Do you remember taking personality tests in high school or college? When I took them, I’d always score somewhere between introvert and extrovert, usually tipping ever-so-slightly towards extroversion. Though I hesitate to put myself, and others, into neat little personality-test boxes, those tests helped me visualize the strange teeter-tot I felt between wanting socialization and isolation.
Some of this teeter-tot can be blamed on my parents. My mother is almost overly social. Between performing, speaking, putting on events, and traveling, she always seems to be right in the middle of the loudest and busiest crowds. My dad, on the other hand, would probably be perfectly happy living in the woods somewhere with only mosquitos as neighbors.
I am the offspring of these two opposites: I crave socialization to feel balanced and happy, but all at once enjoy reflective alone time. Really, it makes me a perfect singer/songwriter because I enjoy both the introversion of songwriting and the extroversion of performing.
Since childhood I’ve felt a need for social interaction but my introversion (shyness) would sometimes get the better of me. Luckily, with age, I found ways to deal with this quandary. One way was to become a facilitator of social events.
Recently, after a small social gathering I organized had came to a close, it dawned on me that the the reason I am constantly organizing and facilitating is because the little girl inside of me, the one struggling with her introverted side, is afraid of not being invited if she’s not in charge of invitations. Though it seems I have the teeter-tot between extroversion and introversion under control, I still find myself lonely sometimes. When this happens I bury myself in my melancholy songs saying to myself, “I don’t need people anyway.”
But I do.
I have found, on the border of extroversion and introversion, Jesus stands. He experienced the solitary of introversion. Jesus retreated to the wilderness to be tempted, and experienced the betrayal of his closest friends. He was even shut off from God and left utterly alone (Matt. 27:46).
He also came so that our extroverted hearts may be fulfilled. He sent the Holy spirit after Him so we would never be utterly alone. “…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:10). “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever” (John 14:16 KJV).
Today I find comfort knowing God has provided for our every need, both our extroverted and introverted ones.