7 Ways You Can Love an Introvert

Last week I shared about being an introvert with a highly sensitive nervous system. And, wow, your responses amazed me. Many of you said, “I’m this way too and I wish the people in my life understood me better.” So let’s talk a bit more about this topic together.

Here are seven ways you can love the introverts in your life…

{What I’m sharing below is based on personal experience, my masters degree in counseling and training as a life coach as well as numerous books and articles I’ve read on this topic.}

7 Ways to Love an Introvert by Holley Gerth

1) Realize that introversion is not simply a personality trait; it’s a nervous system setting. Here’s how I like to explain it: Your nervous system is like a net that catches stimulation in your environment–things like noise, lights, words and facial expressions.

If you’re an extrovert, you’ve got extra large holes in your net. You can handle a lot of stimulation before you get overwhelmed. If you’re in the middle of extrovert-introvert you’ve got average size holes. If you’re an introvert with a highly sensitive nervous system you catch everything. So you’re easily and quickly overstimulated.

This is not about liking people or not–it’s about biology and how your system processes your environment. Please never make an introvert feel like she’s anti-social. She loves people just as much as you do; she just does it differently. Brain scans can actually show us this now.

2) Appreciate that because of the above, the introverts in your life will probably know you better and more deeply than anyone else. They may be quieter but they are taking it all in. They’re listening to you, reading between the lines, catching what you’re expressing that even you don’t realize you’re expressing.

So please don’t pressure introverts to be more outgoing. They’re doing what they do best and if you push them to be someone they’re not, you’re moving them away from who God created them to be and what he wants them to add to the world.

If you have a child who’s an introvert with a sensitive nervous system, nurture the unique gifts that come with that. Many of the world’s most influential artists, spiritual leaders and creative thinkers are in this group. Think of all we would have missed if someone had forced them to change.

3) Understand that introverts will want one-on-one time with you. Yes, we love your kids, husband and other friends too. And it’s occasionally fun to be at get-togethers {okay, maybe not–but we’ll make ourselves do it anyway}. But we will feel disconnected from you if we don’t get to the heart level in our conversations and that usually requires being one-on-one. In general, we don’t enjoy groups–they’re simply too much for our nervous systems to process.

And small talk often feels like a waste to introverts because we only have so much social energy/emotion to spend and because we love you so much we want to use it in the best way possible. We feel really guilty about this a lot of the time. But it truly is because we love you. We really want to know how you’re doing. We really want to listen to you. We really want to understand you. And surface-talking groups are so overwhelming that they make it almost impossible for us to do that well.

4) Let Introverts spend time away from you guilt-free. When an introvert withdraws, she’s not leaving…she’s loving. She’s saying, “My nervous system is overwhelmed right now. I physically have nothing left to give you. I need to let my nervous system have a break so I can come back to serve, love and listen well again.”

If an introvert stays at your house, tell her she’s welcome to sleep in, take naps, go off on her own to read or just spend time in her room. She’s not being anti-social. She’s doing what she needs to so she can love you well long-term. Remember, when she’s with you she will be there 100%–much more than you probably get from other folks.

Most introverts feel extremely guilty about their need for time alone and will usually push themselves to the brink–even to the point of getting physically sick–not to disappoint you. We need your help knowing our needs are valid and okay. 

5) Offer another option besides talking on the phone. Again, completely guilt-inducing but true. The phone strips conversations down to what stresses us out most–the verbal part. Being with you in person lets us see your facial expressions, gives us time to pause and process before we respond, and helps us use our amazing nervous system to your best benefit.

Introverts also often love to communicate in writing because it gets to the heart level, gives us time to think and lets us be very intentional about our words.

Again, this is not a personality trait–it’s a biological reality. Verbal communication skills reside in the left side of our brains. Written communication skills reside in the right side {which many introverts lean toward}. All communication is not created equal, and some forms are uncomfortable, anxiety-provoking and sometimes even downright painful for introverts–especially when we’re stressed or tired.

6) Recognize when introverts are tired or stressed they need extra rest and support. Introverts tend to sleep more and need naps because it’s one of the best ways to restore our nervous systems. We’re not lazy–we’re being wise about our resources. We may also need extra quiet spaces. Even sound and light can be painful when we’re depleted.

When an introvert gets drained, she will probably think things like, “What’s wrong with me?” or push herself to carry on to the point of making herself ill or depressed–all because she doesn’t want to disappoint you. Help her know that she can say “yes” or “no” to your invitations to connect and you will love her just the same.

7) Be kind: Introverts are already really hard on themselves. The highly sensitive nervous system that makes us very in tune with our external environment also means we are very aware and often critical of what’s going on inside us. We are very, very hard on ourselves and have a tendency to overanalyze. We’re not likely to be irresponsible or unaware of what we’re doing wrong. Instead, we’re far more likely to burn out or fall into depression because we are hyper-aware of all the ways we could do better. And if we think we’ve let you down, especially because we’re not meeting your social expectations, it’s very painful.

As you can see from all of the above, the greatest gifts you can give an introvert are acceptance and affirmation. We can tend to feel guilty, tired, anxious and like a disappointment. And you would probably never guess it. The way we’re wired is a gift but when we feel shame about it then it becomes a burden.

Recognize the strengths in the introverts in your life. Thank them for listening. Encourage their creativity. Remind them having a soft heart in a hard world is courage not weakness. In other words, support who God created us to be. We deeply love you and we truly need you to love us just as we are too.

What else would you add to this list? What resources {books, articles, etc.} have helped you better understand being or loving an introvert? I really want to hear…just not on the phone. :)


Holley Gerth

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p.s. You know I love going to counseling–it’s like a spa day for your soul. {Counseling actually helped me process a lot of what I shared above.} My wise friend Roxanne Ross just got certified to do distance counseling, which means she can work with anyone, anywhere. I highly recommend Roxanne and you can connect with her at www.roxannerosscounseling.com.


  1. Allison says

    Thank you for all of that great information. I am just realizing that my 12 year old daughter is in need of me loving her in these ways! Thank you for sharing!!

    • says

      Allison, I had a Mama who nurtured the introvert in me and I wouldn’t be who I am today without that intentional care and love. So glad you’re giving your daughter those things too!

      • Allison says

        Thank you, I realized today after reading your post that I had not been loving her in these ways. Today is a new day and His mercies are new every morning! Thanking God for the gift of encouragement through you!!

    • Laura says

      Thank you for writing this. I have a 16 year old who is an introvert (I am not). After reading this, I see that I have done so many things wrong in raising her. Thank you for giving me the tools to change the way I deal with her. I understand why she does what she does. I can’t wait to have a conversation with her to apologize for always pushing her out of her comfort zone ( so I thought ) I will be buying the book Quiet. Can’t wait to read it.

    • michelle says

      Sorry I can’t figure out how to make a general comment thank you so much for this article I am married to an extrovert with 3 kids in their 20s who are all extroverts (my step children) I have found the book The Introvert Advantage to be very helpful for us because my family had a hard time understanding…. that book might have been mentioned already it is written by a woman who’s an introvert and mental health professional and has a husband who is an extrovert and she explains how to do vacations and how to make the marriage work and how to make your job work better and all kinds of helpful tips.

