keepin’ it real {pt 1} – you are not my competition

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{Lots of photos in this post, just to warn you. Prepare for your computer screen to be picture-bombed.}

Something that’s been on my heart and mind lately –how often are we so quick to judge others, but yet not so quick to show grace? For me at least. It’s so easy to jump to conclusions when I see a mother with screaming, crying, misbehaving kids at the store, or other things. I found this post via a friend from Facebook, and it completely satisfied my tangled-up thoughts about this.

A beautiful post by Becky Thompson:

It was 5:15, and I was finally making it to the grocery store. I just needed to grab a few things, and since I had no clue what I was going to make for dinner… a frozen pizza was added to my list. There is only one grocery store in our small town, and I anticipated that everyone getting off work would also be grabbing last minute dinner items as well.

Furthermore, I was breaking the code.

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Rarely do you see another stay at home momma at the grocery store at 5:15. Do you know why? If you learn anything as a stay at home momma, it is to get grocery shopping done early when the children are at their best.  Should you somehow not make it to the grocery store by late afternoon, you should probably just order take out… because the trip is NOT worth it!

I knew what I was up against.

My prayer on the way in… “Just let this go quickly, Lord. Frozen Pizza. Milk. Bread. Trashbags. Bleach. No fits… no drawing attention to ourselves… just in and out.”

Can you hear Jesus laughing?

Every single person walking in enters in front of everyone checking out. The store is set up for some great entertainment really. On this day, the check-out lines were packed. All eyes were on us as we spilled through the doors – my kids already screaming about who got to sit where in the cart.

Yes. Two very loud toddlers and their momma (decked out with a dysfunctional pony tail and   t-shirt accessorized with crusted blueberry oatmeal) were met by slacks, business skirts and dozens of disapproving eyes.

I smiled a, “Hey, I have kids, and I have survived until 5:15, and my husband is almost home, and I still don’t have dinner started,” smile and continued my mission. “Frozen Pizza. Milk. Bread. Trashbags. Bleach. No fits.”

I should take this time to mention that I am pretty sure there is an understood grocery cart speed limit. This falls under the non-spoken rules of appropriate social behavior. You can wander. You can stroll. You can even walk briskly, but running…. Eh, well, running is pretty much not okay.

On this day, I was running.

So, let’s recap.

I’m a mess. My kids are screaming that they want pop and candy and cupcakes and in between the “no’s!” I am repeating “Frozen Pizza. Milk. Bread. Trashbags. Bleach. Frozen Pizza. Milk. Bread. Trashbags. Bleach.” Old makeup under my eyes, breakfast on my shirt, hungry kids in the grocery store at 5:15 announcing loudly that they “are starving!” …. and I’m running. We are failing miserably on the do not draw attention to ourselves part of my prayer.

I screeched to a stop next to the frozen pizza and did my own Chinese fire drill around the cart grabbing the pizza and throwing it underneath as I ran back towards the handle and took off again…

It was then that I met eyes with her and her disapproving glare. She was one of those women who looked like she had been up since 5 am with her makeup on and her husband’s breakfast made before he even got out of bed.

It could have been the running, or the oatmeal on my shirt, or the fighting screaming toddlers, but no matter what caused her to give me that look – it was on purpose. I knew it, and so did she.

So, I smiled at her, grabbed the final item on my list, and made it to the checkout lines.  I had survived an overall successful shopping trip.

As I drove away, I could not imagine what that woman thought of me. Or how she might have looked at me if my appearance had been different – or my actions had been different-or if my kids had acted differently.

She judged what she saw without seeing… me.

We do this a lot don’t we ladies?

We hope and pray that others will have grace for us, while quietly categorizing and labeling and making split-second judgments of every other woman we encounter.

The silent smile and size-up.

We don’t even mean to do it… well… maybe that’s not true…. Maybe we have just done it for so long that we don’t even notice we are doing it anymore.

And really… it’s awful.

