Faith Burgess is a bright and charming stay-at-home mom. She has a toddler, Joshua. Faith is an introvert and so is her three year old son. I asked Faith to try and put into words what it was like to be an introvert so I could help get the idea across to my readers. This is the story she told me.

My husband has an uncle who is clearly an introvert. I’ve heard him called “quirky”, “cold and humorless”, “reclusive” and “a strange bird”. He married into our very large family and has been dragged to every family gathering for nearly 50 years – always sitting off by himself reading a book or watching TV – never talking to anyone while everybody else socializes, eats and plays games.

Last year, I drew his name for the Christmas gift exchange and was stymied about what he’d like. The family members who had all drawn his name in previous years laughed pityingly. They informed me that he wants the same thing every year, white undershirts and gray dress-shirts. I got him the nicest ones I could find, writing something goofy on the card like “try not to think of me when you wear these.”

He disappeared sometime during the Christmas gathering (very clever) and we never even chatted. The next family gathering happened to be the death a family member and I spent most of the time crying. In a quiet moment at the hospital, he singled me out and very sweetly, very quietly, said “Thank you for the gift, kiddo. You’ve got good taste. As a matter of fact (he said with his best devilish wink) I’m wearing your underwear right now.” I stopped crying and started laughing and gave him a hug. He pinched my cheek and moved on with a smile. I just loved him for that moment. I go out of my way now (at family gatherings) to give him a kiss on the cheek but I keep on moving. This is for his benefit. I know, introverts are intensely cool.

Today’s story: The family was sitting around talking about how Uncle Introvert is 70 years old. Once again, they describe him as a strange, strange bird.

My husband, however, compares him to a rare exotic fish that lives in the deepest ocean. He says, “You know, the ones you can only get to with a submersible. The ones that have beautiful brilliant neon colors that flash and glow in the dark – but if you bring them to the surface, their stomachs come out their mouths.” Something about that imagery struck me as hilarious. He did a good job of helping me understand how bizarre introverts appear to the rest of the world.

I can’t count the number of times the pressure of their world has brought my stomach to my mouth.

Author's Bio: 

Nancy R. Fenn is an intuitive consultant in the San Diego who helps introverts understand themselves better and extraverts understand them better as well. Visit Nancy on the web at