  2. says

    Thank you so much for your post. I have been an introvert and I used to think it was a defect of my personality somehow. However, I realize that now it is not. It is a gift. But that doesn’t make it easy. Thirteen years ago, when I was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, the nerve pain also made me want to retreat. So now I had the physical suffering along with the emotional. Only within the last couple years, have I started sending a quick email or text to say I am thinking of the person or their situation, so that even though I do not have energy to talk at that time, they know I am not retreating from their friendship.
    Thank you again, Holley for blessing us with your gift. :)

    • Trisha says

      Thank goodness somebody else understands RSD. I have had it for 10 yrs now & didn’t notice my sensitivity before the injury that caused it. It has my body so super sensitive that I can’t take most meds without having tons of reactions, even those that I never had problems with before. I have chronic seizures that last up to 20 mins long that damaged the opcipital nerve in my neck cause even more pain & sensitivity as I have chronic migraines that I have to get nerve blocks for. I feel like I have lost so much so yes me too feel like it’s a defect & that causes me to not like myself when I compare who I was before. I was always an introvert but this made the super sensitive side of me expand 100 percent. Thankfully God has taught me my problems are a blessing as a small group leader he shows me to have more empathy & compassion as well as making others trust me when I say I understand pain, sorrow, regret etc. God has used my weakness as a way to minister to others as I am sure he will with you too & build your confidence back up in time. You are loved by a mighty God

      • says

        Dear Trisha, I am also glad to know that someone else can relate to RSD and the affect it has on one’s life physically and emotionally. You must be able to give so much as a small group leader and they must be so happy to have you there for them. Thank you for your inspiring words. It helps me to keep doing what I am doing.

  3. says

    Thanks for raising awareness about introversion. As you mention, our quietness is not so much a choice as an inborn characteristic. Like you, I also find it easier to express myself in writing. Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can Stop Talking was especially illuminating to me.

    One thing that can help introverts is to understand that we don’t really like to talk about ourselves, and so others often underestimate our abilities and contributions. We love to learn about your accomplishments but it would be great if you could pause and ask about what we’ve been doing that’s meaningful. You might discover a great resource and depth of insight.

    • says

      I’m so glad you mentioned Quiet! It’s my favorite book ever on being an introvert. And that is a great point about introverts not liking to talk about themselves. So, so true and great advice for those who love us.

    • Cindy says

      Thanks for these additional insights, Julie. It is interesting to learn that introverts don’t like to talk about themselves. i am an introvert for sure. As I get older, (I am 57 years young) there are times I would like to talk about myself, but I am so involved with people who are seemlngly self-absorbed that I hurry to share when I have an opening. That can’t be good. :) God continue to bless you richly!

      • says

        Thanks for your encouragement!

        From what I have read, introverts tend to express themselves differently than extroverts (plus their bold expressions are seen as the norm — what Susan Cain calls the accepted “Culture of Personality” — compared to ours) so when I talk, I am sometimes not heard or believed as naturally as others who are more verbose and expressive.

        Most of the time this doesn’t bother me but it can occasionally be a problem. Still, I see God work using the personality traits of introverts like me (and extroverts, but in different ways).

  4. Guest says

    I’m an extrovert surrounded by introverts so this is very helpful. I do want to point out, though, that there are some of us who are highly sensitive extroverts. Being highly sensitive doesn’t make you an introvert or vice versa. I love social get-togethers but then overanalyze everything that was said for much of the night meaning I don’t sleep and feel sick to my stomach. I’m also very uncomfortable in large group settings because I find it overstimulating.

    Anyway, great list! Just know that there are also highly sensitive extroverts and some of our needs are actually quite similar to this list. :-)

    • says

      I, too, am a highly-sensitive extrovert. Because I am such a “people person”, I often have trouble explaining to those around me that I need some down-time of my own. While it is definitely more compressed, or shorter, than my introverted friends & family, I DO need quiet space, time and rejuvenation as well. I hold a position in which many people come to me for all kinds of needs (I watch out for boomerangs & flyballs a lot!), therefore, I’ve learned I really need my retreats nightly. They have helped me immensely, but I still have to give myself permission to retreat and not take on other people’s struggles as if they are my own (again, I’m highly sensitive as well).
      I love this article, thank you so much!

      • carolyn says

        Sensitive-yes, that is a valid term, but I believe it can be used to describe most everything, including dysfunction. To be understood can be an insatiable need – never anything wrong, just misunderstanding. The balance is hard to find, but I remember C. S. Lewis writing about how humility can be partly determined by the ease with which a person “gets along” with another person. I believe that!

    • says

      Thank you so much Holley for putting the ways to love an introvert so succinctly and simply doable. Also for helping us understand and see the introvert’s beautiful heart and giftedness. And when we understand each other we can love each other better. Love you for all you are Holley. xo

      P..S. Quiet by Susan Cain is my favourite too – and I’m mostly an extrovert.

  5. says

    Holley, this post feels like you just examined my soul with a microscope and wrote an instruction manual for it.
    The insight you’ve shared is so insightful, affirming, and will help me
    love and care for my own introverted self better! Thank you. (This should be your next book . . An Introvert’s Owners Manual!) Thank you! XO

    • Faisal Abidi says

      “feels like you just examined my soul”
      Same here! I got misty eyed reading this. Like, I finally have something to point to that says it’s biology, and not have to constantly apologize for my behavior.

  6. says

    I’m like this a little bit, but I know others who are very much like this. They think they have Aspergers.

    I wonder if there is a relationship between what you describe and Aspergers.

    In any case, thank you for helping me understand them.

  7. Maria says

    Thank you so much for this insight! I have always been an introvert and I always thought of it as a character trait that I shouldn’t be proud of. But you shone a lot of light on that topic! I am more of the listener rather than the talker in conversations and I’ve always forced myself to be the talker but it is just not for me! Your entire message just gave my once thought weird trait, a completely different meaning. Thank you so much for this Holley <3

  8. says

    You have just described my daughter. I just forwarded it on to her because she is on her way to college where she may be over stimulated on a daily basis. As an extrovert and her mother, it took years for me to realize that this is how she is wired, God made her this way. I used to think something was wrong when she didn’t speak up or want to be around groups of friends. Knowledge gives us so much comfort, thank you for this Holley. I’m learning, asking for forgiveness and trying to be more sensitive, instead of judgmental. Thanking God that His mercies are new every morning!

  9. says

    Very helpful words on being an introvert. I especially like what you say to others about introverts. Introverts are not “odd” or “unloving;” they are people who need to express themselves the best way they know how–one on one and with writing. That is who they are. (And, some introverts have had negative and upsetting experiences with large groups.) As others who are more extroverted, they need to remember that we are social, too, but on a quieter and more intimate level.

    Wonderful article!


    • Cindy says

      Thank you, Toni. What you wrote is so true. It really nice to see more insights about myself (and others) as I go through these comments. God continue to bless you richly!

  10. says

    So true, all of it!! I would add that being an introvert doesn’t mean you are shy around people and you can’t be outspoken when you feel the need to.

    • says

      Yes! Shyness and introversion are not the same. Shyness comes from fear and both extroverts and introverts can display it. Introversion is an in-born part of how we’re physically wired and has a lot of specific gifts that come with it. They are just quieter gifts. But we can absolutely speak up when we have something we feel is important to say. We highly value words and use them with great care. So glad you pointed this out!

  11. Aisha says

    He he he… Holley, it’s like you’re following me around with a pen and paper, recording my daily activities and interactions after these last two posts

  12. Aisha says

    Interesting… Doesn’t look like my comment finished… What the rest of my comment said was, thank you for this. It makes me feel normal. This is helping me understand and accept myself!!

