Before I found out about the word “introvert” I was labeling myself as “reserved” and “quiet.”
All of these words in one way or another speaks to some aspects of my personality, but they are not the sum total of who I am.
When you’re an introvert, that means that you primarily turn “inwards” or find satisfaction with your inner thought life. You find it enjoyable to spend a lot of time alone or in solitude. Nothing wrong with that.
It only becomes a problem when you use it as an excuse to stay by yourself.
It’s true that after about two hours into a party or social gathering, I’ve seen all that I need to see and then I’m ready to go home. That’s introversion at it’s finest.
However, I’ve also been doing something that is completely different from introversion.
I’ve been isolating myself.
At first I was in denial. I didn’t think that I was. I just kept telling myself that I’m not that fond of people.
But that wasn’t true either.
What I wasn’t fond of was having to communicate with people. It wasn’t because I didn’t like them or that I wasn’t fond of them. It was because I didn’t want to have to talk about myself.
I didn’t want to talk about myself for a few reasons:
- There’s nothing special about me. A thought that I would often have. These people are doing wonderful things. They have something that stands out about them. Something that makes them special. I don’t. So, I was very fearful of having to have that conversation and not have anything to show for.
- I’m not very smart. Well, I think I’m smart in certain aspects but not in the way that other people are. They know “stuff.” Facts, history, knowledge from text books. Meanwhile, I’ve never cared about any of that stuff. Especially things that I felt didn’t directly effect me. I didn’t want to have conversations with anybody about “why this matters” or “why that matters” or “why you should do this” or “why you should know that.” I just didn’t (and still don’t) want to be bothered with that. I just like to talk about basic human relationships and experiences in the simplest way possible. So, I had this fear that other people would think that I lacked “depth.”
- I don’t want to make any new friends. I think I did (and I do), but I’ve found that I search for a certain amount of loyalty within them. And I’ve found that I give more loyalty than I get. But I guess that’s an error in how I view human relationships and friendships. People will always fail you in some way or another. They are not God. I guess I just didn’t want to be disappointed, or betrayed, or looked passed when the next “friend” came along.
And so, all of these things lead me to isolate myself. Being reserved had moved far past being introverted. I was now in a place of isolation.
But as I grow, God is showing me that I need relationships. We all do. There have been a few experiences and themes this year that have already showed me that.
As I grow, I know that He wants to move me to a place of wholeness.
Wholeness requires balance. So, while it’s okay to be introverted. It’s not okay to be so to the point where it moves me to the other end of the scale, which is isolation. Isolation is on one far end of the relationship spectrum, and who knows what is on the other end. There has to be a middle ground. That middle ground is called, balance. Balance lives right there in the center. It’s called stability. Stability and wholeness in a sense are synonymous. You can’t be whole if you’re off-kilter because wholeness requires balance and balance requires stability. Get it?
Shout out to God for that breakdown.
He’s helping me understand His way, His plan, and His purpose for me in this life.