Introvert or Extrovert? The World Needs You to Be You!
Are there moments of your life that feel like photographs in your mind? You remember every detail. You can recall what you were wearing. When you think back, you tell yourself, “That was when everything started to change.”
One of mine happened at a campus ministry meeting in college. I sat cross-legged on gray carpet in an old building that smelled like new coffee. I wore a red shirt and jean shorts. I heard the word “introvert” for the very first time.
I instantly felt less alone and more understood. But for years my understanding of being an introvert still focused on what I didn’t like (small talk) or didn’t want to do (go to parties every night). But that’s not the whole story, or even the most important part, of being an introvert or extrovert.
Maybe you’ve struggled with self-doubt too. You might be an introvert like I am who’s been told you’re too quiet. Or maybe you’re an extrovert who’s heard, “Quiet down!” Either way, what I want you to know today is that God made us introverts and extroverts intentionally.
I’ve now spent years as a counselor, life coach, and author studying why we’re introverts and extroverts. The short version: It’s not because of our personalities, but because of ways we’re physically wired, especially in our brains and nervous systems. I believe God created introverts and extroverts as a complementary pairing, each with gifts and tremendous potential.
Because our culture leans a bit more extroverted right now, it’s often harder for introverts to embrace that truth. But I believe it’s essential not just for individual introverts but for those around us too. In my research, I discovered introverts have nine specific strengths our world needs more than ever before!
After that moment in college, I still spent a long time trying to be someone I wasn’t, and it took me to the brink of burnout. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, maybe you’ve done the same. I now know true freedom and joy come not from trying to become someone else, but embracing who God created us to be.
You are one of a kind. There has never been another you, and there never will be. Every detail of who you are was designed by God. He crafted your quietness. He came up with your crazy laugh. He made you empathetic or enthusiastic, creative or concrete, a deep thinker or fast talker. Nothing about you is a mistake or accident.
The opposite of self-doubt isn’t pride; it’s holy confidence. As the Psalmist said, “I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt” (Psalm 139:14). When we understand who we are, it leads to praise and empowers us to fulfill our God-given purpose.
I wish I could go back to that college girl in jean shorts. I’d take her by the hand, lift her up, look her in the eyes and say, “You have nothing to prove. You don’t need to change. You’re already loved. Dare to be who you truly are.”
Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, I’m saying the same to you today.
Are you an introvert? Or do you love, lead, or share life with one? Then you’ll love Holley’s bestselling new book, The Powerful Purpose of Introverts: Why the World Needs You to Be You!
None of us are 100% introvert or extrovert. To find out how much introvert you have in you, take Holley’s free one-minute “What Percent Introvert Are You?” quiz!