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That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
Gary
Brenda has truly opened up a space for introverted types on the ‘net, and her self-revelations are always inspiring. Her voice is one I always look forward to. She is one of the writers that actually played a part in my return to writing.  — S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
Niko
Thank you for all the words. You’ve created the magic drug I’ve been looking for all my life. Your blog has transformed my life, and I feel like I am on the brink of a most satisfying fulfilling journey…You’ve made me see everything in a new light. I now feel calmer, able to care better for my toddler, less hateful of people around, and hopeful for my future. I am not so afraid for our marriage anymore. — Shilpa CB
Shilpa CB
I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Indepthwoman
Your words are my lifeline.  I sit down to your posts and as I read I can feel my acceptance of myself and my needs grow.  Your words validate my feelings about my life, motherhood, relationships and it is something I hold onto.  And during the times when I feel like I am not able to be a mother or a wife or a sister or a friend or whatever someone needs me to be, I go back to your words and find some peace…I send your posts to my husband when I need him to understand that I love him but I need …
D.R.
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
J.K.
This is me. This is me from the day I was born. For so long I felt misunderstood and rejected, even by the people closest to me, because they could never understand my need for solitude, and I had no idea how to explain it to them. Even now that I know more about Introversion and have a more informed understanding of my hard-wired need for solitude, it’s still very difficult sometimes to help my loved ones understand this profound craving for time and space all to myself. This is one of the best…
Sharon

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Are You a Warrior or an Advisor? Seeking Glory for the Behind the Scenes Introvert

king and priest

Sometimes I cannot believe how lucky I am. The other day I was invited to a private tour of the Habsburg exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. One of the museum’s esteemed curators, Eike Schmidt, PhD, led our small group of seven through the elegant galleries containing exquisite sculptures, paintings,weapons, artifacts, armor, carriages, etc., all belonging to the Habsburg family — a dynasty that reigned over much of Europe for a record six centuries ending in 1918. Eike’s rich timbered voice, the correlations drawn between art and peace and the stories revealed through each magnificent item left my inspiration, passion and meaning-seeking mind positively intoxicated.

Early in the tour, we paused in front of a bronze bust of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Eike pointed out the god and goddess of war posed at the base of the sculpture. He said that force and wisdom were both revered characteristics considered necessary for proper ruling and conquering during that period.

CharlesV

Bronze bust of Charles V by Leone Leoni

 

Hmmmm. I surreptitiously took notes on my iPhone so I could mentally munch on that thought later.

Later

Fighters, conquerors = Force = Masculine?

Thinkers, guides = Wisdom = Feminine?

Extroverts = Force?

Introverts = Wisdom?

Action vs. Consideration

Why do the forceful, gregarious types get all the glory? Could society’s beliefs ever return to the notion that force and wisdom are equally valuable and interesting?

Should love relationships contain a warrior and an advisor?

Dr. Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person, says our culture has a balance or natural state of being that involves warrior kings and priestly advisors. Society needs those who boldly act and those who deftly consider. Think King Arthur and Merlin. Jobs and Wozniak. Note our executive and judicial branches of government. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking author, Susan Cain, thinks FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt also fit this ideology.

I am more wisdom than force. Should I look for force in a mate so we can rule and conquer to the best of our ability?

Do most relationships contain a glory seeker and a wise consultant? Should they? Is there an advantage xena betterto combining these personality traits? Does it make for a lasting, more meaningful co-mingling?

I know my beau and I joked around calling each other Force and Wisdom after hearing Eike explain their importance to the Holy Roman Empire. My guy’s military background (warrior, yes?), active lifestyle and masculine presence are in true contrast to my writer/mother background, selectively active lifestyle and  feminine demeanor. We definitely have a dance of differences going and… it works. Although, I must add he has a solid amount of wisdom as well.

