Introversion & Christianity

I am quite the introvert. However, that does not mean that I’m shy. On the contrary, I’m actually rather outgoing and am fine meeting new people and carrying on casual conversations. What makes me an introvert is my need for alone time to rejuvenate and rebuild my energy levels. I cannot spend extended time around people without getting exhausted.
How do I reconcile this part of my personality with my being a Christian and the need to be in community with other Christians? This is an ongoing struggle for me and something that I have to balance on a regular basis. I find that getting together with others on a one-to-one basis is not as draining for me and allows me to experience fellowship and encouragement without becoming overly exhausted. Being in groups of people is much more draining for me. This makes it difficult for me to participate in a small group, for even a small group is usually several people. Church on Sunday mornings is do-able, but I’m useless the rest of the day, needing to go home and nap to rejuvenate after the social and worship experience in the morning with a large group of people. I need to plan my weekends that I don’t over-do socialization or I end up stressed out and get sick.
As a Christian, I think it’s important to be with other believers and encourage each other. I can’t live my life in isolation. Yet I also have to watch my health needs and not over-stress myself. It is a constant battle and struggle of balance for me.
How about you? If you are an introvert, how do you balance that with the need for spending time with others?

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One thought on “Introversion & Christianity

  1. I think there is often a misconception about extroverts in the church being the norm. Only in a highly technical society can people be with others as much as we can. Think of 150 years ago. If you were married to a farmer, and were homesteading, you would have had very little social interaction. It was just the way it is. I think introverts need to avoid feeling guilty about not wanting to be in large groups. My 23 year old daughter is an introvert and she's a grad student. She teaches and is in class all day. It's exhausting for her. She picks and chooses the things she gets involved in. Also, my husband is an introvert, and we choose not to attend every single thing at church. We are faithful to the morning service and teaching sunday school, but if we stay home on a Sunday night, we don't feel bad about it. We can't be useful for God if we're exhausted. I don't think extroversion is the norm and the introverts are somehow supposed to be more outgoing. How about fewer social events? Like you said, balance. I don't think there is anything wrong with one on one time.

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