Make Peace With Being An Introvert
Recently I found myself in a conversation about a difficult topic that is near to my heart, introverts. I know this was not an accident but an opportunity from God to share the many lessons that my husband and I have learned over the years about introverts and how they interact with extroverts.
In the past, I honestly believed something was wrong with me because I felt different from others, in any setting or interaction. Yet, God’s Word shows me in Psalm 139:14, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well,” that he made me and it should be well with my soul. The truth is introverts can struggle in social gatherings. By learning more about introverts, I have been able to make peace with who I am , and now I can feel more comfortable in a crowd. I have had to learn how to engage people in conversation. Sometimes this is more difficult because introverts usually need time to process information before they respond. This processing can be viewed as shy, quiet or even disengaged and by the time introverts have something to say the moment has past. Many extroverts in a social setting may constantly dominate the social conversation which leaves no room for an introvert. Introverts are usually known great listeners, but many times extroverts miss out on their wisdom. Learning how to engage and respond in various social settings is important for an introvert. This is where learning from an extrovert, like my husband, can be so valuable. Now, engaging with people at a social event is not the enormity that it once was for me.
I have a loving God who blessed me with special people who chose to love me. One is my husband who has helped me learn more about myself and extroverts, so we could understand and grow as a couple. Luke 6:31 reads, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” Relationships like these are a perfect place for the Golden Rule. Introverts need down time to recharge, but extroverts need people for energy. This is a dynamic combination and each must learn to be compassionate in social gatherings. In the past when I have engaged in social events over and over, it would drain me to the point that others believed I was an unhappy or even mad. Being able to identify when this is happening is easier now for me to ensure I get the recharge I need. God created both introverts and extroverts because the world needs both! My husband and I have unique roles in our relationship.
Blessing or Curse
My husband shared this article “Introverts Don’t Hate People, They Hate Shallow Socializing” with me, and I would recommend this read and exploring Introvert, Dear.
This article really helps to understand how introverts respond in social settings. Extroverts can be a blessing for introverts, but an extrovert can also be a curse. On the flip side introverts can be the same for an extroverts if both are not learning and working together in the relationship. God calls us into relationship and made each of us different to complement one another. The struggle is not letting the curse take hold of relationships. I am reminded each day that God loves both just by reading Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” I seek the value God places on my husband, the extrovert, and I pray God shows him my value in return.
Back to the earlier conversation I mentioned, I have finally reached a point in my life that I can discuss who I am and talk about myself as an introvert and my experience with people. This conversation allowed me the opportunity to speak about introverts to a few friends who were struggling to understand a situation with some other friends. I was able to really explain that situation by sharing my own struggles and successes. The struggle continues each day as I shared weeks ago in the post “Finding God in my Mirror,” but God is constant and good. Understanding and loving others is one of Christ final commandments found in Luke 10:27, “And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’” I am blessed by God’s love for me, and I know that I must continue to work at understanding and defining who I am while I love others where they are.
What has God taught me?
Love and prayers are the answer. By providing love and an abundance of prayer my husband and I were able to understand our relationship more deeply and respect the needs of each other. I pray that for all introverts as they maneuver social settings and deep relationships with extroverts in their lives.
Closing verse: 1 Peter 3:4 “but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
Challenge: Don’t Judge Others before you really know who they are inside and out. Get to know a Quiet Spirit more deeply that God has placed in your life.