Loving Your Introverted Child As She Is

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I think this little video, from the theme to the art, is a neat fit for the vision of The Rabbit Room community. I especially appreciated Susan Cain’s point regarding a cultural shift towards overvaluing people gifted as dynamic, entertaining, charismatic personalities (celebrity pastors, anyone?) and undervaluing quieter people with humbler vocations.

“As we shifted from an agricultural economy to a corporate one, we started to admire people who could be magnetic and charismatic, because these were the qualities that seemed to matter for job interviews and things like that. And so in the earlier agricultural economy, our self-help books used to have titles like Character: The Grandest Thing in the World, but then the self-help books later on became the ones we know today, like Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, and those were all about teaching us to be more entertaining, more dynamic.” –Susan Cain

The video’s encouragement seems consistent with the Christian vision of diversity and unity in the Body of Christ which Paul shares with us in 1 Corinthians 12 (quoted below). We are not all the same, but are called to a complementary expression of community life. In our homes this is daily worked out in miniature (people). So, let’s love our little introverts (and extroverts, too) and scheme about how to help them live in the world God made, as he made it, with the gifts he has given them.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

(1 Corinthians 12:12-27 ESV)
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Originally Posted at Story Warren

Featured image courtesy of Rebecca Smith Photography


6 Comments

  1. Jenny

    I chuckled at this post because I am one of the quiet ones with deep thoughts. I recently volunteered to teach a beginning speech class for 1-3 graders at our homeschool co-op. as I was sharing my ideas with the board they expressed appreciation that a quiet person like myself could also have creative ideas and be effective in a classroom. Not every teacher has to be outgoing and dynamic.

  2. anna

    I’ve long struggled with being an introvert in an extrovert’s world. My Myers-Briggs InFp has the capital I bolded, italicised and underlined three times in red. Thanks for a(nother) reminder that I Am Not Broken And I Don’t Need Fixing (ahem. Even though sometimes I would if I could…).

  3. Scott Richardson

    Heard Susan Cain on NPR about a year ago, and bought her book (“Quiet”) … great stuff. I’m an introvert who masquerades as an extrovert most of my waking hours (then I head home and do “cave time” … my favorite hours of the week are Sunday afternoon naps). Scary thing to me is that most decisions in the free world are made by highly-extroverted people in leadership who don’t think consulting with their introverted advisors is a great idea … 🙂

  4. yankeegospelgirl

    Great post, but I was a little thrown by the pronoun “she” in the title—aside from grammar considerations, aren’t males more typically introverted than females on average?

  5. S. D. Smith

    @sdsmith

    YANKEEGOSPELGIRL– According to research, and studies, and journal articles, there has only been one male introvert in the history of the world. But he has died, sadly. (It was during a public speaking course.) Now, the femalial pronoun is universally acknowledged as appropriate in all cases forever and ever amen.

    Source: Science

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