How Do I Accept Myself As An Introvert?

Photo from Rosan Harmens

my-heart-beats-only-for-you-god asked a question:

Hi Pastor J.S, so my question is: How can I accept myself being introvert? That’s my personality, but sometimes inside and outside the church, people seem to make jokes about it, saying that I’m to shy or I’ve never talked and so on. Sometimes I feel sad about that and it really affects me emotionally. I know I have to adapt in those kind of situations, but how can I accomplish that?

Hey dear friend and fellow introvert! Alas, we have found one another.

I’ve learned two things over time about being introverted:

1) I love being an introvert. Really. I’m happy to be who I am.

2) I don’t have to let the label “introvert” make decisions for me or to wholly define me.

I think no matter where you go, whether you’re an introvert or Christian or irreligious or you’re part of twelve fandoms, someone out there won’t understand it. Maybe a lot of people won’t get you, at all. That’s a part of life and a part of who people have unfortunately decided to be (and we still need to have grace there). If they did get to know you, I’m sure they’d discover the great quirky wonderful person you are. But even if they don’t, you can still be the great quirky wonderful person you are. That’s not decided by how they think about you or how you think about you.

I used to think if I could adapt myself to be more “extroverted,” I would blend in better with the crowds. I was told this is important for business and ministry. But soon I found that simply being a better person and confident in Christ and myself was more important than trying to fit a dichotomous, dubious label that was concocted by Myers and Briggs.

There are people I get along with and I can be loud with, and there are people that I can’t. There are people I can open up to, and others I’m polite with. It’s as simple as that. You don’t have to please everyone’s expectations or to be friends with every person in the room. I’m extroverted with the right people, and introverted when there’s too many. You can let yourself out to play, or remain on the sidelines if you’re not comfortable. I’m okay with that. If someone isn’t, I very much understand, but it still won’t change those parts about me.

I’m making it sound easy but I know it’s not. I deal with constant anxiety about large crowds, even if they’re filled with people I already know. I’ve thrown up five minutes before having to preach or lead praise, and I get light-headed the second I think about how people think about me. The only thing I can do is march forward anyway. What God wants do through me cannot be interrupted by me. It can’t be held down by labels or by the talk of the town or by the room I’m in. I’ll do it scared.

Each time, it gets easier – but more than that, there’s a joy to be had when you can see how God wired you both for things you like to do and for the things you’re afraid to do. Do them. If others accept you, that’s a bonus. But God has already loved you before you even walked in the room, and He’s the one who’s with you when you leave it. In His acceptance, you can accept yourself too.

– J.S.

Please allow me the grace to share some other posts, which you may totally skip or browse:

– 14 Ways To Handle A Christian Introvert

– I Feel Bad For Being An Introvert

– Insecure Introverts Finding Confidence and Calling

4 thoughts on “How Do I Accept Myself As An Introvert?

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