A few months ago, I had taken one of those personality tests that have been circulating around the Internet for a while now. You know, those quizzes that suspiciously seem to know you better than you know yourself? Yeah, one of those. And believe me, it did not disappoint.
My results uncovered personal character traits that I had never considered before, and my mind was
B L O W N.
I was deemed an INFJ.
And at first, I was like . . . “No, that can’t be. I can’t be an introvert. They’re oddly quiet and unbelievably secluded. I don’t want to be one of those.”
I was wrong.
Introverts are UNIQUE.
Introverts are C R E A T I V E.
Introverts are PASSIONATE and DETERMINED.
And I am proud to be one.
I used to be embarrassed by my quiet personality and meek temperament. I wanted to be loud and expressive like those around me.
I was tired of being the wallflower.
I was tired of being the quiet one.
I was just plain tired.
I yearned to be the center of attention while perpetually trying to stay out of the spotlight as much as possible. (Pretty counterintuitive, huh?) I tried to change who I was because I felt inferior to those around me.
“Why can’t I make people laugh like him?”
“Um… how did she just randomly spark up a conversation like that?”
“Oh, man. There are a lot of people here. I just know I’ll fade into the background.”
^^ These are REAL thoughts that REALLY happen and REAL scenarios that REALLY play out in my mind. It’s the truth, and, boy, does it hurt.
b u t
you wanna know something pretty spectacular?
The truth also teaches us valuable lessons, and here’s one that I learned from my introverted-ness:
W E A R E A L L U N I Q U E .
And because of that, we each have a personality that is unique to us.
I have met people who can light up a room like it ain’t nobody’s business, but I have also met people who can light up a life just the same . . . only not usually in the spotlight, of course. I’ve met both kinds of people and the cool part? I don’t regard one type as superior to the other because I know that God specifically fashioned their personalities to fit and fulfill HIS purpose for them. What a reassuring thought it is to know that we can actually use our personalities (extroverted AND introverted) to better serve God and those around us.
With that being said, sometimes being introverted can be hard. I’ll be honest with you; there are days when I just wish I could swap lives with an extroverted gal and spark up conversation with everyone I meet –learn their stories, dreams, and goals– and make a boatload of new friends. (A girl can dream, right?)
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE people. I really, really do. I love to hear their stories. I love to encourage them in their strengths. I love to help them through their weakness. I love to see them light up when they talk about someone or something they admire. I love real, genuine conversation with real, genuine people because people are AWESOME.
I struggle to open up to them.
I feel intimated by them.
I feel drained by them.
Social anxiety is a real thing. Yet, I’ve learned that these feelings of intimidation only keep me from being with the people I love most.
If you’re introverted like me, I know that it can sometimes become draining.
But, I want to remind you that your personality has a purpose, and it’s okay to not be in the spotlight 24/7. (I’ll let you in on a little secret: sometimes that makes you even more noticeable.)
I want to encourage you to come out of your comfort zone and spark up conversation, even when you don’t feel like it. (I know that it will take everything in your nature not to turn around and back down, but trust me on this.)
And I want to challenge you to cultivate authentic relationships with those around you. (What blessing friendships and family are! Don’t let the “I’m too shy” lie creep in and keep you from these gifts. )
We each have something to bring to the table. So, bring it.