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My name is Jonathan, and I’m an Introvert

VertIntro

Months back I took a series of personality profile tests. Everything from the StrengthsFinder to the Myers-Briggs to the RightPath 4/6 Profiles to a D.I.S.C. Profile. Besides being exhaustive and adding to my already unhealthy levels self-awareness, it helped me identify something about myself that I’ve never fully been able to wrap my brain around: I’m an introvert. For real and true.

Discovering this about myself, I set out on a journey to find out all I could about this part of my personality. I realized that I had a ton of ill-conceived  notions of what an introvert is and is not.  I’ve come to understand that being an introvert doesn’t necessariy mean I’m a wallflower, or hate being around people. There is so much more to it than that…it’s what I call ‘complicated.’ I’m a public person, meaning I’m comfortable sharing my life and my story in front of others. I’m not scared of being on stage in front of others, or having lunch with someone I’ve just met. I actually enjoy the thrill of it all.

However, when all of the activity in front of others is said and done, I have a much different response. I withdraw. It’s not that I don’t like being with people, it’s that it doesn’t energize me. It actually does just the opposite to me, it leaves me emptied. I think I’ve always known this about myself, but over the years I’ve learned to manage my introverted-ness in special ways. I don’t want the fact that being with others drains me, and being alone (or with my family) energizes me; to be the excuse that keeps me from all that God may have for me. It’s a daily task of managing how much I give  versus  how much keep for myself.

This week I’m going to write a bit about how I manage this part of my life, and ways you could live with your own introverts that are around you everyday.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.

2 Comments

  1. Jonathan Foster · October 15, 2012

    My name is Jonathan, and I’m an introvert, too! (ISTJ, to be specific). I’m right with you, though. As a pastor, it’s not that I don’t like public speaking or people or anything like that! However, it does leave me drained. Instead of group activities charging me up, I have to prepare and gear up for them. When it’s all done, I have to have some time alone or with my family. Otherwise, I burn out. And that is the definition of an introvert – no shame! :)