The Rambling Thoughts of an Introvert.
If those words seem familiar, it’s because that’s the tagline for my blog. It’s the one quote I decided to stand by, but why did I choose it? (You may also ask why I chose The Swanky Potato as the name for my blog, but that’s a story for another day) Well I’m here to debunk what you know about introverts, because I believed a lot of things that weren’t necessarily true about us introverts.
To start us off, being an introvert does not always mean being shy, or unsocial, even though most introverts are. Introverts are people who think, and act stronger when around less people, or none at all. After being around a lot of people, they might need a break, or they might want to go home and rest to recharge their social energy. We’re like laptops, which can work when not plugged in, but soon need to charge again. Extroverts are more like computers. They’re always plugged in, and have no need to be unplugged at all. In other words, Extroverts thrive in social environments with a bunch of friends, and would be more likely to accept invitations to parties, or go to group gatherings then Introverts would.
Now before I get into how God’s plan fits into all of this, I need to clear one more thing up. There are four types of Introverts, but most Introverts inherit all four types in one way or the other. They are:
Social: Which is finding more enjoyment or feeling more comfortable in small groups, or even being alone entirely. It doesn’t mean they have anxiety necessarily, but mostly means they prefer to stick with less people, since their brains are strongest when not crowded around people.
Thinking: These types of introverts are much more self-reflective thinkers, who often get lost in thought and are often thoughtful people, interested in deep discussions/conversation.
Anxious: These types of introverts like to be alone because they aren’t confident in their social and conversational skills. They get self-conscious and are anxious to share thoughts and opinions out of fear of judgement.
Restrained: These last type of introverts are generally slower to act or speak, and need to take a lot more time in their decision making process.
Now here we are, what has that all got to do with God? Well here’s my deal: We live in a world where extroversion is praised, and introversion is generally frowned upon. If you don’t believe me, look at schools and workplaces, and even just around friends. Schools emphasise speaking up as often as you can, and make some students do group projects with people they might not know. A lot of jobs nowadays involve tightly knit cubicles and offices where people are put closely together, or need to interact with people often. And don’t get me started on friends. It seems like saying no to a party is frowned upon as if you’d be a fool not to want to interact with 40 people you barely know because you’re insecure. Even in the Christian world, how can introverts fit in? If Introverts are reserved and need to be alone often, then how can we “make disciples of all nations” as the bible tells us to? (Matthew 28:19) That would involve speaking up, going on missions trip where we’d talk with strangers, and even pursuing a job as a pastor or a youth leader/teacher. Those things require quite a bit of skill in the pubic speaking area, and may require you to be someone who doesn’t get anxious in front of crowds of people. So do I need to change? Do I have an issue for being an Introvert? Of course not, and I’ll tell you why.
I am an Introvert, I feel like you don’t even have to know me to see that, all you have to do is look how I act around people. I keep my arms behind my back and fidget with my hands, I zone off while people are laughing and making jokes, my answers to questions are quite short, or I say I’m going to Church camp, but really being around so many people for 6 days straight will drain my energy. But if you’ve looked around my blog, you’d see I have no shortage of things to say. So what’s my deal? Well here’s a good way to explain it: quiet people might not talk a lot, but they can still have loud minds. If you could take the conversations I have at youth group, which usually have around 30-40 people, and compare them to the conversations I have at Life groups, which usually have 10-15 people, you’d see quite a change. It’s a very phsychological thing honestly, that when around more people, I shy away and say next to nothing, but when I’m around a few close friends who are discussing God, you can’t get me to stop talking! I work, and I think a lot better when I feel comfortable with the people I’m sharing with, and there are only a few of them there.
So who says Introverts don’t fit into God’s plan? Obviously introverts like me do have good ideas, and can love talking about and sharing the gospel as much as the next guy. So there is a fit for us in God’s plan, we just have to dig a little to find it. Like I said, put me around a group of friends at a party, I’m sheepish. Put me alone with something to write on, a piano to play with, a room to think in, and you have something amazing. My mind is rambling with thoughts. The point of me writing this is to help people see Introverts in a brighter light, and not see them as just quiet people, but rather as people who can be intellectual, observant, and willing to serve God with all their hearts, and that’s really all that matters, all it boils down to is a heart to serve the Lord. So, I take pride in my introverted self, knowing that some people have strength in numbers, but people like me can still have strength in small, bite-sized numbers. Extroverts and Introverts work differently from each other, but neither is better than the other as long as God is on your heart above all else. So I end this post, by saying this: serve God, and don’t be afraid to be a little different than others. It’s in our differences that show that God created us with unique purposes. Some are here to preach in front of people, some are here to write in the comfort of solitude. But in both ways we are doing service to God and his kingdom. Thanks for reading, and I’ll keep writing.