Friday, September 6, 2013

Shy AND Introverted...a Killer Combo!

I've found myself wishing way too much lately that I had a more wowzer personality, that I could regale a crowd with a humorous or fascinating story (instead of hurrying through everything I say for fear of losing my audience's interest entirely), that I was the type of individual others thought of as a fun and zany addition to any social event, that I wasn't so shy.  I am usually the quiet one in the corner, listening with rapt attention to the captivating extroverts in the room. I am the one who thinks curling up with a good book can sometimes be more enjoyable than going to a big party.  I am the one who begins to stutter and see spots before my eyes when I realize that more than one person is listening to what I'm saying (a public speaker I am NOT!).

I often tell my husband that I think I come off better in writing than I do in person.  I can put just what I'd like to say down on paper--but if you ask me to look you in the eye and say it, right there on the spot without a chance to collect my thoughts, I sometimes crumble.  Give me a pen and paper a typewriter a laptop, and I'm golden, though.  I saw this Flannery O'Connor quote on "Catholic All Year" today, and it sums up my weird God-given personality to a T.  (Kendra Tierney, forgive me for lifting this image right off your blog and planting it on mine.)
"What is wrong with me?" I often think.  "How in the world do people come up with all that stellar small talk that makes them so much fun to be around?"  And worst of all, I sometimes wonder, "Why didn't God make me like those extroverts I admire so?"  (You don't have to tell me that that this is a weakness and a flaw in my character, and that I should be ashamed of myself for questioning God; whenever I realize I'm doing it, I am appropriately contrite.)

Accepting who you are, and how God made you, is not as easy as it seems like it should be. Even knowing that the world would be a boring and frustrating place if we were all created exactly alike doesn't always take away that wish to be more like this one or that one or so-and-so.  Humility is a wonderful virtue--but without a healthy sort of self-love, we cannot properly love others.  So I just ate up this YouTube video that my soon-to-be (wonderfully extroverted!) daughter-in-law showed me a couple of weeks ago.  It's a talk by Susan Cain, a self-proclaimed introvert who wrote a book about the positive aspects of "introversion." It's about 20 minutes long, but well worth the time.  After watching it, I was reminded that there are lots of others out there like me--and even though we don't make the most noise, the world needs what we have to offer, too.


  1. Greatest Ted Talk ever! I love introverts!

  2. That was such a powerful talk (I just eagerly watched the whole thing). Thanks so much to you for posting it and to Katie for originally finding it.

    I am very much an introvert too--probably why I love writing so much, and why I don't mind spending hours alone in a practice room, just me and a piano :) And as Susan Cain said in the TED talk, I think it's really sad that our culture tends to dismiss the quietness and contemplativeness of people who are more introspective. I've definitely felt guilty about it at times, and have wondered if I should try to be a different way. Which is so backwards, and I try not to fall into that line of thinking too often (as you said, who are we to question God?), but it's hard not to.

    Anyway, I could go on and on! Really loved this post. Maybe I'll write something on this topic myself one of these days...:)

    1. I know--isn't that the best video? Sometimes I find myself feeling a bit inferior to more extroverted people, and it was a good reminder that there's nothing shameful about being an introvert.

      I'm looking forward to meeting you when you and Steve come north!

  3. In the depths of my spiritual journey during these past few years, I discovered that I was an introvert. It is the best gift God gave me: that realization. Everything made sense from there on and I have been slowly learning to live my life as an introvert which has so many different meanings that I culdn't even begin to elaborate.

    You know, you always spoke to my spirit and now I know why!

    You, Laura, are a gifted and talented woman (anyone reading Find Grace or your warm, witty and welcoming blog posts will know) and it is my good fortune to have now read this post of yours!

    1. What sweet comments, Cheryl--and what a wonderful surprise having you visit my blog!

      You spoke to my spirit, too. After I read about you and found out your reasons for starting your publishing company, I just knew Bezalel was the right home for my book. That's one decision I've never regretted!

      Thank you--for your kind comments here and so many other things.