18 June 2013

Do Introverts fit into Community Life?

I've been thinking about being an introvert for a long time. This is despite the fact that I haven't always identified myself as such, seeing as I do really enjoy other people. Yet, at the same time I've always needed alone time, whether it be a book or hours behind the computer. This clearly puzzled my family, but they learned to live with it, and I found my own way, as well. 

In recent years the focus on introverts has seemed to increase. My living in community and being married has also made me feel that my need to understand my introvertedness has increased. After all, community is about being with other people (as is marriage, to some degree), isn't it? Do introverts really fit into community life, and if so, how?

And I would the answer the question with yes, of course, they fit! I know that I am accepted and appreciated in the community I live in, even if they sometimes (like my family) don't entirely get my lack of desire to be more social. Yet, how exactly I fit is still a question. Spending all my time doing research/administraation is not the answer, as I love to see how what I am doing actually makes a difference in people's lives.

Perhaps an article online - "How to avoid a People Hangover" is also part of the answer, and one that I need to spend time thinking about as Matthijs and I prepare to go on retreat with the community in a few weeks. Mealtimes (2x a day) with 25 people + meetings for ~6 hours per day with 12 people will put a demand of my social quota, and I'd rather not come home with a people/community hangover :)

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