This blog comes from a recent conversation with someone who feels I have become a “hermit” and withdrawn from community. So I sat down to evaluate my life. It’s taken a couple of weeks of processing a lone but here is what I see about myself.
I am sharing it here because what I realized is that there may be others trying to “fit in” or “fix themselves” when there is nothing broken. :-)
The last couple of years, since being unemployed, God has taken me on an amazing journey of self discovery. He has given me a better picture of who He has created me to be, not just in the spiritual, but also in the emotional.
Much of my blog in the past two years I have shared the spiritual journey. A journey that has led to a fuller healing of abuse and abandonment. A journey that has helped me understand truly who I am BECAUSE of Christ and who I am IN Christ.
I’ve learned to speak truth to myself instead of believing lies. I’ve learned to study for myself in a deeper way. And I’ve come to understand that God has created me for a special purpose and I will not be content until I am in the center of God’s will for my life. Today I am finding that the better I understand how I am wired the better I am able to see just how God is using me.
I have come to see that my life is not going to look like everyone else. And that is okay. God created me (and you) to be unique and to try to fit myself into a certain mold or to try to be just like someone else would be to deny who God created me to be.
So, for what it’s worth, here is what I know about me…
It seems to me that I am often misunderstood. I sure I can get a lot of people agreeing with me here as many of us feel the same! Amen? I have heard a lot of people describe me in ways that I would not.
There are those that tend to think that I should some how be able to join them in living life “out loud” or stop “being SO serious” all the time. They think that somehow I should be able “fix myself in order to “fit in”. Can I just say that I have tried it and “It’s exhausting!” I don’t know all you extroverts to it…but then God wired you that way and it’s good.
Please understand I am not shy, but I am an introvert. I do love to talk. Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Being shy is usually based on a fear of people and I am not afraid to talk. I just need a reason to talk!
I am not always going to interact for the sake of interacting. I do not like small talk. So if you want to talk just start talking. I can and do interact with others, I am just not going to initiate small talk. Usually I am quiet unless I feel I have something to contribute to the conversation. I am not quiet because I am upset, or something is wrong. I am not trying to ignore anyone. I just have nothing of value to add.
On the other hand, engage with me on a topic I am passionate about and I may not shut up!!!
I am not rude, mean or dislike people. I wish I had a dime for every time I have heard that I’ve ignored someone or was rude, mean etc. It’s not who I am or even want to be. But I do understand that sometimes it can appear that way, especially to those who may be insecure or are extroverts and think everyone should be the same.
To be honest I just find all the social small talk tiring and often insincere. It’s exhausting and I DO work at it, but it doesn’t just come natural.
Why should I ask you how you are if all you are going to say is “fine”, whether you are or not? And why in the world would you ask me how I am if you don’t care to listen to my answer?
Please understand. I get it. I get that we are to ask the questions and I do participate, but at the same time it can become difficult because it all just seems so insincere.
I really do have friends. This is an area I’ve come to an even deeper understanding of recently. I intensely value my close friends. In fact if you are a close friend you need to understand that I will be loyal for life. I recognize that I will not have a large group of friends, currently I have less than a hand full of close dear friends. It’s enough.
I also have friends that I just enjoying being around. I care about them, love them and want to sit and hear their hearts. I want to know what God is doing in their lives. I want to encourage them, be there for them.
I don’t always like to be alone. While I am perfectly comfortable with my thoughts. I do think a lot. Write. Read. Get involved in solitary projects. But, I also get very lonely when I don’t have anyone to share or process with. I often desire to have that one authentic and sincere connection with another person.
I DO know how to relax and have fun. Really I do! But being in public with lots of noise and other social activities, for long periods of time, will cause me to become overloaded. I will shut down.
For me relaxing is being at home or taking a walk, sitting with a friend over coffee. It doesn’t mean I can not relax and have fun in large groups, it just means that instead of being energized by all the activity it will drain me. I am more energized in smaller more intimate settings.
To me having fun is opening up God’s word and digging deep. Talking with someone about what God is teaching them. It’s fun to sit and listen to someone’s story…to their heart. I want to be able to connect deeply with others.
And finally, No I can’t just “fix it” and become an Extrovert. There is nothing wrong with being an introvert. I don’t need to “fix it”. Imagine for a moment what the world would be like without us. Typically Introverts are your scientists, musicians, artists, poets, writers, pastors and theologians.
Besides it is how God created me, and it’s a good thing.