This Sunday night our Church has a membership class and I was reminded of the introduction I used to do for this class in another Church. I would always start with a little history of the Church and then I would begin talking about the staff. I was first on the list and I wanted people to know me better so I would tell that I was their pastor and I was probably the only pastor they would know who didn’t like people. They would laugh and then I would tell them about how much of an introvert I am. I would explain how I loved Jesus and wanted to serve the Lord, but he tricked me and made me part of a bunch of people. I would look around the room and see some people with shock on their face and other people nodding in agreement.
It has taken years but I am slowly becoming more understanding of how God made me. Each of you reading this are in one of two positions. One, you are right here with me. You will nod in agreement to this post in many ways. Two, you have no idea what I am talking about because you are an extrovert. But there are people you know and love who are very similar to me.
1. I like individuals, but not groups. Large groups of people are draining to me. I illustrate it like being put in a pool with piranhas. They tear away at me a little at a time. On the other hand, I love a having a deep one on one conversation.
2. Spending time with lots of people exhausts me. Sunday morning wipes me out. I take a nap almost every Sunday afternoon after spending time with people.
3. Alone time energizes me. My hobbies are metal detecting, hunting, and fishing. One of the reasons that I like these activities is because I do them alone. I can spend time inside my own head and get my thoughts clear. It keeps me balanced.
4. I love to talk once I get to know you. My wife says that I do not shut up:-) If I do not know you, I will come off as reserved, awkward and shy. Once I know you and trust you I will share almost anything about myself.
5. I will avoid situations just to avoid people. I plan shopping trips around the number of people I think will be at the store. I avoid events with large crowds.
6. I spend a lot of time inside my head. This is why I like reading. The internet also holds a certain appeal. I think a lot about what I should have said or done. I hold complete interactions in my brain without ever acting. I enjoy fantasy worlds of my own creation.
7. I don’t understand extroverts. I do admire them. I wish I could act without over thinking. I dream about talking to strangers and not feel awkward and uncomfortable. One day I hope to share my faith without overwhelming fears of rejection.
8. I feel a kindred spirit with other introverts. When someone tells me of their struggles it makes me think I am not alone. I am glad I am not the only one who thinks or acts this way. If you are like me, I am your friend.
This is just a beginning of the things you should know about me and other introverts. Our world may be different from yours. I know it is hard for some to understand but bear with me. I love Jesus and I want to like you, it is just going to take time.