Here’s the easiest way to break it down: Introverts make energy and extroverts take energy.
When I retreat to quiet space in my home, put on earphones in a public place even though I’m not listening to anything, or slip away from the crowd, I’m not being a loner. I’m simply slipping away to recharge the energy reserves that all the extroverts have been feeding on.
If I were a loner, I wouldn’t seek out friendships and relationships. I wouldn’t desire the companionship of others. And I certainly wouldn’t be in a profession which demands constant interaction with other people.
The truth is, I am a people person.
I love people. I love people who are like me, who think like me, and have similar interests. But I also love people who are different from me, who challenge me and stretch me, and who introduce me to new things.
I love people who are established, and those who are struggling. I love people who think they have all the answers, and I love people who have nothing but questions. I love people who annoy me, and I love people who make me laugh.
But for as much as I love people and feel drawn to be around them, there comes a time in the day when my energy levels are depleted and I must find a quiet place to reconnect and recharge.
Jesus himself did it. He ministered to people. He touched people. He taught people. He healed them, nurtured them, and loved them… and then he slipped away to a garden or a mountainside and he plugged into God and he recharged.
Was Jesus, the savior of humanity, a loner?
Nope. And neither am I.
So, to all my extroverted friends who want to tell me I’m a loner because I am self-aware enough to know that I need moments of quiet and solitude, please note: I’m not a loner. I’m just not like you. And if you want me to keep feeding you the energy you need, you should not make such a fuss when I need to slip away and create it.
Oh–and for all the energy I have fed you all these years, you are welcome. 🙂
Love, your introverted friend.