Spirituality for Extroverts
Nancy Reeves Abingdon Press
This is a brilliant book.
If you struggle with praying quietly in the morning but find it easy to connect with God as you go for a walk; if you find singing the best part of a service and struggle in the quieter moments, then you might be an extrovert and this book is for you and people who may not get you.
Spirituality For Extroverts is eye-opening in the way it explores how spiritual extroverts often have different spiritual needs to introverts.
Nancy Reeves, who is a clinical psychologist, spiritual director and poet, uses the idea of extrovert and introvert in the manner of Myers-Briggs, where extrovert is not necessarily just outgoing but one whose energy is often directed to the outer world and who draws energy from engaging with things outside themselves.
Introverted spirituality is about directing and drawing energy more from the inner world.
As spiritually extroverted myself, I had one of those “Ah hah!” moments and realised that perhaps there is not as much wrong with me — and perhaps there isn’t as much wrong with church — as I thought there was.
It may just get down to a misunderstanding of difference. Given that many of our traditional spiritual practices are often more on the introverted end of the spiritual spectrum, this book helps gives permission for extroverts not to feel that there is something wrong when they find such practices unsatisfying.
It also gives permission and suggestions about exploring different ways of connecting with God and others.
The book seeks to help people, both with extroverted and introverted spiritual tendencies, better understand each other, to find connections and build bridges that allow us to share faith and spirituality with each other in a way where all grow and are enriched.
The Rev. Jon Humphries