I did reading this year on introverts, trying to understand this (my) personality. Susan Cain’s book was a gift. It’s called Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking. In one example, she spoke of studies that show the neurological differences in an introvert’s brain. Introverts are more sensitive to external stimuli than extroverts are, causing them to shrink in loud social situations so that their brains do not crash under all the data. Although that’s not the full picture on the introvert extrovert divide, this simple observation helped me understand key differences in our behavior. Introverts make up a third to a half of the U.S. population. America is an extroverted culture, making it harder for introverts to find their place and their voice. Asia, by contrast, has more introverted cultures. On page after page Susan Cain emphasizes the quiet power of an introverted personality.
Adam McHugh’s book Introverts in the Church was also useful. He writes here of the gift introverts bring to church life:
In an increasingly fragmented, fast-paced, chatter-filled world, I consider the greatest gift introverts bring to the world and the church to be a longing for depth. Spiritually mature introverts offer an alternative to our contemporary lifestyle, one that is thoughtful, imaginative and slower. For introverts, the quality of our Christian lives is predicated on the quality of our inner lives. Introverts who flourish spiritually have descended deep into our own souls and deep into the heart of God.
Note how he uses a qualifying phrase, the ‘spiritually mature’ introvert. Having a quiet personality is not in itself spiritual; you still must do the work of descending into God.
I commend these books to you.