Do you think more people "identify" with being introverts since no matter where we live, especially in the US, we are often "in the closet" about our atheism for safety purposes. Ie. Family drama and disownment, getting fired from our jobs, turning off a potential partner or ruining friendships?
I know personally, I have have alway been an atheist since I can remember going to church when I was very very young... 4 or 5 thinking "this is dumb"... So essentially I faked it trying different churches, different religions even with Bible studies and reading about religions.... It always felt like I feel when you know someone is lying to you. Bullshit. A huge pile of it.
So, now I live in the Confederate US.... smile003.gif and I feel more in the closet than ever. So, even though I have always tested an Intp, I wonder if a lot of my introvertNess is because I'm an atheist or if I would be more extroverted in let's say Norway? Maybe I wouldn't be drained of all my energy if I didn't have to fake it so much?
A very religious woman here in my retirement complex heard that I do not believe in gaud. So she verbally attacked me, saying that I can not cut a rose infront of her windows unless I come to her door to let her know that I am about to. The feeling I got from this incident was that she sees a heathen cutting a rose out her window and needs to be warned or wants some power over me. A couple months in a row, I observed her and the other closest neighbors to me come home with bags and boxed of foods. They were back home from getting give-away food from the Salvation Army for the needy. There's no one here that needy in our wonderful complex (all our needs are well taken care of). I went to the Salvation Army here to have a tour and get the scoop on how they are getting away with food that could be going to the more needy. I have worked in a Salvation Army store and I had been doing my volunteer hours toward being a substance abuse councelor at a Savation Army men's court ordered rehab years ago. So I desided to be one of the volunteers who set up and pass the food out. My intentions were not with "clean hands". My intention was to be a giver and not a taker when these women (my neighbors who have been shunning me) come for their hand out. Even though we had to hold hands in a circle for prayer before the doors open, I felt great with all the truely genuine love there. I gave out food to my neighbors. This morning the woman who seems to fear me (or whatever) fell close to me where I was lying out to get some sun. I helped her up; I'm much stronger than these women and I know the proper way to assist in this situation due to my medical field experience. She did say thank you, but I was far enough away to bow with an ecknowlegement and dip into my home. I will be handing the food out every time it is the Salvation Army's 'commodities' day..it's just once/month. Of 'course I can not tell the people there that I do not except their gaud, but they have taken me into their world with true love. I am an introvert due to too much rejection and trusting those who did not deserve my trust. I have p.t.s. for being beaten and left for dead. So if I stay to myself, I am safe. I don't mind the prayer circle since it is over quick. It is the only time I am touched, which is hard on me..I can feel the flush come on that I don't like it, but we are already wearing gloves to handle the food. ha-light humor..kinda
I am kind of similar to you about finding religion incredibly hard to believe as a young kid. I was about the same age as you when something seemed off... I have always had moments where I've been extroverted but I have more moments when I just want to stay home and not talk to anyone. I know the introversion is not because I'm atheist but my upbringing though. My mom was an introvert and I learned all my antisocial habits ftom her... I'm glad it was just that and not the religious fanaticism. I have been openly atheist since the moment I realized that's what I was and if people have chosen to not talk to me, they haven't been important enough for me to notice. I think it's a smart idea to stay in the down low where you are at though... There is no reason to invite people to hurt you just because you don't think like them...
I don't think being an atheist means one will be more introverted. In fact, if I thought the two traits were related to one another (which I don't), I would argue that it works the other way. Introverts might be more likely to be atheists, or at least not church-goers, because we would be overwhelmed by the enforced community demanded in many churches.
Also, I am continuing to be stunned by the number of people who keep reporting that their friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc., pester them about faith and religion. I don't live in a place where anyone does this, or at least not at the place I work at, but if I did, I would just tell people that religion is a very private topic for me, and I don't discuss it with anyone. If it were possible, I might make a preemptive strike and just work into general conversation that I would find it extremely intrusive that anyone might even raise the topic with me. I lived in Mississippi for two years, and people (not many) who told me I should go to church were not concerned about my soul, but about my ability to build a network of business contacts.
Not good that you live in "god's country" ... if there is any way that you could relocate, that would be good. If you can't, you can't. If you have to put on an act to keep a job, or just avoid harassment, do not feel bad about being a bit dishonest. You do what you have to do to survive. You can come here to vent anytime. We care about you.
I believe that introversion can be caused by not feeling safe to just be real but not necessarily due to religion. It is not even safe to tell a cook you screwed up and need fries after ordering hash-browns anymore, seems everyone demands their version of perfection from others but they expect their faults to be understood. At 55 I am shocked by how in-your-face people are with their opinions. I have heard so many people tell other people what they should do, think or feel that it boggles the mind and even though I am an outgoing person I would rather just not bother trying to figure out who I can talk to without fear of an attack for our differences.
I live in Southern California and have always been out about my atheism. I know some extrovert atheists that aren’t out to their family. I think there is a lot more to introvertness than atheism. Although I can see how that can contribute to your introvertness because of your geographic location.