ANOTHER DAY. ANOTHER CROWD. Another internal panic session. Exaggeration? Not really.
“Where is that exit?” “Can I fit in that gap behind those people blocking the door?” “If I look down, it makes it better, right?”
Sound crazy, yet? Or maybe relatable? (Unless you’re an extrovert checking in on us introverted people. That’s okay, too!) If you do relate, crowds are a stressor for you too. I get you. I know what it’s like to get sick the night before a big event, or maybe the morning of. I can feel your tense shoulders as you walk through that crowded room. I take introvert paths at Walmart, too.
You’re not alone.
“Okay, so I’m not alone. Good to know! But how does that really help me?” Maybe that was your first thought when you read this. And rightly so! I just want you to know I’m on your level.
I’m no expert. Introvertedness (okay, not exactly a real word but let’s just pretend it is for the moment) isn’t just some cold that you can get rid of. There’s no medicine to cure your fear of crowds. Cough drops can’t heal that shaky voice when you tell a story.
I’m not saying introvertedness is something that needs to be gotten rid of. We can’t all love crowds and telling stories. Honestly, this world would be bizarre if everyone was an extrovert. God made an even balance of both for a reason. Sometimes it may not seem like that balance is so “even” when you’re in a crowded room and everyone seems to be talking but you. But God made everyone just the way they are for a reason.
God didn’t “forget” to add expert-at-talking-to-strangers when He made you. You are you because God made you that way.
He has a special plan for YOU, introvert or not. You can never out-nerve God’s care. You are never so scared that God doesn’t know how to help you.
I know, I know. You’ve probably been told that lots of times. Maybe you feel like you’ve heard “God can help you overcome your fears” a thousand times. It’s so true – He definitely can help you! But sometimes just hearing those words doesn’t seem to fix it.
Words don’t always seem to magically get rid of your fears. Sometimes God doesn’t choose to erase your fears. Sometimes we have to push through the fear and face what we don’t want to. And I know that sometimes it seems like no one understands, but God truly does. Not only does He understand, but He cares and He provides.
In the middle of a crowded room; in the middle of your story when you realize all eyes are on you; when you have to do things up front; when you find yourself having to talk to strangers… in all of these intimidating situations and all of the others, God is with you. God is helping you. It may not feel like it in that moment, but trust me. If you rely on God, you will look back on those moments and see how He helped you in more ways than you even realized. I’ve seen it happen many times in my own life. I’ve seen Him work in my life in ways I never could’ve imagined. Looking back, I have realized how much He has worked through those scary times that I have had to step out of my comfort zone. I know stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t sound fun. I know it’s easier said than done. It’s difficult. It’s scary. But it’s something more important – it’s worth it.
When your comfort zone is on the back row and you find yourself on the front row about to speak to a crowd of people, it’s worth it. When your comfort zone is staying at home, but you end up at that huge social event, it’s worth it. When your comfort zone is just listening to other people’s stories and opinions and all of the sudden someone asks you what you think, it’s worth it. When you feel like your comfort zone is being stretched so far that it’s going to break, it’s worth it.
Being the “quiet one” isn’t a bad thing. Being afraid of crowds isn’t a bad thing. Being an introvert is NOT a bad thing. But sometimes you have to face your fears and step outside of that introvert bubble. Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone of “blending in”. Trust me, I know how hard it is. But believe me when I say, God WILL be with you. It may not seem like it at the time, but He will.
I came across this verse the other day – “Casting all your care Upon Him; for He careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
When you are overwhelmed and feel like you can’t “people” for another second, cast your cares on Him.
When you are stressing out before that big social event, cast your cares on Him. When the devil is trying to convince you that you’ll never survive this world as an introvert, cast your cares on Him. He really does care for you.
So from one introvert to another, you can do it. You can make it. We’ve got this! We can show these extroverts that we’re not just boring, shy little bookworms that hate people. We can be introverts and still be funny. We can still be kind. We can still love people.
So no matter your level of introvertedness – whether super introverted or almost an extrovert – God can help you. He cares for you.
Don’t let the word “introvert” define you, but don’t just try to make yourself an extrovert. Be the introvert God made you to be, but be willing to step out of your comfort zone.
Let’s show the world that introverts can make it, with God!
And remember… He cares.
Sincerely, an Introvert