We’ve already talked about how I’m a terrible introvert who scurries away after human contact and hides alone in order to recharge the emotional batteries. 85% of the human population is extraverted, and I honestly don’t understand that. It’s easier for me to write from the point of view of an undead Martian assassin with a gambling compulsion than it is for me to write an extravert.
One of my neighbors showed up at the bus stop looking pale, exhausted. I immediately offered to watch her child get on the bus so she could go home and crash. She said she would tough it out, then told me and the other mom what was going on. Many terrible things. But the strangest by far was that the act of telling us her problems, and interacting with us, restored her. When the bus came, she had rosy cheeks, bright eyes, and an easy laugh.
To me, that’s incomprehensible. I trust that it works for others. I like people and I enjoy socializing, and my friends are awesome. But afterward, I need to recover.
By many accounts, Jesus was an introvert. He kept retreating into private to pray, and people who specialize in Myers-Briggs personality typing all agree that Jesus (like myself) was an INFJ. We INFJs make up one percent of the population, by the way, so the next time you wonder what Jesus was like, think of me, and then after you’ve picked yourself up off the floor, put a warm compress on the stitch in your side from laughing so hard, dry the tears of mirth, and never think of that again. You’ll thank yourself for it.
When I listened to the Word of Promise Next Generation Audio Bible MP3 set this Lent, all the stories ran one into the next into the next. Because it was audio, there weren’t little chapter breaks and story divisions with their own headers. Listening that way, I was just overwhelmed by the sheer number of crowds in the three synoptic Gospels. Just listening, I wanted to retreat and recover.
If Jesus was really an INFJ, that must have been torture. Just being out there, “on stage” all the time, trying to find a quiet place and having people tracking him down, unable to regroup and just listen to that quiet inner voice for a little while. With kids it’s tough enough. With hundreds of people following your every move?
I have no idea how he did it. I’ve been to Comic-Con, I’ve been to anime conventions, I’ve ridden the New York subway system, but in none of those places did the crowd want me in particular. All that talking, the touching, the questioning, the noise-noise-noise… I wouldn’t have been able to do it.