Do introverts and extroverts approach spirituality differently?

Mahesh Sharma
Lets Connect
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It has been my observation for long that we approach even spirituality differently according to our Temperamental characteristics. And to make this observation more firm, I observed, discussed, asked questions, read books and share views with other expert, seekers and common people alike and came to the conclusion that yes, there are differences in the approach to spirituality.

As of one of the main differences in temperamental characteristics can be categorised in introverts and extroverts, I would like to share with you some of the important and significant differences in approach to spirituality by these two temperaments.

The difference in approach to spirituality between extroverts and introverts can be understood by examining the fundamental psychological and social characteristics that define these personality types or temperaments. Here’s an in-depth exploration of why these differences exist and how they influence these different approaches.

Here are six points explaining these differences.

Personal Reflection vs. Group Interaction :

Introverts Tend to prefer solitary activities such as meditation, journaling, or reading spiritual texts. They find spiritual nourishment in personal reflection and introspection. They love to be in the company of themselves and tend to be more reserved and prefer to process thoughts and feelings internally before sharing them.

Extroverts on the other hand often seek spiritual experiences involving outward expression, such as participating in discussions, leading or joining prayer groups, and publicly displaying their spiritual beliefs. They draw energy and insights from interacting with others. They love and prefer to be in the company of other people even while introspecting and contemplating. This communal aspect of spirituality allows extroverts to communicate and validate their spiritual experiences with others, reinforcing their sense of belonging and understanding.

Energy Sources

Introverts gain energy from within and often need quiet time to recharge. Their spiritual practices are likely to be more inward-focused, emphasizing personal connection with the divine or self-awareness. These practices enable introverts to connect with their inner self and the divine in a peaceful, uninterrupted environment. They connect with themselves and draw strength from there.

Extroverts gain energy from external sources and thrive on social interaction. Their spiritual approach often involves communal activities and collective experiences that energize them. They love to be in the company of other human beings and feel connected and energised when they are surrounded by people.

Expression of Beliefs

Introverts may prefer to keep their spiritual beliefs private, sharing them only with close friends or family and that too if required. They might be more reserved in discussing their spirituality openly and they don’t even feel the need of discussing openly as they consider their spiritual beliefs very personal and private.

Extroverts on the other hand are usually more open about their spiritual beliefs and enjoy discussing and sharing them with a broader audience. They often express their spirituality through public actions and communal involvement. They love to share, discuss and express their experiences even with strangers and find it very soothing and satisfying.

Preferred Settings

Introverts Favor quiet, peaceful and serene environments for their spiritual practices, such as a home altar, nature walks, separate personal room or space or natural surroundings and generally avoid crowded and noisy environment. These environments allow introverts to dive deeply into their spiritual practices without the overwhelming presence of external stimuli.

Extroverts prefer lively, dynamic settings such as places of worship, spiritual retreats, community centres where they can engage, discuss and share experiences and views with others. They generally avoid being in solitude or separated venues. These dynamic, lively settings provide them the opportunities for social interaction that foster community and collective experiences.

Depth of Practice

Introverts often delve deeply into a few spiritual practices, seeking a profound understanding and connection, even prefer only one. They generally focus on developing a rich inner spiritual life and stay with that chosen path preferably for life as they tend to go deep and dedicate themselves for a lifelong learning and understanding. This depth allows them to explore and understand their beliefs thoroughly, often leading to profound personal insights and a strong internal spiritual foundation.

Extroverts may explore a variety of spiritual activities, enjoying the diversity and stimulation of different practices. Their approach can be broader, incorporating multiple aspects of spirituality. They love to experience diverse disciplines before zeroing in on something which resonate with them. Their approach allows them to connect with multiple aspects of spirituality and integrate a wide range of practices into their lives. This variety can keep their spiritual life vibrant and engaging, preventing monotony and fostering continuous growth.

Social Support

Introverts may rely on a small, close-knit group for spiritual support, finding comfort in intimate, meaningful relationships, conversations and discussions. They want and prefer to keep their inner circle very small and enjoy the companionship of only those closed ones. These intimate relationships provide the support and understanding they need without overwhelming them. The depth of these connections can enhance their spiritual experiences, as they feel safe and comfortable exploring their beliefs with trusted individuals.

Extroverts on the other hand often seek a wide network of support, engaging with larger communities and forming connections with many individuals who share their spiritual interests. They love to be interacting, helping and contributing with broader network of people and they most of the times are at the forefront of collective voluntary actions. This wide network provides diverse perspectives and a sense of belonging to a larger group. Extroverts find fulfilment in these connections, as they can share their spiritual experiences and gain insights from a variety of sources.

A thought to share

Understanding these differences helps explain why introverts and extroverts approach spirituality in distinct ways. Their inherent personality traits shape how they find meaning in their lives, connect with the divine, and express their spirituality, resulting in diverse but equally valid spiritual practices.

In my personal view this understanding helped me to gain insights about how we uniquely see and approach world. And even spirituality, which seems to be above the temperamental and behavioural aspect of human being, is impacted by how we see the world and interact with it.

So the next time when we talk and share or interact with others about our experiences of spirituality with someone we can keep his or her temperament into consideration too so that we can accept his/her different approach to spirituality and understand where they are coming from.

Love, Mahesh.

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