So here is my promise:

I promise not to form opinions of you with your beautiful make up and your disapproving looks if you could try not to judge me by the 5 minutes that you observed in the store. Deal?

I will not judge you when you when you walk into the restaurant in your pajamas at 5:30 with a baby on your hip without knowing your story.

I promise to understand that when I see you snap at your kids in public there are likely hours of love and gentle parenting that I do not see.

And I will appreciate the grace that you give me when I drop my kids off at school in the jeans that I grabbed from my bedroom floor and the shirt that I had to sniff to see if it was clean.

I will make every effort to see… you. Not a quick tally of everything I can take in about you in just a few seconds…Not my competition… But my comrade in the trenches of life as together we find our way towards grace…

Because you are just like me.

The single woman who does not have children and the veteran momma 5 times over…

The woman who yelled at the waiter or the gal who went out of her way to help the older man at the store…

You who homeschool or public school or private school…

You who breastfeed or bottle feed…

The woman who ran into dollar general in her pajama pants and the woman who held the door for her in her cardigan and boots…

You who bought your kids the toy they demanded and the woman who took blows from toddler fists as she walked away from the toy aisle with screaming children…

The woman who spends her day filing papers and the woman who spends her day re-filling sippy cups…

You single women praying to meet a godly man and you women who are knee deep in married memories…

You are all just like me – daughter of the Most-High God, beautifully and wonderfully made, created by the King of Kings, loved by the Lord of Lords, precious, powerful, His!

The next time I see you in the store I promise to remember that you are nothing less.

I pray that the Lord would give me a heart to see you – not a sum of the parts of your day… but you… right in the middle of it … and I pray that you all might be able to do the same for me.

donec facies habebimus & some thoughts

{photo credit is unbeknownst to me}

{photo credit is unbeknownst to me}

(rough) latin translation — “till we have faces”, a book by c.s. lewis.

(Woops, mistranslated it slightly. Title is updated with correct Latin, haha)

If I am ever asked what my favorite book is, I think I’d have to say it’s that one. It’s one of those books that I can read a thousand times and still find deeper meanings & symbolisms.

In my Omnibus class, we are reading Dante’s Inferno. The other day I chanced upon this essay that shows ties with Dante and others, and, really, it’s fascinating. I think I’m going to reread Till We Have Faces on my own along with the Inferno.

It’s sort of a seemingly dark, strange, & paganistic book, but the ending is absolutely beautiful, and, as you will read in the essay, this actually has very Christian themes disguised in a Greek-mythological story.

If you haven’t read it yet, you should. I would argue that it’s one of C.S. Lewis’s best works.

Baptizing a Greek Myth

{by kyle sanders}

            Greek myths have captured audiences by their compelling stories at the mythical lessons that they teach.  C.S Lewis, a novelist among many other things, saw that dynamic quality in the story of Eros and Psyche.  So he decided to rewrite the story in his last novel, Till We Have Faces.  Lewis retells the myth with different characters, a different setting, and a different protagonist.  Instead of the two lovers being the protagonists, one of the “mean step-sisters,” whom Lewis names Orual, assumes not only the leading role but the narrator as well.  Orual, the eldest, has two younger sisters.  Orual’s face since birth is ugly while her youngest sister, Istra/Psyche, has a beauty beyond comparison.  Psyche’s mother dies at birth so Orual takes upon herself the role of Psyche’s mother.  A draught enters Glome, the pagan barbaric setting, and Psyche is forced to sacrifice herself to end the draught.  Psyche lives and marries a god, who will not allow her to see his awesome countenance. Orual disbelieves her and blackmails Psyche with her life to show the true identity of her husband.  The god is real and condemns Psyche and curses Orual.  They don’t see each other again.  Orual assumes queen-ship of Glome, a pagan country, and lives out her life in rule of her country, until she enters a small temple dedicated to the new goddess Istra.  The priest then tells a story different than what truly happened, hence, she is inspired to right the truth, a complaint against the gods.  At the end of her life, she has a series of dreams/visions of the things Psyche did to reunite with her husband.  In the last one, Orual is judged by the god who condemned her sister.  Through this vision she finds out that her physical ugliness is parallel to her spiritual ugliness.  She realizes true love and sees her true face just before she beholds the countenance of Psyche’s god, who tells her that she is Psyche as well.  The story is very powerful and emotional, but there is a deeper meaning than the physical story that Lewis constructs.  Despite its pagan origins the novel, Till We Have Faces, is a Christian story.

