The Smiths had it right “shyness is nice.” Over the years though, I have truly come to appreciate being a shy introvert.
But in the second line, Morrissey says “Shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life that you’d like to.” Woah, woah, woah, woah, WOAH…stop right there.
It hasn’t always been easy being an introvert. When you are a kid no one really tells you this. People mistake the introvert for being shy, or stand-offish, narcissistic, arrogant, stuck-up, snobby, mean, self-centered (yeah, I’ve heard them all). Introverts feel way more comfortable with one friend than fifteen friends and most of their world happens between their ears. At least that is true to me. I spend a lot of time in my head thinking over things, analyzing things, my mind is always processing. I like it that way. But there are also side effects, some pretty cool ones. Over time, I’ve developed a keen sense of intuition that has served me very well. And to some degree, being introverted has even inoculated me from being picked on as a kid or giving a rip as an adult. Being in my head means that I don’t hear 80% of what other people say unless I am choosing to listen – I call this accidental narcissism. I feel you, Introverts!
Please, don’t get me wrong, I love extroverts. I married one. He has made me more outgoing and has slowly trained me over the years to be more spontaneous and social because sitting in my house in a big oversized chair reading a book with a fluffy blanket and a sleeping cat on my lap had to end some time, right?
But I think what I love the most about being an introvert is that I get to catch glimpses of people that they may not ever see in themselves. See, being in my head has made me an excellent observer of people even when I am not intentionally trying to watch them. In fact, I have been humbled and honored to know two women for the past seven years that probably have no idea how much strength, beauty, grace and humility they possess. Both of these women are married to leaders at our church and have shouldered so much for our church family. When they are weak, I see strength. When they are honest, I see humility. When they stumble, I see grace. They are not perfect, but they have never wavered in their character and have never wavered in their faith and that is a rare trait. They are the same genuine people today that they were when I first met them and yet, they have responded intentionally to all of the things life has thrown at them. And life has thrown some doozies at these ladies. I should probably stop talking about them, because I know they wouldn’t ever like any attention. It’s just not how they roll.
I am grateful for the ability to see people. I am grateful to have had the privilege of knowing some truly amazing people. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
p.s. yes, I am a Christian who listens to The Smiths and Morrissey…sometimes even the Cure.
p.p.s. For more information on our Pastor and his recent surgery, please visit www.gregrohlinger.com
Categories: All The Rest