Energy suck, energy boost

The last couple of days have me reflecting on the inability of extroverts to “get” introverts and vice-versa.

Story #1:

Yesterday morning I had a conversation with an old friend whose daughter is seriously struggling with the need to be part of a group in confirmation. The mom understands that building  and experiencing community is a major component of this stage of faith formation. She also understands that her daughter would rather hide under a rock than try to interact with the group of girls she’s assigned to (and they’re perfectly pleasant girls, I assure you).

It seems to be a no-win situation. Our youth director is absolutely the best person you could possibly hope to have working with kids. I would quite literally sign over all my possessions to him in a heartbeat if he asked me to (though he’d be pretty disappointed with the haul), because I trust and respect him that much. But he is the most extroverted people-person I have ever met. He’s 100% energized by interaction, conversation, and new people. He’s very sensitive to the needs of the kids he works with, and makes modifications as much as humanly possible, but I know from conversations we’ve had in the past he TOTALLY doesn’t get what it means to live the life of a quiet, retiring introvert.

Story #2

Today I attended the funeral of a much-loved older gentleman in our congregation. The church will be filled with very nice people for most of the day, mainly congregating around the area where my office is. These are all people I care about. And yet the prospect of a day with people everywhere nearly kept me from getting out of bed this morning. I was nearly defeated by imagining the complete energy drain I’ll experience today. My sister-in-law, on the other hand, came and worked every table of the funeral meal, visiting with old friends, going out of her way to meet new people, laughing and joking with everyone she saw. All I could think of was getting the heck out of Dodge. My sister-in-law was energized by all those people, whereas I could feel the crowded room sucking my will to live. I  TOTALLY don’t get what it’s like to live the life of an extrovert.

The world would be a pretty dull place if everyone were the same. But I think the world would be a much more comfortable place if there were some way we could each get a better idea of how those people who are so exactly opposite of us feel.

And now, I must lie down and recover.


8 thoughts on “Energy suck, energy boost

  1. I read a book about being an introvert in an extroverted world. (But I probably already mentioned this to you) I can go to one party, enjoy myself, talk to people, laugh and carry on. But I’m wiped for a day or two after. Like a hangover minus alcohol. Anyway, I have some extroverted friends, and I get tired of explaining why I don’t want to go go go. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s a complete drain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel exactly the same way. Like I’m constantly apologizing for not wanting to go out and party. I got an invitation to go to a charity gala dinner a couple of weeks ago, and you should have seen the files in my brain shuffling through all the possible excuses I could come up with in the three seconds I had to reply. I managed to think of an excuse that didn’t include the words “Dear God, no – I’d rather curl up and die!”

      And about Thanksgiving and Christmas – for years I’ve been thinking that my main problem with family holiday gatherings was that we have a very heavy burden of freaky family baggage. But now that you mention it, the fact that I’m having to spend all that time with OTHER PEOPLE has a lot to do with it. YUCK.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am the same as the above lady in that I am more extroverted than my Garden Gnome.
    Yesterday he went for a job interview. The job he was interviewing for was stacking shelves and stock room work for a large supermarket. He is an introvert and this position would be perfect for him but they asked him if he would be willing to work the checkouts if required. He said he would do it if he had to but that he wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it.
    Guess who didn’t get the job?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is an interesting conversation! I thought I would share this with you; My husband is an introvert and I am an extrovert. We sometimes wonder how come we are the perfect partnership ,being married for all this time. A year ago he read an article about how an introvert can be attracted to a extrovert. The article suggested that some introverts do enjoy the fun loving ways of the extrovert but they are not capable of being that person themselves. So they basically ride their coat tails — enjoying the fun and laughter that their partner brings but they can stay in the background and enjoy it in their own way. We thought this was funny because it really did describe us. I can chat to anyone and sometimes I end up the center of attention — my husband finds it funny … but he is usually chuckling in the corner.
    The end… ha ha sorry for the long comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, there’s somebody who feels the same way I do! I totally get the way you feel. Lately I’ve been training myself to mentally block scheduled events where I have to be around people. When I don’t think about it, it makes the preceding hours much easier. It was only as an adult I realized what it was, though, and it relieved a lot of the guilt I felt as a young girl, protesting having to go to youth group or family reunions. 🙂 Thanks for the post 😉


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