  13. says

    Thanks for this follow up article. It is very true and Helps me love myself better for who I am. My mom is an extravert and never really was able to connect with me, even as a child. She says she never really knew how. It was hard for her but even harder for me because I felt rejected and like she didn’t love me. As an adult now, I can accept who she is and also know that she loves me…but just doesn’t know how to show it. I am able to connect with her now and love her dearly. God has done some mighty healing in our relationship. He has restored it. She loves to read my poems and things I have written. I just didn’t know it. Thank you again for sharing this very personal part of your story. By the way, I too love counseling. I totally understand that. They love it when I share all my thoughts and writings with them. I laughingly call them my “paid friends”. Thankfully I also have some nonpaid friends now. Again….thank you!

  14. says

    Holley, Thank you SO much not only for shining a positive light on introversion but for providing a resource that explains it so well. Your post is something shareable. It’s taken most of my life for me to understand this part of myself. In an extroverted society, it’s very easy to feel like something is wrong with you, the shame you mentioned holds back many introverts. Your courage in being yourself and sharing what you know with others will in turn allow them to be courageous too. A book I read and really enjoyed is called The Introvert’s Way by Sophia Dembling. I also have started Quiet by Susan Cain which is good but more scientific. Thanks again Holley!

  15. says

    One more thing I forgot to mention. I can express myself so well through writing that I told my counselor once that I wished God had made me a book. So people could just read me. Over the last few years I have been able to give my testimony and tell my story a few times and even have a video of it. I showed it to my counselor friend and he smiled and said “They’re reading you book” and I smiled back. Yep they are..:and it’s ok.

  16. Lisamarie says

    I’ve had to learn all those things by trial and error and many mistakes… The three people closest to me are all introverts and I am not: my hubby of 25 years, my dear younger sister, and my lifelong best friend. I’ve specifically worked on accommodating them for the past several years, once I understood what introverts needed. And that’s really good, because my oldest son is also an introvert and I know better how to deal with him now than when he was a child.

    So… When will we see 7 ways to love an extrovert?
    I’m tired of feeling guilty with my beloved introverts when I want –no, NEED– to go out into the world and interact with other humans. I love the energy people give me! It’s like fuel for my soul. Being in crowds, chatting with strangers, making small talk with cashiers, and people at the gym, and even parking ramp attendants… all of it energizes me! I can’t be alone or with just one other person for too long. It feels empty and shallow. To me, silence is painfully deafening. It’s a physical sensation as much as introverts feel their bodies reacting to too much stimulation. It’s just opposite. I crave being surrounded by others. I love people!
    (Well, I love them as acquaintances. I have no interest in getting too close, because I already have a lot of people to take care of and worry about in my life! LOL!)

    • says

      Lisamarie, this is a great point too. I think we all need friends of different personality types. Your introvert peeps aren’t going to be able to meet certain needs and so a huge gift you can give them is to actively seek out some fellow extroverts for those times you just want to chat, have fun and live life on the lighter side.

      Asking your introvert friends to fill this for you would be like them asking you to sit with them in silence for hours while they think. You can love them best by releasing them from expectations to be who they’re not and finding other friends to meet certain needs. And they should do the same for you. When both people in the relationship can do that, we get the best of each other and the ways God has uniquely created each of us.

      {p.s. This is super scary to type because it would be so much easier to say, “Introverts should just try harder!” but I’ve tried harder for decades now and it doesn’t work…and tends to lead me into depression. It has been a lifelong process to learn to accept who God has made me and to have the courage to share that with others. Whew. I hope you still like me.}

      • Lisamarie says

        Yes, that’s how I learned the hard way. As an extrovert who used to be shy (yes, that’s possible!), I thought my three introverts just had to get bolder like I did! Shy extroverts are especially struggling because we desperately WANT to be in the midst of people to absorb the energy, but we are not confident enough to do it I til we learn how to. I finally did learn –as an adult.

        But learning the differences between us made me understand and stop expecting things they couldn’t do. I do actively seek out extroverts, but it’s not easy because so many I’ve met are single and “extroverting” in ways I don’t want to! And for some reason, many women I know that are my age and married are more introverted than not.

  17. l says

    ‘When U lay down & ur mind goes into ‘REWIND’ (to make Sure U have a ‘CLEAR picture’ of ALL that was said & done ea. day OR what U need to DO the Next day to ‘CORRECT &/OR Help it to be BETTER)': U R ALWAYS EXHAUSTED! Ur ‘Mind & Bod suffers! U MUST have Better ‘NUTRITION’ & ‘Take Time’ 4 urself & NOT feel GUILTY(or think U R SELFISH or have become ‘an IMMATURE SELFIE’) ‘TRUE FRIENDS WILL understand-others just WONT & theres nothing U can do to ‘CHANGE’ them-thats up tp GOD- thats HIS ‘job’HE Created them ALSO;-)

  18. Joy says

    I sometimes felt like I was more in between extrovert and introvert, I’m not sure though. This does help me though, I shared it on my Facebook page :-) my church has been doing a thing on Thursday nights where they would pray over two people to go out and minister to 5 people, and I’m always nervous when it comes around because I’m not sure I like the way it’s done, I thought about making key chains and giving them to people with a tract. Some people also think I don’t have boldness, though I know God gave me more boldness; I felt like I did talk to people about God.
    Thank you for sharing this Holley!

    • says

      I can so relate! I think much of our modern church culture is built more for extroverts–which makes sense because they’re the majority. But as introverts we need to understand that and not feel guilty if some things that work well for others don’t work so well for us.

      I once got in trouble in a college ministry for not wanting to go out and talk to strangers about my faith. I love Jesus with all my heart…I just share my faith differently than the way those folks had in mind.

      It is sometimes even hard for me to be in church services with lots of loud music and visual stimulation. And preachers who sound like they’re yelling when they talk upset my nervous system so much that I really can’t even hear what they’re saying. Small groups can also be tricky for introverts because we are more wired for one-on-one.

      It helped to read Introverts in the Church: http://www.amazon.com/Introverts-Church-Finding-Extroverted-Culture-ebook/dp/B008B9HRLW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408977406&sr=1-1&keywords=introverts+in+the+church

      • Joy says

        You know, after I commented on this, my aunt and uncle came over (I hadn’t seen them before yesterday, and spent afternoon and evening with them). I decided to stay in my bed because I just wanted some alone time, and my mom opened the door and asked, did you go back to sleep, or just being antisocial? I wouldn’t mind but I need a break from all this interaction…

