So, my chosen career path is professional counseling/ Psychotherapy, which is centered around being near people, hearing from people, helping people and well, anything to do with people. I reach out regularly within my community and on occasion, I speak in public. However, the last thing I want to do on my off time is be around people. It seems like a contradiction, but quite normal for someone who is an introvert. Thankfully, I married an introvert otherwise I am not sure how our relationship would work. I supposed if God put us together, we’d work out quite well, but I think we work better because we have a mutual understanding.
Things I REALLY don’t like: talking on the phone (anything to do with calling and chit chatting). Now, when I say that I don’t like talking on the phone, I mean it. It takes real dedication or a looming deadline to use a phone, but that doesn’t mean I am not good at talking on the phone. I am professional, have a vast vocabulary and I am not shy. Shopping, I’d rather just stay home especially if there is any form of shopping with someone other than my husband. My son used to have a cute shirt that said, “a bad day fishing is better than a good day shopping with mom”. Funny thing is, I’d rather be outside fishing, standing or sitting patiently for the fish to tug at my line than in a store, picking through clothing or food. Okay, so I love Goodwill and could spend a lot of time there, but other than that, shopping is yuck. Lastly, I do not enjoy events with crowds of people. Yup, I do not like crowds of people because mostly, it drains my energy. I’m good with socializing for the same reasons that I am good on the phone. I do well with public speaking and although I love connecting with people, I will probably put off going to an event that has to do with crowds of people. I often do not feel like I fit in even when I am more than qualified to be at a banquet dinner or conference. I have yet to walk for a college graduation due to this reasoning, so it will be interesting to be in Lynchburg for my master’s graduation ceremony next month.
Why did I mention these things? Partly to explain what an introvert can do and what they really do not like to do at all. There are some introverts who thoroughly detest being around people and there are those who do well around people, but it’s not what they do to refresh themselves. Each introvert will have their own coping mechanisms for connecting and dealing with people. For a few, it’s using humor to break the ice, a laugh used as a buffer or energizer within a conversation. It might make it easier to connect with people. I am one of these individuals and so is the pastor of my church. This makes it easier to form a trusting bond.
I also mentioned some of my introvert tendencies because another one of my tendencies is the toughest one to deal with especially since I suffer from depression and anxiety. I have a natural tendency not to trust people or their motives. This means that even though we may interact on a regular basis, I likely do not trust you, your motives, an whether our interaction really even matters to you. How might this make sense? When I form a friendship, I form trust slowly. I have a handful of people that I consider true friends. These are people who I have the ability to be vulnerable with. I can cry with them, they have my well-being at heart, they get my journey without me having to explain myself or cry out in pain, and they have been vetted by my heart. “Vetted by my heart” means that I can be sure that if I need a friend, they will be there. When I am breaking down and need a hug, they will be there. When I am fighting pain and ask a friend to be with me when I plan my mother’s funeral, they are there. When I share personal details about my life, the secrets from my childhood, they will be there. When we’ve gone through a journey together, I can trust them. These are people with whom I do not question, and I trust.
What is the reason for this post? Funny thing is, I just made this realization myself. I knew that I questioned people and their motives, but I had not made the connection between my introversion and the difficulty I have with medium level relationships (people you may see on a regular basis, but with whom you still do not trust). It can be painful and exhausting to not trust people, but when you know that you have found people with whom you can trust, it's a relief.
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