I hope you don’t mind this food for thought from someone who is very, very different than you. As an introvert, I do not enjoy being in crowds or walking up to strangers and talking. But I am worth getting to know, which you will discover if you can just remember a few basic things.
1. I won’t interrupt you, so you will need to stop talking for a minute. I know you’re interesting and I like hearing about you, but to get to know me you will need to take a breath and be quiet. Just because I am not jumping in with stories about myself doesn’t mean I have nothing to say.
2. Just because I’m an introvert doesn’t mean I am shy. Not all introverts are shy. I like one on one conversations and I will talk and be outgoing. I don’t mind being approached (although approaching people myself is nearly paralyzing) so feel free to come talk to me! I don’t consider myself shy at all.
3. Just because I am not like you doesn’t make me wrong. We are different, to be sure. But God made me an introvert because it’s how I am supposed to be! I like to be in smaller groups, I don’t enjoy being out among people for long periods of time and I would rather eat glass than go to a crowded theme park. But I am actually content and I don’t need you to try to change me.
4. I am happy being alone. If you see me all alone in the lunchroom, you don’t need to feel sorry for me! I like being alone. I don’t need you to rescue me from that. If you want to come talk to me that’s great, but if you have other things to do that’s great too! I am actually happy sitting there by myself.
5. We need each other! I need for you to help me approach people and stay close when I’m in a crowd (I might even hold your hand!). You need me to help you know when you’re being too pushy and to help you build a relationships with other introverts.
I have a dear, dear friend (Roxanne, the director of the Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit) who is the extrovertest person I have ever known! When we first met she got right in my face, all bouncy and excited to meet me and she had lots to say. I actually took a big step back, held out my arm and said, “Whoa. You need to stand back while we talk and tone it down a little.” She didn’t know what to think of me! I now know that it hurt her feelings a little and I am sorry for that (in my defense, she is VERY outgoing), but my protective instinct kicked in. She now knows that was just me being Lisa and she loves me anyway (for which I am very grateful!). We have discovered through building a friendship that we can have a deep appreciation for our differences. We don’t try to change each other; we bring out the best in each other!
I love my extrovert friends, I wish sometimes it was easier for me to walk up and meet people. But I know that the challenge is good for me and I do try to push myself out of my comfort zone. Sometimes.
Let’s do this….you let me be myself and I let you be yourself and we can help each other in our weak areas?!
Your Introvert Friend