            Lewis was a Christian.  He wrote a library of books pertaining to questions in Christianity and Christianity in general, and he did not just write novels.  He wrote some overtly Christian works pertaining to apologetics, spiritual warfare, and the bible.  Mere Christianity a work “in perfect harmony with the Christian Orthodoxy,”Problem of Pain “a restatement of orthodox Christian Teaching,” and Miracles, “an argument that miracles are possible,” are just a few of his apologetic works.  The Screwtape Letters is a collection of letters written by a demon to his nephew on how to condemn “patients,” or humans.  “Through Screwtape, Lewis writes of the incarnation, of demonic reaction of salvation, and the quest for the historical Jesus.” Lewis also wrote a reflection on the Psalms which is his only work that speaks directly about the Bible.

            Lewis, along with being a Christian writer, had many Christian influences when he wrote the myth retold.  One of his biggest influences was Dante, “Lewis’ favorite poet.” Orual’s last dream and journey parallels Dante’s journey through hell in Inferno.  First, she is surprised by all the people in the underworld, “In my foolishness I had not thought how many dead there must be,”just as Dante was surprised at the number of dead.  Then, both are led by a mentor Orual by the Fox and Dante by Virgil.  Finally, Dante and Orual are met by their “God bearing images” in Beatrice and Psyche. John Milton also influenced Lewis not only in Till We Have Faces but in many of his other works as well.  The tension between Orual and Psyche is very similar to the tension between Adam and Eve in Paradise Lost.  Eve and Orual, using the guise of love, demand their counterpart to act against God and her husband, a god, respectively. Finally, Lewis is influenced by the Christian philosopher and doctor St. Augustine, mostly by Orual’s “natural creaturely knowledge” that does not transcend into the true understanding the god’s actions, and in seeing Shadowbrute’s true image/ face. Lewis was influenced by many Christian authors when he wrote Till We Have Faces.

            Psyche, even before her marriage with the god, lives a Christian vocation of sacrifice.  The first time she displays her willingness to sacrifice herself for the sake of the community is when the peasants call upon her to heal them of the plague.  Her willingness, “‘Let me go out,’ said Psyche.  ‘They are our people,’” to help those in need, according to the king and Orual, the poorest of the poor, the decrepit of Glome, conveys to the audience a Christian vocation of sacrifice.  She’s willing to sacrifice herself even unto death to help the poor people of Glome, “I saw her (Psyche) growing paler and paler.  Her walk had become a stagger.  ‘King,’ said I, ‘it will kill her.” She lives and so does the plague.  Then, when the Priest of Ungit, the goddess of Glome, chooses Psyche to be the sacrifice to relieve Glome of the plague, Psyche accepts the choice, despite the horror of being eaten by the Shadowbrute, to be the sacrifice for Glome.  Again she is willing to offer herself up for the sake of her country, “How can I be a ransom for Glome unless I die?  And if I am to go to the god, of course it must be through death.” Psyche has an understanding of death that goes beyond the pagan ideas of death; she sees it not as an end to life like the Greeks whom the Fox adores, but as a passage into a better life.