  19. Vi says

    I am bawling my eyes out – can it be that I have known this all my life but never been able to articulate it – even to myself? It’s true. A friend once told me – “know who you are” – and I have strained ever since to know – what does that mean for me?. When there are expectations from everyone you know and love to “be that person” who is always happy, always a bringer of encouragement, the positive one, the listener and giver of perspective and truth…….but who NEEDS to nap every single day (I see a shake of their head and an “I don’t get it” expression) That I become a wreck when asked to speak at meetings even though I would LIKE to speak and share what GOD has done in my life. Somehow when you have worked overseas as a missionary/nurse you are supposed to be this amazing speaker and a complete extrovert with amazing stories to tell in a relaxed and engaging manner – not me. How I become a mess every time I do speak – giving in to unstoppable tears with every truth shared about how amazing God is – EVERY SINGLE TIME!! – the stories becoming disjointed in their telling because my brain can’t seem to focus in. Vowing that I will never agree to speak again because it is just too hard. And then feeling so guilty when asked again and I actually have the courage to say no. Seeing their disappointment but more so the confusion on their faces. Dreading for weeks, no the truth is months before my husband’s office Christmas party because I really only know 2 people there out of the 150+ people attending and feeling like I HAVE to go to support my husband – not only because he’s the general manager but because of how it will look if everyone else’s spouse is there and not his………unless by some luck I have to work a shift on that day! Yippee! And I am NOT a shy person. How does this all make sense? I need to be with people or I go crazy. I love to go meet new neighbors – just to say hi and welcome to the neighborhood – bring a little note with our phone numbers and tell them – ‘if you need anything just call’. How do you explain to your extreme extrovert friends who love you and are constantly inviting you over – why you decline more often than accept their invitations because you have already been to church that day and will be going to work the next day (where I see anywhere from 8 -12 clients in their homes over the course of 8 hours) that you are too tired even though you have had a long nap in the afternoon. My husband is an extrovert – not the extremely large holed net type but definitely larger than the fine sieve-sized one that is mine. But because I love him and I know he needs shared time with friends, I “gird up my loins” (as my mom would say) and go out with friends even though it is hard. We do all sorts of things that are hard for us – because it is our way of showing love and putting our spouses needs before our own. And for the most part this is ok.
    But then there are times like this past weekend when there are no emotional reserves left and I push myself to keep a commitment that was made weeks ago – when I KNOW it is a recipe for a disaster but GUILT (I see now that it was false guilt) pushes me to the brink of collapse both physically and emotionally. And my wonderful husband (married 28 years now) who has also been growing and changing – finding out “who he is” says to me as we walk towards the football stadium which is 2 miles away from the parking lot – “let’s go home – you mean more to me than any football game.” and again I am a wreck – crying on the mile trek back to the parking lot because it will mean he has to call our friends and tell them we aren’t coming……….and it is because of me……. but he says it in such a nice way that it doesn’t hurt me. And these people were the ones who gave us the free tickets with great seats!! who want to get to know us and were looking forward to spending time together. I am so incredibly thankful to be going home. So thankful that my husband, best friend and lover chose me over the game – and at the same time so weighed down because I have failed again to be the woman I think I should be. Able to do it all because it’s really not that much after all – for most women.

    And then I read your past 2 blogs – and I see a light. You can call it self awareness, you can call it self discovery, or even an “aha” moment.

    And something new begins. :-)

  20. says

    Wow! This is a great resource for me. I’ve felt so guilty in the past when I needed to be alone and my husband wanted to have people over or go out. He didn’t understand and thought I didn’t like people, which that wasn’t the case. But I see how it could look that way. He understands now that I need to be alone to refresh and energized. Thank you for breaking-it-down in words Holley! :)

    • Garry says

      After reading this post I have even greater insight of my beautiful wife. I truly love you Chavos and am grateful for you being in my life you are the kindest person I know. You help balance me. Becoming one with you has been the second greatest decision I’ve made next to serving Christ. I know this post will make you blush but I couldn’t read this post and your comments without sharing a reply.

      Thank you Holley for articulating the things I see in my lovely wife. It is very helpful for men, like me, who are married to introvert wives.

  21. Teresa Martin says

    Holley, thanks for these tips…I always considered myself as a social butterfly ….however this description really seems to be more appropriate in defining my character. Thanks again for being the vessel.


    • Cindy says

      Hi, Teresa: I am thnking that about my daughter – who just started her freshman year in college. She is a social butterfly, but maybe she is actually introverted. Hmmmm? Wow! Maybe that is the case with my husband, as well. I thought he was an extrovert because he expresses himself so well in groups, but he does not like to go to group goings on – adult get togethers, small group, etc. Whew! So much to think about. Thank you for what you shared. God continue to bless you richly!

  22. l says

    There R some folks that have ‘BOTH’ qualities (& DO enjoy More than 1 friend @ a time), BUT, ALL R DIFFERENT (& Require ‘Give & Take’)-as in ALL ‘relationships’. We R TRULY made EXACTLY as we R suppose to be-for our INDIVIDUAL ‘purposes’. We CANT expect ALL to ‘fit into a MOLD’ & become ‘just like us.;-)

  23. Lynne says

    I loved everything you said here. It all describes me to a t. Thank you for putting this out here. Now I have something to show people to help them understand why I am the way I am.

  24. says

    I am so glad to see these two articles. Not only am I an introvert, but I have tested people using MBTI and taught on personality for years. I have found that introverts are especially hard on themselves because we live in a world that values extraversion. The message that they frequently receive is that there must be something “wrong” with them. Introverts are frequently misunderstood by extraverts and your teaching will help them to better understand their introverted spouses, friends, and I hope especially their introverted children. It is an awesome experience when you get to see someone grasp that being introverted is not “wrong” — it is just different and that introversion brings as much value to relationships as extraversion does. Thank you for being a blessing!

  25. says

    This list was SO helpful–I cannot thank you enough. I often feel guilty for wanting to “escape” and be alone to recharge, but you really explained that this is okay–it’s not being selfish, it’s how we’re biologically wired! Lately I’ve been noticing things related to my autonomic nervous system and came to the conclusion that I was created with an extra-sensitive nervous system. I never thought about how that might connect to being introverted, though.
    Thank you again.
    -Emily S.

  26. Rosemary says

    Holly, this was phenomenal. My son and daughter are introverts and they are often “beating themselves up” because they can’t be with people as long as they would like. I have always told them they need time to renew and recharge, but they still feet guilty. This article will show them the scientific reason why they need to recharge, and it will affirm their uniqueness. Thank you so much.

    • Rosemary says

      After reading all of the comments, I believe I am a sensitive extrovert. I have the gift of encouragement and have to have my “people time” every day, but then I like to recharge, and I usually over analyze everything that was said during the day. I am a devout Christian, but have even stopped going to church. I am a transplanted Southerner living in the North, and all of the churches here have modern worship services. I have tried for years to go to church here, and have even become a member at 2 of them (over 25 years). However, when I got there, the music would blare for half an hour, and it reminded me more of a football game then worship. When I came home, I would feel exhausted My poor husband has tinnitus and the music and yelling pastors actually caused him pain. I feel very guilty about not going to church, but am going to start a Bible study in the Fall. That is how I am coping with it. I love the small groups and one on one conversation. If you have any tips for me, I would love to hear them. Thank you, Holly.

  27. Lori says

    Your recent posts on introverts has been such a blessing to me and my son. We both share the same traits. I have lived my whole life thinking something was wrong with me. I’ve been labeled as moody, anti-social, a hermit, and sensitive, just to name a few. I suffer migraines and can become really down at times although I’ve never been professionally diagnosed with depression. As a child I was a disappointment to my parents and as an adult I’ve always felt God was so disappointed with me for not being more outgoing and able to share my beliefs with others more openly. For the first time in my life, I finally feel like it’s okay and maybe God does love me because I was designed this way for a reason.

    My husband is very much an extrovert and has never met a stranger. It has been a blessing to share this with him so he can better understand me and his son. Thank you so much for sharing this. It has helped strengthen my family and our relationship with God.

    • Carol says

      Lori, you have voiced my exact feelings: “I have lived my whole life thinking something was wrong with me. I’ve been labeled as moody, anti-social, a hermit, and sensitive, just to name a few…..as an adult I’ve always felt God was so disappointed with me for not being more outgoing and able to share my beliefs with others more openly.”

