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Get to Know Me

IntrovertFun

I know that many who read this will never interact with me on a daily basis, and I know that those that do will already know many of these things about me. But to better help you understand the introverts around you, I thought I’d share some more personal introvert tendencies about myself.

I love meeting new people, but after I do then I will nearly always retreat to: my office, my bedroom, my hotel room, my back porch, or anywhere else I can take 10 minutes to catch my breathe.

When my office door is shut it doesn’t mean I don’t want you to come in. It just means I need the silence when I’m working by myself. Most of the time I leave my door open just so people will come talk to me.

I love speaking in front of large groups, and I find it easier than walking through a lobby full of strangers. Explain that to me please?

Before I meet someone for the first time, I will have to be alone to gear myself up. Consider it my own little pep talk.

If you ask me about something I’m passionate about, then you may not get me to shut up for hours. I have no problem talking.

I’m an extroverted thinker. I think out-loud, and need to process my thoughts in front of those that care for me the most. In fact, if you let me process long enough I’ll eventually come around to disagreeing with myself.

Most of those that don’t really know me, and only see me from a distance, would say that I’m an extrovert. That makes me laugh, but it makes my wife laugh the loudest.

If I have you over for dinner, it means I really like you.

I like to be alone to re-energize, but I often get the same energy from being with my best friends.

As introverted as I may be, I’m still awfully hard to offend. I find myself assuming the best in people, but it could also be that I assume everyone likes me and wouldn’t want to hurt my feelings. I’m working through this…it’s a real problem.

Understanding me isn’t the same as  dissecting  a bomb.  I’m not really as complicated as all these blog posts may make me seem.

Calling all introverts! Add to my list please, what are some things you’d like others to know about you?

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.

7 Comments

  1. Jeff · November 1, 2012

    I find it fascinating to read because of reading about myself in your blog posts. According to Myers-Briggs I am an INFP, so the gregarious introvert. It’s nice to hear about others who are similar because out of 7 staff pastors, I’m the only introvert. I have always felt on the outside. Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. Daniel · November 1, 2012

    Jonathan, I have really enjoyed these posts about introverts. I used to think that I was an extrovert. However, in the last couple of years I am realizing that I am not. I retook the Myers-Briggs and found that I am INTJ. As I have read your posts I found myself saying out loud, “Hey, that’s me!”

    One thing I would like people to know is that just because I don’t continually add to a group conversation doesn’t mean I am not paying attention or that something is wrong. I only talk when I have something beneficial to say.

    Another thing is small talk. Small talk is so hard for me and sometimes I feel rude because of this. Sometimes I would rather sit in an awkward silence with someone than have small talk :) I think I could go on and on but I will stop there.

    Thanks for you thoughts!

    • Jonathan Cliff · November 1, 2012

      This is great, thanks for the comment. I’m also struggled with small talk at times (as anyone who knows this and is reading this comment would attest!) My trick is to just acknowledge the awkwardness at times. Just saying, “I really don’t know where to start, so could I just begin?” works well.

      I also work really heard at surrounding myself with people that do the things that I find hard to do. It’s all about leveraging your conversations in a way that don’t completely drain you!

    • Jonathan Cliff · November 1, 2012

      (Daniel, I grabbed your comment on another page and wanted to answer it here so more could see it.)

      Jonathan,
      I have loved the series that you have done on being an introvert. One thing I would be interested to hear from you is how you lead as an introvert. We have some great pastors on staff who are extroverts and are always having people over to their house, talking on the phone, having tons of connection with them, and I find that very hard for me to do or facilitate. What do you find that works well for you to connect with staff and volunteers?

      ——

      First of all, one of the points of this series was to show that not all Introverts are created equal. There is a profound difference between being a wallflower and being an introvert. There are some truths about me as an introvert that are inescable, one being that I loathe talking on the phone. However, I really do love meeting with people and prefer more sincere, face-to-face interaction.

      I’m also married to an extrovert, so she helps me with all of the “having people over to the house” part of ministry. Even though I’m an Introvert, I really love people and I love making new friends. I just don’t get as much energy as others from the whole experience.

      Thanks again for the comment!

  3. Jared M · November 2, 2012

    I think I’m about as far from an Introvert as one can be. You guys are weird! Just kidding, but many behaviors of introverts are foreign to me.

  4. Jenny · November 3, 2012

    You should also add that you care for and serve and pray for and encourage your friends. I don’t know if that is part of being an introvert or not but it makes you an incredible friend.