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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.


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.


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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  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. 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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