Don't get me wrong. I'm definitely an introvert. I identify with almost all the descriptors of introverts you could come up with. And I deeply appreciated my friends who try to understand me better by understanding these tendencies in me.
But, with the endless stream of things about it, I often wonder if it's become little more than the latest fad. The latest thing we're all interested in. And, if the abundance of stuff out there about it means we run the risk of not actually learning anything from it, because we see it so often we become immune to it.
As much as most of those descriptors of introverts describe me, they also only describe a part of me. I'm much more than an introvert. Yes, it's part of who I am, but sometimes the endless nature of these things makes me feel like if I identify as an introvert, that's the only box I fit in.
Yes, I prefer one-on-one coffee, or a couple of friends at a time, rather than a large group.
Yes, I struggle with small talk that never moves beyond that.
Yes, being with people drains me and I need time alone to recharge.
Yes, I could go days without seeing, and even talking to, other people, without missing them.
Yes, I can be a very social person and manage a crowd well when I need to.
Yes, I might sit quietly off to the side at a party sometimes and I'm okay with that. I'm enjoying the people watching while I manage the crowd my way.
But, who I am goes far beyond that. I feel like the acknowledgement of that is something that is missing in this endless stream of stuff about being an introvert.
We miss out on who we were fully created to be by God. A person who is far beyond any one word to describe me.
And I worry that we miss out on who people really are when something about people becomes a fad and we're bombarded with it day after day after day. I don't think what we need is more information about what we need from each other or how we should interact with people who could be described a certain way.
I think what we need is to offer grace to each other in every interaction we have. To ask questions to understand the person, rather than assuming we know what we're thinking. To seek to really get to know the people in our lives as individuals rather than just determining what box we can put them.