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July 6, 2010

Poll Time: Introvert or Extrovert

Which one are you?

In honor of our most-recent training download, Leading as an Introvert, I thought it would be cool to see how small-group leaders view themselves in terms of sociability and personality.

So here's a pretty simple poll question: Do you consider yourself to be an Introvert or an Extrovert?

posted by Sam O'Neal on July 6, 2010 9:09 AM

Related Tags: Extrovert, Introvert, Poll


While I am an extrovert, I am fairly close on the scale to being an introvert. I'm very interested right now in this subject, because I believe that many fine leaders are being overlooked because they sit quietly, hesitate to offer their thoughts (until they have had time to process them) and seem not to be in the "typical" leader personality type. So glad to see more information on this coming out!

I am just realizing how much of an introvert I am while all my life I considered myself somewhat of an extrovert. I love people and to help people but being around them does exhaust me and I need my adequate alone time too.

I have taken a number of different types of so-called personality inventories over the years, and can pretty much predict the outcome of each one I take....I am very seldom surpirsed at the result.

I always test out as an extrovert!! Some might say hyper-extrovert. I love people, and I am energized by being with people, and I like to be the life of the party.

However, lately, as I get older, I find that I am preferring alone time more than I ever did. I feel content to spend time by myself - when before I HATED being alone.

I have thought about that alot lately and I have come to the conclusion that no one is actually just either/ or. We are some of both -- perhaps more tendency toward one type or another, but never exclusively one or the other.

Not very scientific, I know. But observation of people counts for something.


I think this is a very important topic for churches to recognize as they look and recognize leaders. It is too easy to overlook introverts because they are quiet. They have significant potential in what they can offer. It requires recognizing the qualities, slowing down enough to pay attention and then giving introverts the opportunity to shine. They are the wise, thoughtful, and rocks in our churches.

I am very active in my church which includes being transparent in teaching women in our ladies ministry. I enjoy spending time and getting to know people however, I am a private person and only have a handful of people whom I have opened to allow into my inner sanctum. I also enjoy spending time alone and in a quiet surrounding.
I am both, extroverted and introverted depending on the situation.

I am a professional therapy group leader. When I first started two programs in training, both put us in a small group. Have been impressed with the benefits ever since. Prior to that I was aware that not every leader was good at conducting meetings & had to restrain myself from trying to 'help'. However, I am a combination & also convinced that we need to spend time alone with the Lord, to be prepared to lead. In my therapy groups, I teach the members to both share & function as a leader; which means I work in a low-key manner & only come in when it is needed, eg. when would be harmful to others -or- taking too much time & not sensitive to the need of others to share, etc.

I am most definitely an introvert. I love my quiet times and alone times. In a crowd I am usually the one off by herself while my husband the ever so very extrovert is working the floor. But as a missionary/pastor I teach many small and large groups and it is as if I'm another person altogether. I love to teach and when teaching the word of God the Holy Spirit just takes over. I am expressive and love to make people laugh when I teach especially the women in this jungle region whose lives are so hard. Once done I return to my quiet introverted self.

Wow, I am thrilled to see so many comments on this discussion -- one that I felt was important, but didn't expect a lot of traction for.

I just received an interesting definition of introvert/extrovert from JoHannah Reardon (managing editor of She said that introverts are drained when they spend time with people, and need time alone to recoup and recover. This doesn't mean we don't like people, or that we are necessarily shy or quiet -- but being with people takes effort.

Extroverts, on the other hand, are energized by spending time with people. It's being alone that is a draining experience.

That kind of clicked for me. Whenever I'm part of a social cluster or crowd, I crave time by myself to recover. What about the rest of you?

It's important to remember that Introversion is not necessarily the same as 'shy'. Also while a person may be an Introvert #the way they process things#, they may be apparently extrovert in some situations and introverted in others. I'm just glad that God has a place for everyone.

i see that most of the leaders in churches and the ones who do the most works in building HIS kingdom are introverts...hahaha! it's amazing how God can use a very unusual vessel for HIS glory...

As an introvert in a significant public role, I find myself balancing the "on" moments with quiet time to refuel after an event or prepare for the next public experience. I love people, preferably in small groups, but find myself capable of pulling together the energy for the larger crowds by maintaining this balance.

A great resource I just finished on this is "Introverts in the Church" by Adam McHugh - lots of helpful information both for introverts themselves and for church leaders about how to make church more "introvert-friendly."

In high school I was horribly shy. But when I started college I learned that for me shyness was a choice. So I chose to be more outgoing and personable. Now in my early 30's I've trained myself to be extroverted. I can only accomplish this, however, by getting away by myself and spending time in the Word. I've also learned to use myself as an example of who is qualified to lead a small group--if I can do it, anybody can do it!

