Do you need to be an extrovert to thrive in a religious order/community?

I assume the answer, strictly speaking, is “no,” but I’ve often wondered if religious life in community is geared toward social butterflies, or whether there is just as much opportunity and need for the shy and introverted.

Depends on the community and the kind of work done.

The introverted usually fare better in eremitical life.

Being an extrovert isn’t required, but you are required to interact with community. They say extroverts do better in the cloister, believe it or not.

I knew of a Carmelite who transferred to the Visitation, and the latter said the former OCD really had to work on communicating and interacting with them.



Forget Myers Briggs: just be a fairly healthy and balanced individual, who can laugh at themselves, and a desire for God.

I was told during my novitiate by a formator that most people in religious life are actually introverts.

Speaking as a religious, we need both. We need people who can keep us centered in contemplative prayer and we need people who are good at interacting with the rest of the world. The Body of Christ image is just as accurate in religious as it is in parish life.

Basic personality traits do not really change. I am by nature introverted and that was why I was attracted to the cloistered Carmelites. When I lived in the cloister, it was not what I imagined it to be. The nuns are both extroverted and introverted. I believe that once one has resolved to give of oneself without measure to the vocation and Community God has chosen for that person, he will also give the grace to live up to the call. It does not mean we won’t have some struggles ahead of us. We need balance in life to bring our different personalities to its full potential. Otherwise we become “spiritually midgets” we will never grow. I find it easier now to be extroverted because i learned to overcome my tendencies by God’s grace. Our Community is both introverts and extroverts!

Certainly not.

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