On the topic of introverts I discovered a book that discusses the place for the introverted personality within the church. I haven’t read it yet. I just ordered it.
It was first brought to my attention by Susan Cain’s book “Quiet” in her third section of chapter two “Does God love introverts?” It was a confirmation in my spirit. I see so many reasons that I have felt like an outsider, an outcast all my life.
The American Evangelical church is so loud and extroverted. I wonder why I hadn’t realized this before. I grew up in the church and maybe that’s why.
I have recently been having a personal crisis of faith brought on by deep disillusionment with not only the church but people in general. So I was away from my church for quite some time and when I went back there after the absence I thought, “Oh my gosh, this is REALLY loud!”
I made a brave decision to stop attending that church. I feared, “What will my husband say? What will they think of me?” I first told my therapist that I was rolling the idea arounding in my mind of changing churches. I guess I was looking for moral support in classic codependent style an “okay” to make me feel that my decision was approved of by someone other than me.
God made all the different personalities. And all of us need to aim for balance, but usually what happens it we pit one personality as good and one as bad. I think this is a mistake.
I have a confidence now that God made me for a reason. And He seems to me, to be confirming that I can stop trying to be someone other than me. Because when I tried to be this bubbly-outgoing person I was despising my quiet, reserve self as unacceptable. I was rejecting myself. This is so damaging to esteem.
Sure, I need to work on being friendly. I come across as very serious to those I do not know well. But I don’t think we need to put everyone in this box that turns out carbon christian copies.
I am shy at times and no I do not think this is selfishness. It is self-consciousness. I am still working through a lot of painful memories and I have great fear of being rejected. I am surprised when people actually like me because for such a long time I thought I was a giant “screw up”. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right and that people where constantly pointing their fingers at me in judgement. It’s a horrible feeling. God knows. God cares.
As an introvert, the message that I got deep down was that I was unacceptable and selfish. I still get this message in fact from various people close to me. But I see that God wants to develop my inner strength, my character to be able to stand up and say, “I’m sorry you feel that way. But I am going to be who I am.”
And yes, I am selfish sometimes. I am not perfect. I use to try to be and that just about drove me insane. What is grace for?
How often do you see an introvert going up to an extrovert and telling him to be more quiet? Or telling him he’s selfish for talking so much?
If this isn’t being vulnerable then I am sorry I do not know what vulnerability is.