I spend a lot of time alone. And I like it. Working on my laptop, reading a book, or just listening to the birds outside my window, I cherish any time I get to myself. As an introvert, I’m wired that way. I enjoy (some) people, but I need my time alone.
I worry, though, about the possibility that embracing how I’m “wired” can become an excuse, a temptation to avoid opportunities/responsibilities simply because I don’t enjoy them or because they’re hard for me. When that happens, my strengths turn into weaknesses and I become my own enemy.
Quite a few recent books have proclaimed the virtues of the introverted life. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Introvert Power, Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength, and The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World all emphasize the importance of introversion. And Adam McHugh applied many of the same ideas to the Christian life with Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture.
And I think this emphasis on understanding introversion is a good thing. As a society, we tend to force everyone into the same extroverted mold, often failing to appreciate and develop the qualities of the introverted life.
Nonetheless, we need to be careful here. All good things have a corresponding danger, a temptation to press that good thing in unhealthy directions. And the danger of understanding how you’re wired is the temptation to avoid opportunities/responsibilities because “you’re just not wired that way.”