      I have always felt like a failure because I couldn’t be the kind of person others wanted me to be. I have even made myself miserable and sometimes physically ill from trying to force myself to be what I am not. I’ve always had that feeling of being on the outside and looking in, watching everyone else having a “normal” life. God has been dealing with me over the last few years and He has shown me how much He loves me just as I am, and that He created me a specific way for His purposes. I have discovered that God can use my “over-sensitivity” to identify and encourage those people in my church who are on the fringes, the quiet ones who everyone else tends to ignore.

      Holly, thanks for allowing God to use you to help and bring encouragement to so many of us.

    • Cindy says

      Sweet, Elizabeth! I have been going around in my own home lately (actually for some time ) saying “I can’t be me!” “They won’t let me be me!” “She won’t let me be her mom!” I am 57 years of age and am weary. I am seriously thinking about printing Holley’s article and giving it to family members. I need to also consider if I am letting them be them. Holy Spirit will help me. :) Thank you for what you shared, Elizabeth. God continue to bless you richly!

  28. Julie Ann says

    Tears are streaming down my face, as you have just described and affirmed me to the very depths of my hyper sensitive body and soul. Others’ criticism of my frailties has been almost as difficult to bear as my own. You have given me a great gift and I will be sharing it with those I love. Thank you, Holley. I pray God blesses you tremendously for all you do for clearly so many of us, and that He will prompt you to write more on this subject!

  29. says

    Oh wow, Holley. You’re touching such an achy, lost part in me. I feel so understood. Thank you so much for telling me it’s ok to be an introvert. I need to work on accepting that introverted part of me instead of beating myself up and driving myself to tears. Blessings to you!

  30. Cindy says

    Wow! Wow! Wow! That is what I said as I began reading this article. Thank you so much for sharing these truths with us. They very much describe me. I have felt guilty, ashamed, weak, afraid, nervous and more, and questioned myself. I have a nervous laugh ( I laugh when I get nervous, or there is a stressful situation going on) that my daughter absolutely hates. (She’s 17) It is very hard not do do that. Might that have something to do with being introverted? I willl ponder all these things before my loving Heavenly Father, Creator Who knows me best. God continue to bless you richly, Holley

    • Bobbi says

      I can relate, Cindy. I do that too, the laughter/giggle when I get nervous or in a highly stressful situation. I by no stretch of the imagination find the situation funny, but it happens. I try my best to take deep breaths and control it and keep it quiet(not hard on that one cause I am so quiet anyway 😉 ) or just leave the room, situation if possible, but at times it can be so hard. I too have wondered at times why this happens.

      • Cindy says

        Thank you, Bobbi! I guess we can pray for each other huh? :) It is nice to know one is not alone in these things.

  31. Jo Ann DeHeer says

    your post and ALL of these articles meant so much to me. some years ago i tested off the chart on the *I* portion of the myers briggs personality test. so i knew then but still had the guilt feelings about being so uncomfortably shy. then about two years ago a friend suggested a book called *the introvert advantage* by marti laney and i finally realized that 1) i was far from alone in the world and 2) there were actually advantages to being an introvert!! what an eye opener. and your posting today told me even more about myself. i am growing daily more comfortable and happy with how God has created me!!!

  32. Jo Ann DeHeer says

    your post and ALL of these articles meant so much to me. some years ago i tested off the chart on the *I* portion of the myers briggs personality test. so i knew then but still had the guilt feelings about being so uncomfortably shy. then about two years ago a friend suggested a book called *the introvert advantage* by marti laney and i finally realized that 1) i was far from alone in the world and 2) there were actually advantages to being an introvert!! what an eye opener. and your posting today told me even more about myself. i am growing daily more comfortable and happy with how God has created me!!!

  33. Bobbi says

    Thank you SOOOOOO much for this and the last article you posted. I cried through the whole article. Your blog has been a help to me. Like others have said, it is as if you could see inside my mind and wrote out everything I have been feeling for most of my life but was unable to put into words myself. I have tried to tell people these things, but have not been able to explain it the way you have. Thank you!
    It is such a relief to know that I am not alone in this, there are others like me and they are ok and good, and we are NOT wrong or bad for how God made us/wired us. This has given me so much to think and pray about. God Bless you, Holley! Thank you!

  34. says

    This is exactly me. I’ve always wondered if it is just my quirky personality that if I feel a connection with someone, even if we just met, I instantly care a lot about them. I feel instantly invested in people I connect with. Is this part of being an introvert? You’d think with my past, I’d be a little more walled off but I just don’t seem to have that in my heart or abilities.

    • Holley says

      I do think this is part of being a highly sensitive introvert. We tend to see the best in folks from the very beginning and our huge hearts make us quick to bond. We’re also very loyal. The book Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman describes how people are wired to “catch” each other’s moods and emotions almost like a cold and actually kind of sync up with whoever we’re talking to…so what you said makes a lot of sense given our super sensitive systems. We’re probably more likely and able to do that than some other types of nervous systems. Hmm, I’m gonna think more about that…

  35. says

    And all the introverts said, “AMEN!”

    Thank you for sharing such great information, Holley! I especially found this interesting and helpful~ “Verbal communication skills reside in the left side of our brains. Written communication skills reside in the right side {which many introverts lean toward}.”

    Now it makes sense why I sound so different in person compared to my writing. Sometimes when talking to people I’ve wondered why my IQ took a sudden nose-dive. *sigh* If only it was socially acceptable to walk around carrying a type writer . . . .

    • Holley says

      Girl, if you figure out a way to walk around with a type writer you better share how you did it. I wanna know too! :)

  36. says

    Thank you so much Holley! This describes me to a “T” and I am grateful for the post. I forwarded this to my hubby too. Interestingly enough, I have just finished recuperating from burn-out and finally after 5 yrs. am ready to return to work …………… with changes this time. Thanks again for the information and encouragement.

  37. Ashley says

    Thank you for this Holley! As I read through some of the comments I learned that being shy and being and introvert are not the same thing. I can stop referring to myself as shy (in some situations) now! Although I think she understands, I forwarded this on my best friend who I think might be classified as a sensitive extrovert (she’s never met a stranger but yet group situations (like parties) can overstimulate her) and her husband and I both are introverts. I am an INFJ on the Myer-Briggs test: 56% Introvert, 12% Intuitive, 12% Feeling and 44% Judging. As I remember, I used to be a lot more introverted than I am currently and I thought I was an ISFJ before but I don’t think my numbers would change that drastically in a 12 to 13 year span so I could be wrong about that last part.

  38. Sherry says

    Hallelujah!! You go girl!!! I am an introvert too!! A book that really helped me was The Introvert Advantage: How To Thrive In An Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney.

  39. says

    Holley, thanks so much for this information. I am surrounded by introverts and it’s extremely hard to understand sometimes as a total extrovert. This helps me make sense of it all.

    • Holley says

      Thank you so much for reading this and trying to understand, Nancy. And I just want to affirm how valuable you are to your introvert friends! You add so much to their lives. Whenever I go anywhere {like a conference} I try to have a “designated extrovert” with me and it’s a lifesaver. So glad God made all of us!!

  40. Sandy says

    Hi Holley,
    Very interesting! Being shy, sometimes extremely so, I always thought that I was an introvert. Now, I realize that I may be somewhat introverted, but my shyness may be based more on self-confidence. I’ve been working in my faith life to accept more leadership, over several years, and have to continually remind myself, “that I can do anything through Christ who gives me strength.”

    I don’t mind talking to friends on the phone, but it is definitely much nicer in person! Having a bad moment or day, I need a real person, not a phone conversation. :)

    Your insights are so appreciated. Your writing gift inspires and shares scripture in meaningful ways.

