Need a friend? Be a friend. Plain and simple as that. Not so simple, you may say. Indeed, maybe not, especially if you are by nature an introvert. For the introvert, developing friendships can be a slow and tedious process. I know because I am one.
I recently read a blog that helped me understand myself as an introverted pastor’s wife who has spent her life seeking and finding great and lasting friendships. I have modified the information I found, adding to each discovery a Suggestion. I want you to understand that you are normal; you are uniquely who God created you to be. His desire is that you walk this life with friends. My prayer is that you would gain understanding of how you are wired and pursue friendships that meet the need in your life.
1. We love people. However being around lots of people for an extended period of
time can be draining. Suggestion: When you are with people, give them your best. They deserve God’s love flowing through you.
2. We need space. We need physical space - time, solitude, quiet and the grace to be allowed to withdraw from people and re-energize alone. Suggestion: Plan into your schedule time to regroup, without feeling guilty. Give yourself permission to take this
opportunity because it will not only benefit you, but your family and those you lead.
3. We most likely will not be the social hub of the congregation. It’s ok; we are
not wired that way. Suggestion: Affirm those you lead. Celebrate who they are by acknowledging their gifts and find ways to encourage them.
4. We are not exclusive. We function best in a small circle of friends because making friends is a process and takes time. Suggestion: Invite someone to lunch who seems to have few or no friends. Make her feel special because you took time to notice her.
5. We probably would rather email or text than call on the phone. This doesn’t mean that you are unfriendly, just that you may need to mentally prepare yourself for the conversation to come. In fact, talking face-to-face is preferred because we are able to read body language and facial expressions to help us understand people’s intentions. Suggestion: If emailing or texting is preferred, then use it as a tool to speak life into other’s lives. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you when you need to make those
phone calls. Ask a family member or friend to hold you accountable for it.
6. We like to listen. This is a gift. We process internally and thoroughly, not making snap judgments about others or the subject of other’s conversations.
7. We thrive on serving the Kingdom outside of the limelight. We most likely enjoy working behind the scenes, organizing details, perhaps alone and quietly without any fanfare. Suggestion: Avoid hurt feelings by accepting that it takes every member of the body of Christ for The Church to be effective.
8. We have a hard time saying no. This can lead to way too many things on your plate, leaving you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and frustrated. Suggestion: Learn to say, “No.” The Word says to not become weary in well-doing. Do His assignment!
9. We cannot “fix” ourselves and become an extrovert. God created us uniquely.
Being an introvert is not a flaw or a weakness in and of itself. Suggestion: I believe that a blessed life is a balanced life. God can help us to step out of our comfort zones and initiate friendship. His Word say, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly…” Proverbs18:24, KJV.
10. We are not perfect. It’s okay. No one is. Suggestion: Accept it. Strive for
excellence, not perfection.
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