            Lewis adds an eschatological dimension to Till We Have Faces with Psyche’s understanding of death.  She desires death so that she can see where “all the beauty came from.” She sees in the beauty of this world a longing for something greater, something Orual did not understand until her last vision.  “Everything seemed to be saying, Psyche come! But I couldn’t (not yet) come and I didn’t know where I was to come to.  It almost hurt me.  I felt like a bird in a cage when the other birds of its kind are flying home.” She held the Christian understanding of death.  Psyche realized that the world that she lives in is fleeting, but that will be seen clearly in the fullness of her time, her death.  She, although she does not explicitly say it, believes in heaven, a place greater than that in which she lives.

            Lewis not only shows a journey from life on earth to life in heaven but also a journey, or maturation, of love, especially in Orual.  According to Christian teaching, Love comes in three forms, eros, philia, and agape, each one being more mature than the other.  Everyone starts out with eros, or according to Lewis, need-love, with is the basic physical love that an adult starts a relationship with.  As one matures he or she develops philia, or brotherly love.  Then, one reaches full maturation when, he or she displays agape, or what Lewis calls, gift-love, where a person loves another enough to “die any death for” someone.  Orual’s story is basically about that maturation of love.  For most of her story, Orual displays the need-love of eros.  Her reaction to Psyche accepting the sacrifice to the Shadowbrute shows the need-love, that possessive love, which is again shown when Orual blackmails Psyche with her life.  She contains a possessive love that Psyche never knew about, “‘You are indeed teaching me about kinds of love I did not know.  It is like looking into a deep pit.  I am not sure whether I like your kind of love better than hatred.’”She continues her need love even after she is separated from Psyche.  She indirectly kills Bardia, the chief guard, by keeping him till all hours of the night doing useless odd jobs.  She loved him, as his wife realized, but in the same way she loved Psyche, possessively. Her love did not begin to mature until the last dream.  Her love for Psyche matures into agape, through the mystical experience of the dream, “I loved her as I would once have thought it impossible to love, would have died any death for her.  And yet, it was not, not now she that really counted.  Or if she counted it was for another’s sake.” She finally understood what Psyche felt during the “healing service” and the sacrifice to the Shadowbrute, a love that does not consider oneself but everyone else, a Christ-love.

            Eros is not only the need-love that Orual suffers, but Psyche’s husband in the original story.  Although Lewis does not give a new name to the god who Psyche marries, it is obvious that the god is Eros, the Greek god of love.  Eros is Aphrodite’s son, and the Fox, Orual and Psyche’s Greek tutor, compares Ungit with Aphrodite easily putting the husband with Eros.  Lewis uses Eros as a comparison to God and Christ because Eros is the god of love, and St. John says that “God is love” in first letter.  So Psyche’s marriage goes much deeper than just a marriage with a god but the one and only God.  Lewis weaves the Christian paradox of dying to find life.  Psyche “dies” when she is supposedly eaten by the Shadowbrute only to “rise” to marry Eros/Christ.  She leaves family and house to join Christ in his palace, as Christ calls all Christians to do.  This parallel is brought even deeper at the end of the novel when Orual encounters Eros/Christ.

            Joy silenced me.  And I thought I had now come to the highest, and to the utmost fullness

of being which the human soul can contain . . . Suddenly, from a strange look in Psyche’s face (I could see she knew something she had not spoke of), or from a glorious and awful deepening of the blue sky above us, or from a deep breath like a sigh uttered all round us by invisible lips, or from a deep, doubtful, quaking surmise in my own heart, I knew that all this had been a preparation.  Some far greater matter was upon us . . . The earth and stars and sun, all that was or will be, existed for his sake.  And he was coming.  The most dreadful, the most beautiful, the only dread and the beauty there is, was coming.

Orual encounters Christ in her last vision.  She experiences the presence of the Christ in the flesh.  She realizes the Other, the being greater than all other things, the being that created all things and creation exists “for his sake.”