I would like to add that, especially for introverts, which I am myself, that when the Lord wants to use us and we are receptive to His leading, that He can take the most reserved individual, anoint them with His power and--bang one can have a boldness and fearless attitude that is so uncharacteristic of their nature. Whom God calls He equips and the introvert especially has to be yielded to His will and sensitive to His promptings. It is through His power that works in us that we can later look back and wonder how we boldly did what we did. I think this is a great place to be because of our need to depend on Him and because when He moves us forward we lose ourselves yet gain greater confidence but only in Him and not in any of our abilities. It is those that are too self confident in their own abilities that can lead to works of the flesh that profit no one.

These are great comments, everyone. I, too, have "trained" myself to be an extrovert, having been quiet while young. I received the e-mail about this poll while in the midst of designing the cover for an upcoming book, "The Introvert Manifesto: Introverts Illuminated, Extroverts Educated." I will be using your comments to further inspire the potential designs. :) God will use each of us as He desires and according to the talents He has provided. We will always be equipped through His Holy Spirit. Praise Him!!!

Like a previous statement, I am close on the line between extrovert and introvert. Which means I use both functions at different times. I do get my energy from being around others--in fact am almost comotose when alone. I also often need to ponder on issues before giving my view (of course this may be a learned function because I would often get people reacting to what I said before I even knew what I thought --extroverts talk to make up their minds and organize their thoughts.

Jesus was well balanced in all the personality traits. On extrovert/introvert, He could spend time alone and preach to huge crowds and do both very comfortably. Though I'm not all the way like Jesus yet, I think I'm fairly well balanced. I live alone, do some of my work from home, and am very pleased with the life God has given me. I am passionate about either participating in or leading a small group and love to be in or lead prayer groups. Probably I'm a bit more introverted--I HATE to speak in front of groups, tho I would like to be able to do so. God is good!


I was an introvert until I was about 24 years old. Then something clicked and I became much more outgoing, and extroverted. I was then unafraid to speak in front of people, to speak up, to risk something in social settings. So, in the decades since then, I have been very comfortable in teaching settings, small group facilitating, discussion leading, etc. When I read your definition of extrovert/introvert, however, I realize that a full day of socializing is still draining for me. I need time to process. The energy I get from talking with others is necessary to carry me through alone times. But the peace I get from alone times is necessary to carry me through the social times. So it is a balance, like so many other things.

I am extremely surprised by the results of this survey. This survey does not represent the people I know! The thing is a lot of people think they are introverts but the truth is most people are not. My pastor yaks my ear off every time I see him, and he once told me he was an introvert, and shy. Yeah right! Sorry, you're not an introvert. Sure everybody gets uncomfortable or nervous or shy at SOME point in their lives, but that doesn't mean you're an introvert. I would be comfortable with some kind of introvert-extrovert "scale", where you could rate yourself from 1-10 or something; when it comes to the either-or question everybody seems to want to identify as "introvert".

Being an Introvert doesn't necessarily mean that you have weak social skills or that you are shy. In fact, many Introverts are friendly, talkative, out-going, love to laugh. The difference is that Extroverts LOVE being around people 24 hours a day. They get their battery charged from interacting with people. Introverts enjoy interactions but they walk away emotionally drained - even if it was the best of times. Introverts must balance people-time with solitude in order to recharge. If Introverts don't give themselves a time of solitude after intense people-times, they suffer from a constant state of extreme exhaustion that won't go away.

I agree with C Houston. People think I am an extrovert because I am outgoing and confident in social situations--but I need lots of alone time to make up for my people time. I feel guilty sometimes because of it, but as my best friend (who is also an introvert) says, "That is the way God made us." If I try to force myself into too many social appointments, I get seriously burned out. BTW, my friend has done some research on this topic and tells me that only 25% of the population is considered introverted. I am wondering if the reason we are seeing 75% introverts in this poll is that most extroverted people don't spend a lot of time alone on the internet...? :)

I am an extreme introvert by Myers-Briggs definition (being with people is draining and requires alone time to re-energize while extroverts are energized by being with people). However, I am a functional extrovert, so everyone assumes I am an extrovert. Without the down time, I become non-functional. Being in full-time ministry, it can be very challenging, but worth it in the long-run.

Introverts are commonly spread, as I can see. In any way, if to look around there seem to be more extraverts, but in fact, they may just act like, but not to be in real. So, it is a good field for investigation.

I grew up in a family wherein the father is an introvert and the mother an extrovert. My dad died and I now left with my mother. When I was coming up I became an introvert, but now I see my personality as an extrovert. And there are times I see myself in both sides! I can now distinguish between the two through the lectures I had this semester with one American woman, Mrs. Lisa Bonnet who read most of your work.

I am an ENTJ person also after looking at your work.

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