    Thanks and blessings, Sandy

  41. Lina says

    Dearest Holley! Thank you! I feel like you just explained me to me on a whole new level… thanks! I don’t think of myself as an introvert because my defense mechanism is to be “large and in charge” as necessary but it wears me out really quickly and it is a survival mode not who I really am, but I am still learning about that.

    I took a class a few years back that explained that I was a Golden Retriever and that made me so happy because I finally felt like something clicked and made sense, but this blog post just took that to a whole new level.

    I hope re-posting this gave you a few reminders for self care as well… Take care of you!

    Thank you so much!

  42. Sandy says

    I too really relate to these past two blogs. I’m an INFJ too and felt a real sense of relief when I figured that out a couple of months ago and read about their characteristics. I also stumbled across the info about the highly sensitive personality around the same time and answered 100% of the questions in a way that indicated I was HSP. Both discoveries made me feel so much better about who I am. I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone like me in these areas and it was great to know I’m not alone and that it’s not because something is wrong… God just made me this way!

    Thanks so much Holley for being open about who you are and about your struggles. It’s so nice to hear about a warm and successful person who is struggling with the same things. The Lord appears to be leading me to an arena where I will have to “put myself out there” a lot and that’s kind of scary, but I know deep down that where he leads me, he will enable me. Although I KNOW that in my head, sometimes my feelings don’t agree and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment by life, so would welcome any prayers on my behalf.

    Thank you Holley!

  43. Lori says

    Wow you nailed some things on the head for me. I can see myself in each point. I work in an environment where you need to be somewhat social, but I am drained by the end of the day. I had to even pray today that the Lord would stop my swirling mind (aka #1) because I had so much going on and my brain was racing.

    #3 is totally me, I asked my sister last time I saw her why I did not enjoy church women’s groups. Why the thought of going to a woman’s function made me run.

    I have to say there is about two times a year, possibly three where all I do is spend time in bed all weekend. I just can not function anymore. After I have that time I usually good to go, but it is like I just drop.

    Oh and just ask my husband about #7, he is always saying I am too hard on myself.

    Thanks for this.

  44. says

    This was so informative and helpful. I have a few introverts in my family. I especially found #4 enlightening. I have sometimes worried that the introverts I know are avoiding me when they need time alone, or that I’ve done something to offend them when they’re quiet. I’m learning that it only means they’re re-charging! Thanks for this…


  45. Chantal says

    O Lord, do I want to print this off and give it it to my parents and sister here. After reading this blog post, rereading The Introvert Advantage, I’m beginning to clue in that I’m not so abnormal as I thought. I’m just wired differently, and God created me that way. Mom’s extrovert, sister here is extrovert, enuf said. And now I know why I’m a writer, yet hate talking on the phone. So hard to fight against the extrovert tide, as it were though.

  46. Laurie says

    Hi Holley. It would seem from all your recent sharings….which I totally get because I’m a Highly Sensitive Person…..that you have read Dr. Elaine Aron’s book “The Highly Sensitive Person”. Anyway, I was wondering if you knew about the movie that is being created about the 20% of people that are HSPs….Highly Sensitive Person. I just learned about it today and find it interesting the “coincidence” of what your sharing and me just learning about the movie. You might want to check out the trailer for it….https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1795131939/sensitive-the-untold-story

  47. Mark says

    Approximately 10 years ago I joined an international mission agency and at their first conference was told we don’t need introverts in ministry (said from the main speaker). Several years later I was appointed leader of our field in Asia and I attended an international leaders conference in Thailand. During one session we were split into two groups; introverts and extroverts. I was amazed to see nearly a 50/50 split with many outgoing people in the introvert category and several quieter people in the extravert category. God uses all kinds of people in all kinds of situations. We are all equally valuable, no matter how loud or quiet we are. Thank you for posting this page. I am very encouraged.

  48. camille says

    What a gift this has been.
    It will help me be more understanding and
    loving to my wonderful husband.
    I have been praying to be more kind:)

  49. says

    Holley, I love this post. I am also an introvert and the energy it takes to be in a crowd is exhausting. I was mostly a loner growing up and not nurtured to be who I was deep down therefore turning my child enthusiasm and thinking I “can” into self doubt, loathe and insecurity. Reading your book, “You’re Meant For A God-Sized Dream” helped me realize that it’s ok to be me and that there is something special I have that the world needs. This post just solidifies what I had hoped would be true!

    Thank you for writing it and sharing.


  50. Krista says

    Thank you for writing these posts on being introverted! This explains me to an absolute T!
    I find that I can better express myself in my writing than having to actually speak (blush).

  51. says

    Wow, thanks Holley. As you can see it took me days to get to this. Well said, and yes that is me. It has taken me a lot of years to know and accept this in me. And of course I have an extrovert as a husband. I think that happens more times than not. I’m saving this in my file, I may need it again!

  52. says

    Oh my! I have considered myself an introvert, but thought I should NOT be one so have pounded myself far too much in these 60 plus years of my life. This was so good for me to read and to read others’ comments and to know that I am not crazy or bad or any of that other stuff I have called myself. Thank you, thank you, sweet sister of my soul.
    I have been working on loving the person God made me to be, but this part had not shown up on the radar yet! God has more work for us, huh?
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

  53. says

    I love the book Quiet by Susan Cain. Truly fascinating. I’ve known I am an introvert for a long time. What saddens me is the number of women I come across who feel like they have been created “wrong” because of their introversion. It makes me sad. We have so many awesome qualities, and you addressed many of them here. And, yes, I despise the phone!

  54. Kristi says

    Thank you for sharing, Holley! I think point #7 describes me the best, about being critical of myself and over-analytical. And feeling guilty about it!
    I would also add – please don’t publicly call us out/put us on the spot – especially about being the “Q” word – quiet…we don’t always like to be the center of attention, it can be very awkward and uncomfortable, and often already feel guilty or like a freak for being quiet. I’ve also had lots of experiences where people “accuse” me of being quiet and not contributing, when I merely haven’t really been able to get a word in edgewise.
    Still need to read the Quiet book!

  55. Vincent says

    Nice description of personal feelings and some facts about introverts, that are worth spreading. Thanks a lot for that

    But please, no need to mention brain imaging or still controversial neuroscientific theories of lateralization of functions in the brain that brings absolutely nothing at all to the story (I’m a neuroscientist).

    Observed behavioral differences throughout life (which you explain well) is more than enough to have a point.

  56. says

    I really enjoyed learning more in depth about introverts on you post. I am an introvert but people would never believe it. I am outgoing, yet, find small talk difficult–I have to force it, dislike talking on the phone, prefer one on one, and desperately need a lot of alone and quiet time to myself! Talk about being overstimulated–the lights, the noise, oh do I need re-coop time, a challenge with having seven children! Being an introvert is a gift, you helped me to see that more. Thanks for your wisdom!

  57. says

    Holley, I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. I, too am an introvert. I took the Jung Briggs Myers test and received a ISFJ and I am highly sensitive as well.

    I have spent so much time feeling like there is something wrong with me. Thank you for sharing and for the reminder that even though I am an introvert, my quirks are still a gift from God.

    Reading over all of the responses has really helped me to see that I am not alone.



  58. says

    As the mom of four children (three of whom are ages five or under), I struggle with #4. A lot. My husband is an introvert, but it’s hard for me to permit his “checking out” when, as the extroverted mama, I’m not granted the same amount of free time. How do I get past this ugliness in my heart?

