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Introvert and Extrovert

Today’s Reflection

THE PUSH-PULL OF OUR FIRST YEAR of living together [married] was also challenged by balancing Fred’s introversion and my extroversion. Introverts are a careful species, quiet and thoughtful, usually content to be alone. While I learned when he needed his own space, he learned when I needed him to listen to me verbalize a problem in order to uncover the solution.

He had to be willing to be social, attend parties, and talk with people at church. I had to be willing to sit contemplatively in Hindu worship and to tiptoe around the house when he chanted.

Fred’s strong introspective nature made him a prime monastic and priest. His gifts of reflection, intuition, and insight were stronger than anyone I’d ever met. But they took getting used to. Through many mistakes, I uncovered what made him comfortable and uncomfortable. At the conclusion of the first year of marriage, I received the highest praise an introvert could offer.

“Being with you is like being by myself,” he mumbled one Saturday morning over oatmeal.

“Whaaat?” I asked, hurt.

“When I’m with you, I feel as good as when I’m by myself.”

Was this a trick? A clever, backhanded compliment? I couldn’t process the meaning of his words internally, so I had to talk it through aloud.

“So you’re saying that being with me is like being by yourself? But, you love being by yourself, right? So actually, being around me is a good thing?”

“Exactly,” he replied as he sipped coffee from his favorite green mug.

“You’re giving me a compliment?”

“Yes,” he sighed.

“Oh. OK. Well, then … thank you.”

This was one of the nicest things my introverted husband could say to me, and I nearly missed it. If having me around was that comfortable, then married life was suiting Fred.

A year in, I found myself creeping toward introversion too. I became more timid in spaces that held large groups and a lot of talking. I learned to quiet my voice of interruption and rebuttal. I learned to listen to others. I learned to listen to God.

– J. Dana Trent
Saffron Cross

From pages 81-82 of Saffron Cross: The Unlikely Story of How a Christian Minister Married a Hindu Mok by J. Dana Trent. Copyright © 2013 by J. Dana Trent. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Fresh Air Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

O LORD, you have searched me and known me.

Psalm 139:1, NRSV

This Week: Pray for new beginnings. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Emily Balch (January 9).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 19 comments… add one }

  • Jill January 10, 2018, 3:32 am

    Definitely an introvert and growing more introverted by the moment. Whatever part of me that is extroverted is spent at school, exhausted. By the end of the school day I am ready for silence, stillness and my quiet home. Being back at school yesterday after a peaceful, quiet 2 1/2 weeks at home – I felt my sensory system bombarded – especially hearing. The halls seemed exceptionally loud and busy. Luckily, most of the time, my classes are very controlled, studious…even when working in groups – they tend to work orderly and at a manageable sound level.
    I am also learning more about being quiet before God, and it seems more comfortable, more fitting. Just stillness and togetherness are needed.

    • Marcy January 10, 2018, 6:32 pm

      Jill, I pray for you to return to your “normal” routine after having such blessed quiet time. You body and soul needed that time, I’m sure. I need to become someone who actually gets out and does more. Just physically, with rehabilitation help to slowly build back up. I look to God for it all. I’m listening during prayer and study time. I pray for all in the UR family and beyond for restoration and to bring touched by our gracious Father.

  • Louise January 10, 2018, 3:51 am

    Good morning UR family. I have been wrapped up in everyday life and have missed stopping by the UR. I caught up on all the readings and I have been praying for Mary, her mum ad her dad…glad to hear that surgery went well…hopefully dads appetite picks up. Prayers for Marcy and your continuous recovery. You are an inspiration for me. Prayers for Jill, her dad and her mom. Prayers for Julie’s hands and knee…I am sure that the cold does not help either. Prayers for Robert’s heart rehab that you will get stronger, prayers for your son…happy that his job is working out, prayers for Annalisie’s improving health. The stress of bad tenants can be terrible. My husband and I dealt with that when we had multifamily homes. I pray for Lou, Connie, Betsy, Franchsca, and all at UR that you will find and feel God’s peace.
    I can relate to the reading today. When I met my husband I was very much an extrovert and he was an introvert. Over the years I have become more of an introvert. I love quiet and peaceful times. These times are usually filled with prayer and meditation. I have come to love this time of day when the silence gives me time with God…to listen for his guidance…to read his words and let them penetrate me. I am blessed because I know and worship God.

    • Marcy January 10, 2018, 6:41 pm

      Louise, so good to hear from you, as always. Thank you for praying for us. I, too, am praying for your Aunt and hope she feels the prayers we keep in our hearts and that she feels Love from God in any way, just something Lord. Bless you, Louise, good for my soul!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 10, 2018, 7:07 pm

      Thanks so much Louise for your prayers.


  • robert moeller January 10, 2018, 4:38 am

    Today’s reflection is, if my memory serves me right, a repeat. That doesn’t mean it’s of course, repetition is a sound teaching principle. I am definitely an introvert, like Jill I became extroverted at school. Not sure if I am becoming more introverted. Have a tough time with decisions about topics like that.
    Fred’s statement about his wife’s being like himself, while understandable, is hard to get a grip on.

    Thankful for the prayers given and received by and for others. Truly a blessing we share here at the UR. Thank You, Lord. Prayers are appreciated and helpful. They are what God wants us to do. Continued prayers for each of you and your families. Thankful for this relationship.

    • robert moeller January 10, 2018, 4:41 am

      Tired this morning, need to proof read better, repetition is not bad but a sound educational practice.

