Saturday, July 08, 2006

Introverts Are Superior

While I was at the JMP user conference last month, I talked with a doctor on the way to lunch who was reading a book called The Introvert Advantage. (I think thats the correct one). I doubt many people realize that introverts do have the upper hand in life (well the important things about life that is). Because of the fact that the important things in life require lots of thought and premeditation in order to make the correct decision (religion, family, politics, career) introverts have the upper hand in them since well.. they're better at thinking than extroverts are. Extroverts have skills in talking and making people laugh. Its good to have extroverts around when you're say... throwing a party. But if you're going to do something important like wage war on another country you'd probably want to surround yourself with introverts for council.

What does Scripture say about it? This is one of my favorite verses because it is so against the grain of our culture:

For a dream comes through much activity, And a fool’s voice is known by his many words.

Ecclesiastes 5:3

Some introverts wish they were extraverted. Its rarely the other way around but in fact, when I was young I was an extravert. (If my bias hasn't clued you in by now I'm an introvert) I actually wanted to be introverted because I noticed how often my mouth got me in trouble.

When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

Proverbs 10:19

Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Proverbs 29:20

We also talked about how society loves to say things like "just be yourself" but no one really wants you to be yourself if you're an introvert. The author of the book linked to above calls it "an extrovert's world" and thats very true. The vast majority of people are extraverts and what you see is what you get with them. They haven't put any meaningful thought into 90% of their life and consequently have made some pretty silly choices. Extraverts still tend to get along ok but its probably because some intraverts behind the scenes have been helping them out along the way! They say still waters run deep, well busy waters run just to the bottom of the waves. They have no depth only idle noise.

Moral of this post: don't feel bad that you're an introvert. Feel bad for extraverts or as I like to call them: the life-disadvantaged. (Remember self reflection, one of intraverts most natural tendencies, is also one of the key factors separating man from animal).

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