I analyzed other relationships in my little universe. I looked at both business relationships and intimate relationships with an emphasis on the intimate ones. When I reviewed the relationships I had some degree of inside knowledge regarding, I found many of them contained a clear mover and a clear supporter or grounding individual. One out front and one behind them nurturing and seeing their potential. Is it the same in your universe?

Are we all Force AND Wisdom later in life?

The Thinker womanI am going to wildly generalize here when I say I see most introverts as the behind the scenes advisor types. The high-flying extroverts appear to be more of the ‘put me in coach’ warrior types. But I know many intrepid introverts and thoughtful extroverts. We all exhibit such traits at certain times. In fact, I believe as we age, we often take on roles or characteristics that were not natural to us when we were younger. I think we all become more introspective as we age. In contrast, recognizing our mortality, we also may adopt a ‘You only live once’ attitude.

What causes you to change roles?

Perhaps the warrior/advisor dichotomy is situational. One person’s life dream could cause them to act boldly out of character if they are given the chance to make it happen. I know I am braver and more ‘outer world’ when I champion or discuss a passion of mine.

Our most beloved leaders and characters embody elements of courage and wisdom, do they not?

How Force and Wisdom affect each other

Whether or not the contrasting duo is beneficiary to the world depends on the intent of each person. Is it ego-fueled? For example, the stereotypical glad-handing politicians may only seek to gain power and the limelight. If this is the case, thoughtful counsel most likely won’t change the warrior person’s drive and methods. Sadly, the warrior may see the advisor’s view as ‘soft’ or inhibiting. If on the other hand, the politician has hopes of serving the greater good, a wise advisor could catalyze the individuals ideas and plans. An evil advisor could also abuse the privilege of having the politician’s ear and wreak havoc on their decision-making. So many scenarios. People! Just be good.

We may intellectually know that both boldness and introspection are equally important for creating change and development but it often doesn’t feel that way to advisors or behind the scenes people. Our less obvious and less ceremonious contributions are often overshadowed by the outward words and actions of the force people. This gets old and frustrating.

Introversion awareness is giving some of the glory back to the introspective tribe. Wouldn’t it be cool if thinker-closewe could re-institute the force and wisdom/dual reverence honored in the 1500s? I think it’s time.

Are you more Force or Wisdom? What is your partner or ideal partner? Do you think contrasting types works best?

If this piece resonated or affected you in a meaningful way, I would truly appreciate it if you would share it with others who may benefit.

Thank you!!

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6 Comments

  1. DVeríssimo May 1, 2015 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    I’m more of advisor than warrior. Does it means that when searching for a woman, she has to be a warrior? Or is possible a relationship advisor-advisor? Since some people end up becoming both, would that make this kind of rlationship work?

    • Brenda Knowles May 3, 2015 at 10:34 am - Reply

      I am also curious as to whether an advisor/advisor relationship is workable or even preferred for the introvert. I think all relationships are possible if both participants respect and appreciate the traits of their mate. I can see where a warrior/advisor combination may be more action oriented than an advisor/advisor coupling but the a/a combo may have a better understanding of each other. Depends on what fuels you.

  2. www.laurensapala.com May 1, 2015 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Love this post! It made me think of Athena, a warrior Goddess known for her wisdom, and for her love of the battlefield.

  3. angie May 1, 2015 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Great post!
    I can be both a warrior and an advisor, as I contain both force and wisdom. People are often surprised that I am an introvert as I am often seen as a leader. I kind of consider myself a quiet leader-I will (forcefully!) stand up for things I believe in and things that are important to me. But I don’t ever want glory or public appreciation. I’d rather just receive a quiet thank you at another time than to be called out (even in a good way) in front of others. I think that the “j” in my INFJ may pay a role in my leadership abilities-something about that “judging” role inside of me. I’ve seen INFJs called “the advocates” -that would be me. But only if I really feel the person I’m advocating for really deserves it! 😉

    • Brenda Knowles May 2, 2015 at 3:54 am - Reply

      I am like you , Angie, in that I selectively advocate. I prefer the advisor role but will be the warrior for the proper battles. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

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