confessions of an introvert…

she so sweet.  she sits there, arms folded, smiling, silent, precious as a doll… perfect.

he’s so tender, couldn’t hurt a fly, speaking softly, avoiding direct eye contact… delightful.

Tenderness and timidity are very different.  Self-control and shyness are not synonymous.  I was  a tenacious little girl.  I was a defiant teenager.  Decades later, tenacity and defiance met grace and developed an ardent adult. There were within my years of splendor, many seasons of silence.  Sometimes silence was forced.  Sometimes silenced was a result of fear.  And once in awhile, silence was just wisdom.  I am an introvert by definition and diagnosis.  Most people who have known me only in crowded settings or “work” environments would never come to that conclusion.  I am high energy.  I am the leader of the pack.  I am the orchestrator of good conversation and the mayor of the dance floor.  But those that have known me beyond these created spaces, have observed a whole different side of me.

It is not the people that energize me, but my purpose within the space that energizes me. This is what I am supposed to do.  This is why I am here.  Beyond the energetic space, there is also the unfamiliar quiet space, filled with individuals that are unrelated and unresponsive to each other.  The patio at Panera, the restroom at Rite Aid, the parking garage at the gym, the waiting room at the doctor’s office, the gate at the airport, all examples of likely silence in a shared space.  I love silence.  But with the awareness of purpose, I must question it before I rest in it.  As long as silence isn’t the result of fear, or perhaps even worse, indifference, I can enjoy it.

Relating and responding to the people within my reach is a part of my purpose and existence.  Being an introvert can never be an excuse to refuse engagement, never.

God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control

2 Timothy 1:7 NCV

 

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  • Comments (13)
  1. Silence is golden, but sometimes it unrightly justifies those around me.

  2. Today for me silence is wisdom, shear restraint, and enforced by the possibility of an explosion! Good post.

    • johncentofanti
    • November 2nd, 2010

    Sometimes people are silent because they don’t want to deal with the consequences. Sometimes that ends up letting wrong continue.

      • JuliaKate
      • November 3rd, 2010

      very true. i think we’ve all seen it and most of us have been a part of it.
      thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  3. I’ve found you very shy

      • JuliaKate
      • February 1st, 2011

      I know, I know. I get that all the time… not really:) I’ve got the whole world fooled! I’m just a social introvert, who rarely tweets about my times of “recharging”.

      • Going to the gym doesn’t make you an athlete! Talking with people with a level of interest doesn’t take you out of the “shy” category either. It is an act of discipline and power – a choice to work toward seeing a person, finding interest and engaging that interest, concern and even compassion with a whole heart – allowing for something to build from a moment in time, or a long term relationship! May we as believers not try to escape His instruction with excuses of fear and trembling…simply move forward, having planned ahead (by being a whole person with lots of interests) and trust that something good will happen! Good blog Daugherty…

        Sincerely,

        Sometimes shy

          • JuliaKate
          • February 1st, 2011

          It’s quite interesting that shy is not a part of the psychological definition of Introvert. And also equally as interesting that Timidity is not a Fruit of the Spirit;) I am an Introvert because of the way I process & recharge.
          Regardless of personality, we all have the same charge… Engage, love, give, befriend, go, do, be amongst. Amen & amen:)

    • Amanda
    • February 1st, 2011

    Thank you for this. I ought to share it with the teenage introvert who has been living with me for 8 months, but I think instead I will use it as words of wisdom on how to relate to her. She does, however, refuse engagement…but she’s also 16 😉 Thanks for sharing a part of you with “us” 🙂
    Take care,
    Amanda

      • JuliaKate
      • February 1st, 2011

      thanks for stopping by Amanda and commenting. Introverts are more prone to “shutting down” and isolating themselves, but mostly because of the extensive internal processing they tend to do. for some it can become a rabbit hole. i’ve been there. it’s dark, empty, and lonely. i do like 80% of my processing internally, but then push myself to resource my friends and family with a portion before i conclude that “i’ve got it all figured out”. guess it takes time to learn these things and put them into practice. you and your girls are always in my prayers:)

  4. This composition is right on- very well written! You and I are very similar. In this post I have more specific insight into what I attempt to act upon in social settings. Just as well, I appreciate your transparecny!

      • JuliaKate
      • February 2nd, 2011

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting James. the encouragement to remain transparent is always appreciated:)

  5. thank you for sharing. this describes me well – and you’ve put into words what i have discovered of myself over time.

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