    • Marcy January 10, 2018, 7:51 pm

      Robert, I’ve found myself struggling to keep my mind clear, awake, whether it’s due to these meetings hanging over my head, threats of discharge, exhaustion of a combination of all. I continue to lift you, Erich and especially Annaliese as she deals with the latest pain and cramping issues. Also praying that Arnold is doing better today. May God bless you in all you do.

      • robert moeller January 14, 2018, 3:40 am

        Thank you Marcy. Anneliese’s muscle spasms have subsided in one area but moved to another area. Thankfully she has an appointment with pain management on the 18th. While the water rose high from an ice jammed brook her house was not flooded and the sump pump took care of water trying to come into the basement. Both the house and the condo will soon be on the market. Too early to say for sure, but it appears the tenants may be preparing to move after an eviction notice was delivered.

  • Betsy January 10, 2018, 7:18 am

    I’m in the same boat as Jill and Robert; I became more of an extrovert in my classroom. After retirement, I’ve gone more inward, more reflective; not a bad thing but there is a balance. Being out among others helps to bring me out and responsive to others. I believe we need both.
    Thank you all for your well wishes as we surround my sister this long weekend. Praying fo all my UR family today, where I feel safe to be extroverted and more reflected.

  • Connie January 10, 2018, 8:01 am

    I have alway been somewhat of an introvert. However, when I am around others socially, I am told I am fun to be with. I enjoy the quiet. It is a time I can have focused thoughts. The world I grew up in was quite different-a small town, church-related events, family get-togethers, etc. I was blessed then and I am blessed now. God has been so good to me.

    • Marcy January 10, 2018, 7:56 pm

      Yes, Connie, you’re right. I must count my blessings and be glad in whatever God plans for me. We are so blessed to call each other one another’s helper. Now, let’s do it!

    • April January 10, 2018, 8:45 pm

      Sounds like the same childhood I grew up in. How blessed we were and how I wish this could be so for our children today.
      Blessings to our UR family on this cold January day.

      • robert moeller January 10, 2018, 10:51 pm

        I remember those times, elementary school and church in the 50s, very well.
        Yes, they certainly were different from today. Think they got me off to a good start in life. But, alas, life is ever changing, trying to keep things exactly or even close to what they were is impossible. We have to take the best of the past and move on with it.

        I’m back in my home state after 48 years away and while I certainly recognize where I am, where I grew up, it’s not the same. Still I’m glad to be home even if it means higher taxes.

        Thankful for the UR online, no such thing when I lived here growing up and computers are still relatively new. God still talks to us and we can share in ways that would have taken a lot of time and effort before.

  • Julie January 10, 2018, 8:13 am

    I am an introvert. I was a substitute teacher for several years. Mostly in elementary schools. I was exhausted at the end f the day because of needing to be so present and available at all times. I am actually a nuclear engineer and for the most paart worked in a cubicle. I was the coordintor of a group which required many days of constant interaction. This was something that energized me. Go figure. I guess we each have tendencies toward both depending on the situation and circumstances.
    Loiuse, so good to hear from you. Are you still caring for your aunt?
    Betsy, praying for a safe weekend where healing may occur.
    Robert and Jill, continued prayers for each as well as Annaliese, Erich, and Jill’s mother, father, and sister. Marcy, Francesca, and all others who visit this group of friends prayers as well.
    Blessings to all

    • Marcy January 10, 2018, 8:04 pm

      Julie, this is so interesting about you, yet I am not surprised. You have a strong faith background and it makes sense you had more energy as nuclear engineer. Your adaptability is far reaching. I am so happy to know you and I love you like a sister. God bless you and keep you safe and well!

  • Andrea January 10, 2018, 10:00 am

    I was an extrovert in my younger days, both at work and at play, but I think I am mostly an introvert now. I love my days at home in my sewing room. The exception is when I am with my quilting friends, which is both fun and meaningful and feeds my spirit.

    I love Psalm 139, it is one of my favorites.

    Praying for new beginnings in whichever way we each need. Blessings to all.

    • Marcy January 10, 2018, 8:14 pm

      Andrea, still holding you, Lowell, your daughter, son-in-law and grandson in the very center of my heart. I received a couple of images to color. Will let you know how it goes!

  • Marcy January 10, 2018, 4:44 pm

    I, like Betsy, believe we need both. When I am healthy and myself, I’m definitely an extrovert, discussing the Bible and encouraging others, helping with any number of things and feeling like it’s second nature to me, without a tbought. This is how I discovered my work which was never work to me. As time has gone on, and the new realities of life have gotten to the point where I could no longer ignore them, that’s when the isolation became predominant and I discovered what it is like to be an introvert. This is NOT my nature, and much work, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually needs to be done. I look forward to it. I’m more than ready for God to show me what is next for me. I do not assume to know what He has planned for me. I Love You, Jesus Christ, and I always will, all the days of my life and beyond, into eternity.

    Abba, Father, You have searched me and known me. I pray for new beginnings, Father, through the most blessed of new beginnings, Your one and only Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior, our Teacher and the One Who baptized us with the Holy Spirit.

    Thank you, Jill, Louise, Robert, Andrea, Julie, Francesca, Betsy, Connie, Mary, Lou and the whole UR family for your prayers. I’m getting so it’s hard to think straight but I persevere with your help family. I pray for each of you at nigjt and also in the morning! We are so blessed to have one another here in the UR family Reflections and beyond, to those who read only, we pray for you also for our God is a Mighty God and He knows your needs.

    Prayers for those in California under the deluge of mudslides. Christ lives us…always and forever!

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