We’re going to play a little guessing game today. I’m going to describe a certain characteristic of myself, and you get to guess what it is. (*Cheers semi-enthusiastically*)
I’m a great listener. (Actually, I only appear to be a great listener. I’m honestly an awful listener, but I rarely say anything in a group of people; so I seem like a good listener.) I love one-on-one conversations (or even one-on-three conversations). I am exhausted after any social gathering (unless I only stay at said social gathering for fifteen minutes). I need more me-time than people-time (like, three times as much me-time).
Who am I?
I am an introvert.
I know, I know. You’re probably shocked. 😛
Believe it or not, I find certain situations worrying—even nerve-wracking. In fact, I’ve narrowed down my list of these situations to the three that scare me most as an introvert.
These three words are:
- Small talk
Nothing could possibly make this little game called “small talk” any more awkward.
Small talk is basically filling the air with pointless words so that the people involved in the conversation don’t feel awkward. But it just causes awkwardness.
I don’t care to know about the time your Aunt Sally stubbed her toe on a pineapple, and you don’t care to know why I hate garlic bread.
Oh. My. Word. Just thinking about this word gives me goosebumps.
Why do pastors, teachers, bosses, and even friends think we enjoy this awful activity? Nothing truly beneficial comes from it. In fact, it often leads to the dreaded small talk.
When my pastor encourages us to say hi to the people beside us, that is my cue to either go to the bathroom or hide under my pew. And I would prefer to hide under my pew because I might run into someone on my way to the bathroom and be forced to make small talk with her.
Why do parties scare me? Because I never know who’s going to be at a party or what it will be like. A party could be a small group of friends, gathered to watch Good Luck Charlie, eat cookie dough from a tub, and play board games. That sounds fun.
What doesn’t sound fun is a crowd of a hundred people (ninety-nine of whom I don’t know) in a small, dark room with loud music. And constant chatter. That sounds terrifying.
-What if someone starts talking to me? What will I say? How will I act?
-What if I can’t find my only friend when I arrive? Who will I hang out with for the remaining two hours and fifty-five minutes of the party?
-Or—worse—what if I find my friend, but she leaves me to start talking with someone else?
Anything but that!
(The big problem with parties, by the way, is the awful combination of small talk and mingling.)
Unfortunately, I may just have to deal with the awkward activities involved with being an introvert. I guess extroverts find silence, standing alone, and small gatherings uncomfortable and just have to deal with those things.
Like it or not, I was created as an introvert. I can either grumble about my introverted-ness or embrace it (and I think the best option would be to embrace it).
Whether or not you like your personality, try to accept it and even appreciate it. God made each of us with a specific personality for a reason, so discover what you love about yours.
Your hands have made and fashioned me (Psalm 119:73a, ESV).