So often I have felt there’s something wrong with me. Why do I get so worn out when I socialize? Health limitations don’t help, neither have past hurts, trust issues, and having been the target of slander. But still… there was something deeper. Something about how I was wired.
I know I am an introvert, but I beat myself up over it. I feel like those who socialize more can make more of a positive difference, so I must be failing. But it’s just not me… I still would rather be a small mouse in a corner – observing, listening, analyzing – than to be part of a social gathering. It’s not that I don’t like people. I love them dearly. It’s just that quiet, private spaces are necessary for resuscitation, revival, and renewal.
Last week I read Holley Gerth’s blog post – There’s Something You Should Know About Me. As she confided she is an introvert, a resonant chord twanged in my heart. Tears flowed as I realized it was an answer to prayer. God created this part of me, too, and I shouldn’t resist it. I should accept it as the me God created me to be. I should quit fighting this part of who I am. As Holley wrote, “We honor God when we honor who He created us to be.”
If you’re an introvert like me, it’s ok. Don’t fight against the way your nervous system is wired. I love how Holley explains it:
“Your nervous system is like a net that catches stimulation in your environment–things like noise, lights, words and facial expressions.
If you’re an extrovert, you’ve got extra large holes in your net. You can handle a lot of stimulation before you get overwhelmed. If you’re in the middle of extrovert-introvert you’ve got average size holes. If you’re an introvert with a highly sensitive nervous system you catch everything. So you’re easily and quickly overstimulated.”
(7 Ways You Can Love an Introvert)
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
“Basically, an introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people.
Introverts are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. They often avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy. This is true even if they have good social skills. After being with people for any length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to ‘recharge.'” (Introvert Definition and Characteristics)
“Basically, an extrovert is a person who is energized by being around other people. This is the opposite of an introvert who is energized by being alone.
Extroverts tend to ‘fade’ when alone and can easily become bored without other people around. When given the chance, an extrovert will talk with someone else rather than sit alone and think.”
(What Is an Extrovert?)
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, that’s how God wired you, so embrace yourself as you are. Trying to be the opposite of how we’re wired is like swimming against a strong current. Exhausting with no progress forward. Just let God use you just as you are wherever you are. Let His love and grace flow through you and spill out to anoint others whether it’s one person at a time or many people at once. Let Him guide you through the gifts He has given you whether it’s through talking or writing. You are marvelously made whichever way it is, and you are enough.