            Finally, to finish the baptism of this Greek myth, Lewis alludes to the Bible, to a passage in the Old Testament and one in the New.  Orual and Psyche are like Ishmael and Isaac: Orual, the older child, the “child of the flesh,” and Psyche, the younger child, blessed, daughter of the spirit. Psyche and Isaac are the beloved children while Orual and Ishmael are the hated ones.  Both Psyche and Isaac are sent to be sacrificed but live.  Orual is beaten by her father and Ishmael is exiled by his.  However, Orual deviates from the parallel to Ishmael when God says that she “also (is) Psyche” in the end; Ishmael is never heard of again after the exile. Then, Lewis alludes to Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians 13:12 when he has Orual write, “Two figures, reflections, their feet to Psyche’s feet and mine, stood head downward in the water.  But whose were they?  Two Psyches, the one clothed, the other naked?  Yes, both Psyches, both beautiful beyond all imagining, yet not exactly the same.” Lewis borrows that image from Paul, “At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face.” Orual only saw herself as an ugly-faced person, so she covered her face with a veil.  She never saw her true self, the way that she was originally made, beautiful, in the image and likeness of God until she gazed into the pool and saw herself as Psyche, beautiful.

            Lewis wrote Till We Have Faces as a Christian story even though the physical story was pagan.  He drew influences from many Christian authors such as Dante, Milton, and Augustine.  He gave Psyche a Christian vocation of love and sacrifice, showed the Orual’s maturation of Christian love, used Eros as a symbol of Christ, and alluded to the Christian text, the Bible.  He rewrote the Greek myth into a Christian story to inspire Christians to live out the Christian vocation as Psyche did and to inspire non-Christians to meditate on the Christian actions of Psyche and Orual.


so i live in this earthly body ~ a post by marli renee

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{to read more of her writing, check out her blog “cause for joy“}

I read this post a while back and it really touched and convicted a part of myself that had never been addressed before. These beautiful words are penned by Marli Renee. Her post goes as such:

“Last night, I looked someone in the eyes and told them they were disgusting.

I told them they could never change. I told them they were hopeless. I told them their lack of self-control was humiliating, and that they were ruining the gift God had given them.

Worst of all, I said it without a note of grace, kindness or forgiveness.

I was looking in the mirror.

Harder still, last night wasn’t a one-off incident. It’s something of a routine.

When faced with my faults, I fall back on shame, guilt and anger. I berate myself. I drag my faults into a dark corner and punch the heck out of them.

Because clearly, in the Scriptures, the harder you beat something the holier it becomes. Wait, what?

No.

How many times have you looked in the mirror and told yourself you’re ugly? Overweight? Flat? Scarred?

How many times have you looked at your closest friend and told them that? Disproportionate… What if you saw your natural physical flaws and human-ness with the same love you see your friend’s form?

If your friend has a sin issue, you gently, lovingly, firmly bring it to their attention. You work on a plan to overcome it. You do not shame, berate, or guilt. You don’t tell them their stupid. You don’t tell them they’ll never be able to change. Yet we heap these phrases on ourselves.

The Lord did not ask us to respond to sin with sin. Not an eye for an eye, or a tooth for a tooth. So what do we profit by taking our shame on ourselves? Have we taken on salvation upon our own shoulders?

I am not asking us to embrace our imperfections. I am asking us to throw off our dark and dirty deeds, and put on the weapons of light… the shining armor of right living (Romans 13). The full armor of God.

Truth around our waist, and God’s righteousness across our heart. Peace from the Word guiding our feet, and faith as the shield around us. Salvation guarding our mind, and the Spirit fighting on our behalf… which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 10)

None of these suggest shame, guilt, or self-inflicted punishment. We are not to clothe ourselves in contempt, with failure written across our heart. We are not to let doubt guide our feet, and anger to defend us. Mortification cannot guard our mind, and the sin cannot fight on our behalf.

Christ is our life (Col 3). In Him we live, move, and have our being (Acts 17). We are no longer alive, but Christ lives in us (Galatians 2).

So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave his life for me.

Read that again. And again. And again. Then write it across your mirror. And over your heart. And when shame stares back at you, scream it out.