  59. Yvonne says

    I just spent about an hour reading through the article and all the posts at the end and I felt compelled to add some more insight. I appreciate the attention to and consideration for us introverts but it’s so much more complex than simply being introverted or extroverted. I’m currently completing my masters in pastoral counseling and have learned how to administer a very valuable tool that identifies ones inborn temperament, which is not the same as personality (such as the Myers Briggs test). The reason many of you feel like you’re some of both is because you are! We have 3 areas of our temperament that need to be addressed: inclusion, control and affection. Most of the reference in this blog is to the inclusion area (this is our social and mental energy essentially). One can be introverted in inclusion and extroverted in control for example, being different temperaments or a mix in all three areas! And some people have opposing temperaments so they feel like they contradict themselves or seem inconsistent but actually they’re just exhibiting different parts of their temperament at the same time. Thus our uniqueness and individuality. The ones who identify most closely with “introvert” in every way are usually those who are melancholy in all three areas (which is rare, by the way). I happen to be one of those so I can really relate but I now see how all the different connections make people unique. I love helping others (and those who they love) to discover fully who they are and how to meet the needs each area requires. We are fearfully and wonderfully made!

    • Elisabeth says

      I would like to know more about this, Yvonne. I am also studying an MDiv in counselling and have not encountered this. Do you have references or books to recommend?

      • Yvonne says

        Elisabeth, thanks for your interest. The tools I’m referring to are specific to the NCCA (National Christian Counselors Assn. http://www.ncca.org) who works closely with the NCCC (National Conservative Christian Church http://www.nccchurch.org) to train and credential individuals who desire to pursue a degree in Christian Pastoral Counseling. Dr. Richard Arno developed a very accurate and specific survey called the A.P.S. or Arno Profile System, to measure ones inborn temperament in 3 major areas and I have to say it’s extremely accurate to about 97%. If an individual wants to take this survey and the corresponding results, it must be administered by a trained individual due to it’s complexity and need for accurate interpretation. If you’re interested, you can find a referral on their website to someone in your state by looking in the counselor directory. To use this tool in one’s practice, however, training from the NCCA would be required. This is a brief and fairly general answer to your question but if you’re interested in more information I’d be glad to discuss it with you further! :)

  60. says

    Holley, thanks for posting this! I felt as if you were describing me, as if you opened the book of my life and read it to the class. I am printing this as my reminder. I loved reading all the comments! Someone mentioned Aspergers. My son is an Aspie and he cannot handle too much social time. And I have CFS and Fibro. My symptoms are much more aggravated when I go out and socialize. I.e.- women’s bible studies, dinners with lots of people,etc.. Blessings!

  61. Vicki says

    Holley, the number of your personal responses to many of these comments speaks to the kindness of your heart. Thank you.
    I resonated with every single point in your article. Beautifully said!
    One other way people could love introverts, if they really want to, is to realize that we often have deep and valuable insights on a topic, but are unwilling — possibly even unable — to interrupt the loud voices surrounding us. If you want to hear some wisdom, rather than just a lot of noise, ask an introvert what he/she thinks; then WAIT for that well-thought-through answer. An introvert is probably used to being overlooked in group conversation, and this gift of listening will be extremely validating and will be felt as deeply loving. There is a two-way blessing just waiting to be opened up here.

  62. Lisa Hanger says

    I am 56 years old and, thanks to you, just realized that I don’t have to feel badly or ask forgiveness for being this way. Thank you so much, Holley.

  63. says

    Love how you described introversion as a nervous system setting, rather than about how much we do or don’t like people. I am also an off-the-charts introvert, and only realized how highly sensitive I am after we added two energetic young kids to the family through foster-adoption last year (we had 3 before that, but spaced out and, well, quieter!). Prior to that I’d never felt overwhelmed in my own home, just if I was out and about and socializing too much. So it’s been a major learning curve to find ways to deal with it so I can stay sane – and nice to everyone in the family. 😉

  64. Jill says

    I’ve never felt so understood as I do now after having read your article, major affirmation. Thank you so much for these beautifully written words!

  65. Ngozi Thelma says

    Wow! I was moved to tears reading your write up, Holley. Awesome description of me. Numbers 4 and 6 got to me most.

    My mom never really accepted me or even understands me for who I am. I happen to be the first daughter of the family and look so much like mom. She obviously expected me to totally take after her but seems disappointed as the opposite is the case.

    During my childhood (till date), I couldn’t understand why she was so loud (always shouting). I found that overwhelming and began to withdraw.

    During my teenage years, it became obvious to me that I did not feel comfortable around mom; I felt tensed more often. Always felt a lot better away from her.

    On the other hand, she didn’t understand me as an introvert and only seemed disappointed at me till date. I’m thirty years now and still in the process of understanding myself.

    I really appreciate your post. I wish my mom understood and affirmed me all these years; we would have been best of friends.

    Thanks so much and continue the good work.

    Ngozi Thelma

  66. says

    I’m an introvert. I was made aware of this when I started serving at my Church (Potential Church). For the most part it seems to me that at PC, you need to be an extrovert or you simply don’t fit in.

    The first ministry I served in was with children between the ages of 3-4. Though I would be in a room with around 30 little ones I felt more at ease then with adults. In many instances, children require less out of a person as oppose to the high demands of adults. In many ways I see adults as the children and children as the adults (LOL).

    When my girlfriend defined introverts and extroverts to me, as she is an extrovert, it was news to me but made complete sense with the way I am “hard-wired.” I constantly want to withdraw to think, reflect, analyze, read and write. I flourish in those things.

    One thing I wanted to mention to you is a way I decompress from the noise of this ever growing extrovert world, and that is, watching movies. I literally could go to the movie theatre 7 days a week (though that wouldn’t be financially wise

  67. says

    I think my comment was cut off. If so, here’s the second portion..

    Watching movies to me is one of my favorite things to do. Matter of fact, a great weekend to me would be staying home and watching a stack of movies.

    I would be remiss of I didn’t mention this. With social media rapidly growing, in many respects, this world as I have observed is increasingly changing people not to become introverts, but anti-social. Would you agree with that?

    Many people have told me I should be a pastor and even pastors have said I’d become a pastor, but the thought of standing in front of people and engaging people with their issues and struggles, makes me want to go into a hole, however, I absolutely enjoy and thrive off of one-on-one or even two-on-one conversations. I come away feeling like Superman after those type of get together and/or sessions.

    I haven’t read any books on introverts and I saw the book titled “Quiet” mentioned a few times, so I will look into that. Also, I ask you to please pray for me and my girlfriend Mishel and our relationship that involves a highly sensitive introvert man and a as she puts it, “social butterfly” extrovert.

    Thank you for this. It’s excellent to read up on what makes me me.

    P.S. I know this comment is long. I’m not expecting you to respond back (but it’ll be cool if you did) and I know I can be long winded as I have heard this before in my writing but that is my great pleasure in life…writing, hence the title of my blog “Into My Heart.” Also, if there is an excellent reads on extroverts, please let me know.

    God’s grace and peace be with you and your entire family and all your subscribers here and with all your introverted God-given endeavors. Amen.

    – Flavio.

    • michelle says

      Introvert Advantage….great book for couples!! I am you and my husband is your girlfriend and it helped immensely.
      it is interesting how introversion can even be manifested a bit differently. I am more comfortable in a large group or speaking to a large group versus one on one because that would require my 100% attention and it drains me unless I am rested, then it is all good.

