In the middle of 2020 my wife and I were really struggling communicating. Constant fighting and lots of crying, I couldn’t make heads-or-tails out of it. Since the Bible says that husbands are to dwell with their wives with understanding, I realized in that moment that I wasn’t understanding her.
In hopes to make things right with my wife, I took this personality test to find out what my personality type was according to the Myers-Briggs – an introspective self-report questionnaire with the purpose of indicating differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world around them and make decisions. It classified me as an INTJ-T, which is:
This put me in a category of only 2% of the population with the likes of C.S. Lewis, Dwight Eisenhower, and Thomas Jefferson just to name a few. Pretty good company I would say. Here are some of the unique characteristics of being an introvert:
Introverts Reach Inward To Gain Energy.
Introverts gain strength and build up energy during their downtimes in quiet environments. They like social gatherings, but with the least amount of people as possible. We like people, but not too many.
Introverts Enjoy Quiet Environments
Put an introvert in a noisy environment, and watch their energy drain quickly. When the action in at the climax, they start to yawn and get tired. If they are driving and need to concentrate on directions, they always turn down the radio.
Introverts Think Alone
Introverts can work with people, but when it comes to sorting their thoughts, they need time alone. They are usually good listeners, and are deep thinkers.
Introverts Don’t Like Shallow Relationships
Introverts prefer having a few close friendships rather than a multitude of acquaintances. They really care about what people think, and how they feel. Introverts want solid relationships and to thrive in one-on-one conversation.
Introverts Prefer to Communicate in Writing.
Introverts prefer to communicate in writing because they care about what is being said. They want to be able to look at it from different points of view, and analyze what is written. Since they are deep thinkers, they may write a few drafts of an email before sending it out. They prefer to write instead of talk face-to-face.
They Tend to Focus On One Thing At a Time
Multitasking is difficult for an introvert and get overwhelmed very quickly, especially under too much stimulation. Introverts need to focus on one thing at a time in bite-sized pieces. Too many tasks can lead to procrastination and needing to recharge by playing video games, reading, or working on something like a puzzle or coloring.
No Excuse to Not Share the Gospel
Even though I am very introverted, and this list describes me to a T, it doesn’t excuse me from evangelism. I just do it differently than those who are extroverted. It’s not that I have to do it a certain way, but it’s the way that is most comfortable. Let’s face it, evangelism and sharing Christ with strangers is difficult and uncomfortable no matter how it is done. But I can do it in a way that is most comfortable and fits my personality.
Introverts, like myself, care what people think. So we are very sensitive in how we approach others. I don’t like just sitting on a corner and passing out tracts. I’ve done it, but I hate it. I would rather have a deep one-on-one conversation with someone instead of shoving a tract in their face. I am a quiet person who thinks deeply and wants to reach others who think deeply. So instead of talking to every person I see, I am more selective in the people I want to talk to. I would rather pick someone who is alone, rather than someone who is with others. Someone who is resting and not on the move to the next thing. We may reach fewer people in a witnessing night, but those interactions are much deeper and meaningful. At the end of an evangelistic outreach, it’s the introverts who are going to have the cooler stories about the people they talked with.
A Typical Busy Time
For example, lets say I go to the Des Moines Farmers Market to share my faith. It’s super busy, and thousands of people there. An uncomfortable environment. As I walk through the crowds I immediately feel the weight of the atmosphere around me, and I am getting drained. I people-watch just trying to get through it all. What can I do to make this situation better for an introvert like me? First, I find that if I pull off to the side somewhere and put my back to most of the people, I can have a comfortable conversation despite the environment that I’m in. I try to pick the quietest place in the area, even though it may be noisier than usual. It helps me focus on just a few things in front of me, like a tree, a building, etc. Second, I choose a person who I feel would be the most comfortable to talk to. I choose someone who is sitting alone, not in a group, and someone who is sedentary and not on their way to somewhere else. Lastly, I am concerned how I may approach them. I think through some things I could say, tracts I can give them, but I have to be careful not to take too much time, and blow the opportunity. Maybe I spent time writing a tract and will present it to them at a more perfect time. When the conversation is done, if it was a good talk, it fires me up and excites me. If it’s not, I may feel even more drained than when I started, thinking too much on what was said, and analyzing it to the point I am worried about what I said or didn’t say.
Even though I am very introverted, it doesn’t stop me from trying new things and new ways of sharing my faith. I have open-air preached at least ten times in my life to thousands of people. I have shared Christ with a groups of teens, and even had heated debates with atheists and homosexuals. It’s important to at least try something new, and see what works. It’s part of finding ourselves and developing out own style of witnessing. This way us deep thinkers at the end of the night or a conversation can step back and analyze how things went and what we can do to improve for next time.
Once I took the test, I showed my findings to my wife. She was intrigued by the thought and agreed to take it herself. She did, and was amazed at what she found. These are not labels we give ourselves, but are how we can best understand each other. It guides the way I react to her and her to me.
But my point is that your personality style is not a blessing, nor a curse. It is yours. It is how God created you to be. He knew what He was doing when He formed your innermost parts before the foundation of the world. Use it to your advantage and hone in on those strengths for God’s glory. Just get out there and share your faith while you still can.