have to attend a few social events.
This actually doesn’t bother me as long as I know I have an out. Or I’ve my family there with me to help.
Be transparent about your introversion.
Yeah…good advice. Not sure how that will play in other contexts.
Use the power of social media to be your voice.
We introverts like to write – tweet – whatever more than just sit in the hallway. Both are valuable though.
Be accountable to an extrovert.
I think this is would be better said if it was said – ‘team up with an extrovert.’ Don’t just surround yourself with other introverts.
Book time on your calendar to recover.
Love my mornings in the word and in the woods or on the trail. And my stair master.
Alright…I feel better now.