Any reader to this blog knows I am an extrovert. I think anyone who shares their life online is pretty extroverted but in some ways I am jealous of my introverted friends and family (who occasionally make me crazy with their introverted ways!).
1. I’m jealous of introverts following, not leading
It would be so nice not be expected to lead all the time. Extroverts are often turned to for leadership and most of the time it is ok because we are the most outspoken about how we want things done. But sometimes it can be exhausting and I just want to be a follower.
Perfect example is in my new Midsingles committee. There are a 11 stakes involved and who ended up leading discussions- me. I was up front trying to corral everyone’s thoughts and write them on the board, trying to make the meeting run as smoothly as possible and we only went over by 10 minutes.
There was a side of me that was exhausted but a little exhilarated after because it was a challenge leading the meeting. There was another side who wished I could have just sat in a corner and written down what I had to do and be done with it. But then who would lead the meeting?
In this case I don’t know if there was anyone who could have led the meeting and I was happy to do it but I do envy how little introverts have to lead others. It’s hard being in charge!
If I am not actively meeting new people, making friends, spending time with friends, I get depressed. My introverted friends can have an evening out with the hubby or a friend once a month and be fine. The older I get the harder it is to get together with friends and sometimes I wish I could turn the part of my brain which needs it off and be happy regardless.
That said, I do a great many things alone and am comfortable with it but it is never my preference; whereas, introverts may often prefer to be alone.
3. I envy how much work people must do to get to know an introvert
On the same breath I think sometimes introverts have different relationships than extroverts. Because they are usually quiet and more reserved it takes more effort to get to know them; thereby, making the friendships they do achieve very meaningful and important.
My friends mean everything to me but as an extrovert I am extremely easy to get to know. I literally have no secrets with the world and I think that is a good thing; however, it can lead to me investing more in friendships than others and being disappointed when people flake or aren’t as serious about the friendship as I am.
There are all kinds of stereotypes which go along with being an introvert or extrovert, but one of the most prevailing is that introverts are more academic and smarter than extroverts. There is probably some truth to this notion because introverts are more likely to read and do other solitary academic activities.
The challenge can be as an extrovert I need to express my thoughts on subjects in order for me to finish out my thinking. This can be seen as combative or challenging to introverts who don’t want to debate topics especially in a group. Groups can be frustrating because I am always asked to lead but it is the best way for me to actually learn most topics. I can read something by myself 4 or 5 times and not get it but then have a discussion with a friend and pick up right away. I guess I’m envious of the brain which doesn’t need the social component to learn if that makes sense.
I mean how many brilliant people have been extroverts? Not many…
5. I am envious of an introverts ability to listen
Because introverts are typically more soft-spoken and quiet (at least in groups) they tend to be good listeners. Sometimes I can get frustrated at them not expressing their opinions or sharing their thoughts with me. It can feel closed off, even dishonest, when they are probably listening, pondering and formulating opinions by themselves.
While I may be formulating my opinion while they are talking, waiting to express it, introverts are usually listening to what I am saying and then communicating carefully what they feel and think. There’s something great about that which I have worked on over the years but will never be my top attribute.
Listening takes focus for me and I have learned to bite my tongue and let everyone share. But it’s hard for me so I envy those who just want to listen.
Jesus said ‘the meek shall inherit the earth”. Why does He speak so highly of the meek introverts? I think it is their peacekeeping skills that help calm down us extroverts. I get passionate and excited about a variety of topics and it is my introverted friends who pull me down from the ledge and get me to see both sides, even when I really don’t want too.
Sometimes introverts can frustrate me because they seem to not have opinions on anything. It’s so hard to know what they like or dislike, or where they stand on key issues. However, often it is the introverts who see the middle ground, the compromise, and I am able to let go of my pride and concede at least a few points.
In the end we are who we are and we can’t change that. We can work with it and tweak it but our core personality is always with us. We all have different gifts and can learn from each other. All of these introverted traits I try to apply as much as I can in my life without it stifling who I am. And I am sure introverts have a list of reasons they are jealous of extroverts.
Thankfully we can all learn from each other, be patient and get along no matter what ‘vert’ we are.