  68. Adrianna says

    Thank you so much for writing this! It was really the affirmation I needed right now, I’m in a bit of a tough place right now and quite few people in my life are definitely not aquatinted with many introverts. And reading this kind of just reminded me that it’s ok to be how I am.
    That the guilt is unnecessary.
    That I don’t need to change.
    I as an introvert completely agree with everything you’ve said and it’s even enlightened me as too why something are how they are for me.

  69. Jessica says

    Reading this makes me cry. I lost my best friend recently (we were looking at rings) — I pushed him away. It’s hard not to be dating anymore, and I’m doing my best to give him the space he’s requested. Thank you for writing. Wish I had known/understood some of these things sooner. Do introverts ever come back from being hurt deeply, when a person is willing to change?

    After a month, he waved hello in church yesterday and gave me a hug. He seems happy. I want him to be happy. I just miss him so.

    Learning to trust God in this area and others.

  70. Melody says

    I CANNOT thank you enough for this. Hard to type through tears. I’m so tired of feeling less-than and apologizing – especially at the holy days – because I can’t do one. more. gathering. Even at church, we think the answer is one more girls’ night out, one more Bible study. I just want to have coffee. I’m a school secretary who dwells in the superficial 40 hours a week. SO grateful for my job, but I can’t do any more of that in my off-work life. THANK YOU! Now I have to ask Father to soak this new understanding into me so that I can accept this about myself and relate graciously to the peeps I love! New freedom! Thank you so much!

  71. says

    I love this Holley! Its everything I’ve been feeling about the holidays put into words. Words that had my spirit saying a resounding “yes”! Its tough as a mom of five young ones to balance what I crave with what they need or want. But its so refreshing to be reminded that I’m not alone. Thank you!

  72. Josh says

    This is just absolutely amazing. I’m 17 and I really like this girl who’s an introvert. And we’ve been praying about relationship with God etc. but I sometimes do feel frustrated and don’t know how to love and introvert. THANK YOU for posting this. I will love her using God’s way and with great lovea and care! You’re amazing!! Thanks!

  73. Michelle says

    This was explained very well.

    While most people may be ambiverts, I do think a fair amount lean towards introversion. I find people who are ambiverts the least understanding of the introvert/extrovert differences. I think that “extreme” extroverts get misunderstood too. They can be unfairly judged as obnoxiously loud or draining or not introspective. Sometimes introversion is associated with being more intelligent, having more depth, etc. However, that is not true anymore than it is true that extroverts are automatically more socially adept. Those are traits and skills, not the nervous system, even if the personality has some inevitable influence from our “wiring”.

    I’m pointing this out because, as a pronounced introvert, I sometimes get annoyed with the “I’m so special” treatment of introverts on the Internet. Introversion is a normal, regular way for a human to be. Many people fall on the introverted side of the “spectrum”. Introverts are not necessarily gifted in anyway. This is important to grasp because what is being asked is NOT to give special treatment nor to accommodate a minority – what’s being asked is to integrate meeting the needs of a sizable segment of the population into a culture. Some cultures already do this, perhaps to the other extreme of stigmatizing extroversion. However, American culture does favor the extrovert. When we grasp that this stigmatizing of introverts is a detriment socially, that we are not enabling a big chunk of people to contribute their best, then it becomes a matter of “what’s good for everyone”, not just “what’s good for the introvert”.

    I appreciate that the article touched on this aspect, because all too often this topic comes across like a self-absorbed whine-fest where introverts act like special snowflake martyrs. The reality is most of us introverts have not even explained ourselves or asked for special understanding (instead we may feel defective and push ourselves to be “normal”), but we are even less likely to receive understanding if the explanations given for us make us sound like we have a special complex. Frankly, such an attitude will be eye-roll inducing for many.

    Another thing to note is that there is a huge variety of introverts. I think Jungian theory (Psychological Types) and MBTI, the typing system based off it (Gifts Differing), helped me grasp that. While the book the “Introvert Advantage” is interesting and eye-opening, it paints with a broad brush. There are many differences between introverts, so that the main thing you can say these individuals have in common is becoming quickly and easily overstimulated. WHAT stimuli they tolerate better can vary for them. While not scientific, Jung and MBTI provide a framework to illustrate this.

    The nervous-system may be more sensitive, but not all introverts are emotionally sensitive. In MBTI, the IxTx types seem to get more easily drained by “emotional information” or stimuli which asks them to process personal matters. This is because their brain has an “orientation” for processing impersonal data. IxFx types may have more stamina for “human interest” topics. The IxFJ types, preferring extroverted feeling as a secondary process, may have a higher tolerance for the emotional dynamics between people and displaying/reading social cues and values. The IxFP types may have a higher tolerance for the emotional dynamics within individuals, as well as reading and accommodating individual mannerisms and values, due to the primary preference for introverted feeling.

    Still others are drained by stimuli which is presented in theoretical, symbolic, novel/unfamiliar, and not practical or concrete forms. These will be ISxx types, especially ISxJ. The INxx types can be drained by discussing the realities of life – local happenings, national/world news, health issues, etc.

    IxxP types can be drained when having to organize stimuli or be organized in order to handle it. They struggle with environments that call for absorbing and processing routines and structure. These social norms require using energy in “advance” and in predictable forms which is wearisome for them to process. IxxJ types can be drained when having to spontaneously adapt to new stimuli and deal with stimuli that’s not very structured. In short, they struggle more with chaotic environments.

    This produces many different combinations in terms of what stimuli individual introverts will be most comfortable with.

    So if you see how Jung and MBTI illustrate that there are basic differences in how we experience and process reality, then you will see how introverts differ among one another, especially in terms of the kind of stimuli they tolerate best. Understanding this will also help us to adjust culturally and socially to accommodate the needs of introverts, who are NOT a special minority.

  74. Jennifer says

    Thank you for this, so much of it described who I am. I especially liked your description of introvert verses extrovert in the begging. But it is important to point out that as introverts we don’t all fit into the same mold. I know you did a bit when saying some of us are more sensitive than others. But I feel I can be very sensitive to some things (like large parties) and not so much to others you described. For instance: I couldn’t relate the sleeping or nap taking part. I don’t need to sleep as much as I just need extra support when I am feeling stressed or more importantly for people to just leave me alone for a bit. Sometimes refueling doesn’t mean a nap or more sleep it just means having some alone time. Sometimes I don’t need any alone time. When I am with my friends for a girls weekend I could go for hours without sleep just talking, in fact sometimes if I get that one on one time I so crave I could go until the wee hours of the night talking and then wake up early the next day and do it all again. But it is true that if I am to my breaking point going to a party or having my kids fighting or causing commotion around me will send me over the edge. It is best in those situations to just give me a very very wide berth.

  75. stephanie says


    Thanks so much for this post. I just found your books and blog and I have been so enlightened. Thank God for this! I’ve always felt like I was “flawed” because I am labeled “over-sensitive”, too quiet, etc. It is freeing to know that God intended me to be his way when He created me. I too love to write and find it difficult to talk on the phone and in person. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in my feelings and that it is perfectly ok to be so. Thank you for being open and for sharing with us. It is really a blessing and has made me look at myself and my future in a very different light. Thanks for shedding light on why I am the way I am and for the hope that I am special and loved just the way I am.


  1. […] am inexplicably terrible at it. Second, if I am going to spend emotional energy on a conversation, I want it to mean something. Small talk takes so much more energy than a conversation where I learn something about you or help […]

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