Yes, we recognize it’s flawed. There is room for improvement. So we encourage it in the race. We press on towards the goal. We turn our faces to the reality of Heaven. And we say with the Psalmist,

Yet still, I belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and you lead me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever!”

Amen?

6 things i bet you didn’t know …

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You know, there are a lot of misconceptions about us introverts.

And sooo … since I know you just woke up this morning *dying* to know about introverts and what makes them tick and all :: wink ::,

here’s a post I found that I love, that explains most of the myths, and why, from here,

and it goes as such:

” If common stereotypes have anything to say on the matter, it’s that introverts are socially awkward loners who abhor large crowds and don’t like people very much. An introvert may not be a particularly friendly or happy person, but hey, at least they’re smarter and more creative than the average extrovert.

Despite comprising an estimated one-third of the general population, introversion may be one of the most frequently misunderstood personality traits. But the silent revolution of introverts — catapulted into the spotlight largely by the work of Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking — is shedding light on the experience of introverts living in a culture that tends to value extroverted qualities like assertiveness and outspokenness over solitude and quiet contemplation.

Much of the problem stems from the lack of a simple distinction between introversion and extroversion — the difference is far more complex than being shy versus outgoing, according to Sophia Dembling, author of The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World. The introversion/extroversion distinction has its roots in Jungian psychology, which views extroverts as being more naturally oriented towards the outside world, and introverts more focused on their own inner world.

“The description that introverts seem to relate most strongly to is the idea that Jung presented, that introverts are drained of energy by interaction, and gain energy in solitude and quiet, whereas extroverts gain energy in social situations with interaction,” Dembling tells The Huffington Post. “It seems to be most strongly an energy thing –- where you get your energy and what takes it out of you.”

If you’re an introvert, you might be used to feeling misunderstood (many introvert children are criticized for not speaking up at school, and grow up being told to “come out of their shells”) and having your actions (or inaction) misinterpreted. And if you’re an extrovert, there’s a good chance that you have a least a few misconceptions about those mysterious quiet types in your life. Scroll through the list below for six of the most common false assumptions about introverts — and why they’re wrong.

1. All introverts are shy — and all shy people are introverts.

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Shyness is so often confused with introversion that the two words are frequently used interchangeably — but in fact, they’re remarkably different traits. As Susan Cain pointed out in a Psychology Today blog, Bill Gates is introverted but not shy: He’s quiet and bookish, but isn’t bothered by what other people think of him.

Whereas introversion, as Dembling explains, is commonly defined as recharging and gaining energy through alone time, shyness has more to do with discomfort and anxiety in situations involving social interaction. Many introverts aren’t shy; they may feel confident and at ease around people, but simply require more alone time to balance out the energy they expend in social situations. Similarly, an extrovert may seek the company of others but feel insecure or uncomfortable in groups.

“The number-one misconception about introversion is that it’s about shyness,” says Dembling. “The best distinction I’ve heard comes from a neuroscientist who studies shyness. He said, ‘Shyness is a behavior -– it’s being fearful in a social situation. Whereas introversion is a motivation. It’s how much you want and need to be in those interactions.’”

2. Introverts don’t like to be around people.

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Although introverts do generally need — and enjoy — more solitude than their extroverted counterparts, the idea that introverts are antisocial or don’t want the company of others is completely false. They just tend to enjoy social interaction in a different way than extroverts do.

“There are a lot of negative labels placed on introverts — socially anxious, don’t like people, judgmental (because we sit quietly),” says Dembling. “Introverts may prefer one-on-one interaction … we might enjoy large parties but want to sit and watch the action from the sidelines. Extroverts may interpret this as not wanting to have fun, but this observation is fun for an introvert.”

Introversion shouldn’t be confused with misanthropy — introverts do like people, but they typically favor quality over quantity in their relationships, choosing to focus on creating a smaller circle of close friends rather than a large network of acquaintances.

“I like to say that we may like people more than extroverts because we take the time to get to know them … It’s just a completely different style,” says Dembling.

