I came across an interesting video along my YouTube feed about four types of introverts. They were the Social Introvert, Restrained Introvert, Anxious Introvert and Thinking Introvert. The Thinking Introvert and perhaps Restrained Introvert sounds like me, however, I think I am mix of all four. Here is a link to the video: https://youtu.be/dNKQYjsxgPU .
I have come to understand (basically accept) that I am shy and introverted. And that is okay. I am uncomfortable speaking in front of others. I have foregone food until after a speaking engagement, avoided mics (I don’t want anyone to see my hand shake), gotten physically sick and lately I think I just run out of breath. I get through speaking in front of others by the grace of God and much preparation (and building confidence). There are times I get nervous presenting a workshop to students that I have even worked with multiple times. I used to know how to dance, pick up a dance, or at least manage my two feet when I was younger and around my cousins or by myself. Now, I got two left feet and won’t dare dance around anyone unless I have a bolt of joy and don’t mind feeling awkward.
I also tend to be in my head a lot. I love spending time thinking. On the flip side, I tend to also worry over if I said something right or did something enough. And I too need ample of amount of time to just be alone and recoup from being overwhelmed. If I could Thanos snap people away when I felt like it or just press pause… 😆.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love people. I love encouraging others and showing up for others. And I do genuinely interact with people, am family-oriented, and have been described as bubbly. In fact, I loved planning get-togethers with my friends, family vacation trips, and family nights. I still love planning such but haven’t planned much as of now, except family nights and maybe an outing or two with my best friend. I also like staying home most times, but I do love nature and love getting out doors.
I don’t like talking on the phone much and prefer to text. I also love reading or just watching movies. I enjoy my own company much of the time. I say this not with proudness.
As an introvert and a shy person, how does this affect me as a Christian? I don’t know as I am just asking myself this. I do know that God can still get the glory from a shy, introvert like me. And it makes sense how He has given me the gifts of encouragement and mercy. I thank God that although I need time alone and love my own company, I have care and concern for others. I am not treading through life selfishly. However, on the flip side, I am learning to set boundaries. It is not good to be all about just yourself, but you do have to pour into yourself, invest in yourself, take care of yourself, create moments and space for self. Then only can you adequately and without resentment pour into someone else’s cup. God did say to love others as you love yourself. Some of us need to learn to love ourselves.
God has helped me to encourage others through my writing. God has helped me to be able to create memories and moments for others. God has blessed and will bless me continually with purposeful relationships. Just because I am an introvert and am shy, doesn’t mean God can’t still use me. Sometimes, I have to press out of my comfort zone. Sometimes (well maybe most of the time), I have to rest after. But God can and will still use me.
We are to share God’s Word and love through speech and action. Whether you are shy and introverted or not, you can still impact others with the heart and Word of God.
You may be an introvert and Christian also. But know that although these things describe your personality and are some facets to who you are, it is God that truly defines who you are. Your identity lies within Him. And with that, just don’t let these characteristics or traits, whatever they are called, keep you shut off from the world. He sent us to go into the world to spread His Word and love, to finish up where Jesus left off. And yes, do remember to take time to replenish yourself and set boundaries as you challenge your fears as well as develop good relationships and support systems. Nothing wrong with taking care of your self and mind.