Hey everyone! And welcome back to part 2 of our 3 part series To The Christian Introvert. In the first section we went over the entire struggle of Christian introverts and how introversion is a totally different thing from shyness. So if you haven’t already read that post check it out here and then come back to this one!
In this post I’m going to show you how to embrace your introversion for God’s glory. So let’s start with a little bit of backstory: I want to make it really clear that I totally understand a lot of your struggles and strengths as a Christian introvert myself.
And with that said, I’m still growing in discovering just how much or little of an introvert I am (definitely closer to the middle of the spectrum!) so this is also a personal journey that we’ll all be taking on our own. But we can grow alongside each other! And I hope this post will show you some awesome ways to embrace and really make the most of your introversion, especially for those of us that still feel the pressure of being extroverted in order to be a “better” Christian.
Shyness vs. Introversion At Play:
First since introversion and shyness will both be very important parts of today’s post, I wanted to expand on our ideas and definitions of them from last week and give you a few instances of what they actually look like in real life. Take a minute to try and internalize them and actually get an idea of what their definitions mean:
|Leads differently than extroverts||Can’t lead/Limited by fear|
|May prefer to listen, not out of fear||Doesn’t talk due to self-consciousness|
|Spends time in empowering solitude||May unhealthily isolate|
How Can You Embrace Your Introversion? Use It! Here’s 4 Ways To Do That:
It’s wonderful being at a strong place of knowing yourself and your personality well, but it’s a totally different level of commitment to act on these gifts and use them to show your true love of this quieter side of yourself! I’m sure you have many more unique traits that are just waiting to be used for the best, but as a start here are 4 overlooked traits you can start making the most of now:
1. Use Your Great Listening Skills
Many of an introvert’s gifts are so underrated or overlooked and this. is. one. of. them. Many employers, teachers, and friends don’t realize how big this is in deepening school friendships, getting recruited for positions, healthy family communication, leadership, and basically almost every relationship! Kind of more recently in the past few years I have really been using this skill more and it has deepened my relationships.
But I have a HUGE warning for those of you who start to embrace this trait: don’t let “good listener” become part of your core identity. It will make you feel like not enough if you make this your identity because you will see your worth as defined by how good you are at listening. And trust me, from personal experience, that hurts relationships and self-esteem fast.
2. Start Thoughtful Conversations & Make Connections
It’s honestly crazy that God has invested us with these wonderful and timeless truths, and the main way we still communicate is through simple conversations! Talk about eternity wrapped up in mortality! The more we can develop our skills and do great in these social situations (of course, keep in mind we won’t hit it off with everyone!) the more we allow God’s glory to shine through our ordinary human selves and lives. And that’s beautiful. Just don’t expect perfection of yourself. As with everything this is a balance.
3. Lead In Your Own Way
While this goes hand in hand with listening, many other aspects (such as not desiring the spotlight) all play into this unique leadership style that introverts naturally use when they take on positions of power. According to Insperity, “Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer and Elon Musk…” are all examples of modern day introvert leaders!
So many of us are leaders even though we don’t hold a title or feel like it. Everything from the way we speak to the food we eat is a testament to the people around us. And think about it, we are constantly influencing all of the people in our lives, classes, homes, everything.
And this all comes down to the fundamental idea: leadership is always simply a bigger servant position. Got promoted to be the leader of a club or launch team? Congrats! Now you’ll be serving to get your influence/services/content out to help more people. Gained a few new followers on insta? Yup you’re a leader too. And those few followers? Those are the new people you get to serve and help!
No, but in all honesty, the joy you will find in meeting these amazing people to serve and work with? That’s priceless.
I cannot stress how applicable this is to every area of life! In my own life I’ve used this to learn more about body language, social situations, calculus, and patterns. I have listed this here but I’m sure for a lot of you this comes pretty naturally! So to add some extra ~spice~, I challenge you to develop the skill of observing on your feet. While you’re talking with people and not just watching from the side, that’s when I want you to really observe more (and even observe your own observation skills! How good are they? How could you improve them?).
At the end of the day there are no hard lines when it comes to personality. And I’m sure some of you may even not relate with a few things in this post. So I’d encourage you all to test yourselves, what are you good at? What gifts are you missing out on using for God’s glory? And what weaker traits could you strengthen through practice?
You’ll have your mix of both introvert and extrovert strengths and weaknesses and that’s awesome! Neither is better. Just be sure to be realistic and non-limiting when finding out what you can and can’t change about yourself. I’m sure you’ll surprise yourself with how far your own actions + God’s power can take your character!
p.s. Next Thursday morning we’ll have our third and final part of this To The Christian Introvert series, get ready for ways to combat shyness!
p.p.s. What are your favorite parts about being a Christian introvert (or extrovert)? Let me know in the comments!