3. Introverts don’t make good leaders or public speakers.

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Many introverts enjoy and excel in roles that involve leading others, speaking publicly, and being in the spotlight. Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi and countless other leaders through history have been classified as introverts. These leaders may also foster a better team environment, as research has shown they might work better in groups than extroverts do. And according to USA Today, roughly four in 10 top executives test as introverts.

Research has found that individuals of both personality types can be well-suited to leadership and sales roles.

“The good news … is that in some sense we are all born to sell and equipped to lead,” writes author Daniel Pink in a Washington Post blog. “And that means a hidden but urgent challenge for organizations of every kind is to shatter the stereotype of who’s an effective leader.”

And when it comes to public speaking, introverts aren’t the shrinking violets they’re often thought to be, and they might actually have the upper hand over extroverts. Because introverts focus on preparing projects and thinking things through thoroughly before acting, they can be excellent speakers, says Dembling. Susan Cain’s charismatically delivered TED talk on the power of introverts, for instance, was one of the fastest TED videos ever to reach one million views — and it’s just one of countless examples.

4. Introverts have more negative personalities.

lonely

Because they actually like being alone, introverts are sometimes stereotyped as having more depressive or negative-slanting personalities. This misconception likely stems from the fact that extroverts — who gain their energy from social interaction — might feel sad when they don’t spend enough time with people, Dembling says.

“When extroverts are in an introverted place for too long, spending time alone or being quiet, they can report feeling sad and depressed,” says Dembling. “Because they feel sad when they’re alone, maybe they therefore think we feel sad when we’ve been alone. That misconception is coming from a genuine concern, but it’s more putting their feelings on us.”

Most introverts don’t connect solitude with loneliness, unless it becomes excessive. That being said, although introverts do not innately have more depressive personalities, they do tend to spend more time thinking and analyzing — and if this turns to ruminating, it could potentially lead to depression.

“There’s a definite link between rumination and depression,” says Dembling. “Because introverts do like thinking and being alone, we need to keep ourselves in check.”

5. Introverts are more intellectual or creative than extroverts.

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Many of the most celebrated artists and thinkers throughout history — including Albert Einstein, Marcel Proust and Charles Darwin — were thought to be quiet types. Introverts are sometimes touted as being “more intelligent, more reflective, more independent, more level-headed, more refined, and more sensitive,” as Jonathan Rauch writes in an Atlantic article, “Caring For Your Introvert.” But before any quiet types climb atop an intellectual high horse, it’s important to note being an introvert doesn’t innately make you a loftier, or more innovative, thinker. Extroverts are, of course, often incredibly intelligent and creative; there’s just a good chance that their best ideas happen while they’re in a more reflective, or introverted, mindset.

“Creativity occurs in an introverted space … but that doesn’t mean we’ve cornered the market on it,” says Dembling. “Without both introverts and extroverts, things wouldn’t get done. We’ve got one person thinking it through and one person going out and slaying the dragon.”

6. It’s easy to tell whether someone is introverted or extroverted.

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Many introverts could easily go out to a cocktail party and talk up everyone in the room — and they may enjoy themselves doing it. But at the end of the day, they’ll look forward to restoring their energy by coming home and reading in bed with a cup of tea. Given our culture’s bias towards extroverted personality traits, many introverts have become accustomed to being the wolf in sheep’s clothing — behaving like an extrovert in social situations, and perhaps acting more outspoken and gregarious than they feel on the inside. Or they may enjoy the social interaction and attention, but later crave time alone to recover.

“Most introverts are very good at behaving like extroverts,” says Dembling. “A lot of us are out there behaving as extroverts … but then we have to shut it down. I call it my ‘dog and pony show.’ But then you have to be quiet and regain your energy for the next time. The long I’m out there putting on the show, the longer I need to recuperate.”

“Introverts really do like people and we like socializing,” Dembling says. “We just like it in different ways than extroverts.”