13 Ways of Looking Like an Introvert: Reprise

13 Ways of Looking Like an Introvert: Reprise

1565 1174 Nathaniel Lee Hansen

Confession

  1. I have used my introversion as an excuse to evade the command to love my neighbors.
  1. I have used my introversion as an excuse to withdraw from important relationships in my life.
  1. I have used my introversion as a means by which to engage in sinful practices and habits.
  1. I have used my introversion as an excuse to avoid social situations.
  1. I have used my introversion as an excuse to place my own will as higher than the will of others. [It’s important that I have time by myself. To hell with what anyone else might need.]
  1. I have used my introversion as a means to pursue my own interests at the costs of the interests of others. [Similar to previous statement, yes, but it seems important that I emphasize the extent to which I play the “introvert card” when my priorities are threatened. I use the “introvert card” to excuse my own narcissism.]

Brief Anecdote with Conclusion

  1. When I was a senior in college, I took a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality inventory. I found it to be a revealing experience, my dot on the Extrovert-Introvert continuum nearly touching the “I.” I already knew that I was an introvert, but in the years since then, I’ve learned that my “energy” derives from being by myself, from working by myself. For me, that time by myself in the mornings, getting prepared for class, for the day, helps me transition into being around other people, all of whom are made in the image of God.

Burning Questions [with numbers inconsistently applied]

  1. God exists in community, so is my introversion a perversion of what is intended to be extroversion? [Likely not the case—just some speculation.]
  1. How am I going to handle an eternity in the presence of God while being in communion with so many others? [Will there be designated “quiet spaces”?]
  1. Are extroverted people more uncomfortable with silence? Do I know any introverts who are uncomfortable with silence? [For me silence is relaxing and restorative.]
  1. How might I make sense of my introversion? [Surely Jesus’s withdrawal to pray by himself is less a characteristic of introversion and more a characteristic of the need for solitude.]

Hereby Resolved with the Help of the Holy Spirit

  1. I will seek to fulfill my responsibilities to love my “neighbors”: all other human beings.
  1. I will seek to love God with my heart, soul, mind, and strength, knowing that doing so is less a solitary endeavor and more so a focus on other people, knowing that doing so involves interactions with people.

Nathaniel Lee Hansen

I’m a poet, fiction writer, and essayist. My chapbook, Four Seasons West of the 95th Meridian, was published by Spoon River Poetry Press (2014). My work has appeared in Christianity and Literature, Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland, Blast Furnace, Driftwood Press, Whitefish Review, The Cresset, Midwestern Gothic, and South Dakota Review, among others. I currently serve as an assistant professor of English & Creative Writing at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas. I also edit Windhover: A Journal of Christian Literature and direct the annual Windhover Writers’ Festival. When not writing or teaching, I run, read, play piano, listen to music, and play disc golf. My greatest joys are my wife, my son, and my daughter. I was born in southern Minnesota, but while growing up, I had little interest in the Plains and opens spaces. A stint at a rural state liberal arts college in southwestern Minnesota, as well as grad-school stints in northwestern Minnesota and southeastern South Dakota, altered my interests. @plainswriter, plainswriter.com, & www.facebook.com/plainswriter

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