Monday, September 21, 2009

Introverted



I don't even know where I'm going with this post. I'm just going to open up my mouth and let the belly rumble...or open up my fingers and let the keyboard rumble??

Like the rest of us, I play a good game. For the most part, I'm thriving. I'm loving life with my kids, homeschooling them and watching them grow and blossom. I am in a great (not perfect, but right for me) marriage, living in the wonderful State of Nebraska, which I adore, growing in Christ and learning more about how he loves me and who he wants me to be. I feel like I'm progressing. I have much. I am happy.

But last night I had a panic attack. And it's not the first I've ever had. It developed into an asthma attack. Thankfully I still had an inhaler. My chest still hurts today, and I'm exhausted.

And it was all about people. I don't want to go into details about the situation, but what it boils down to is, I'm an introvert. I'm scared of people. I love people, I want to have friendships and relationships. I want to help people and get involved in their lives and welcome them into my own. But I'm scared of them. It's part temperament, part residue from bullying in high school and part low self-esteem. A bit of genetics and a bit of environment. It's who I am.

I do well in a controlled environment. Like hosting a party. Or going to a potluck. Where I know the boundaries and I know when it will end. But I can't handle the relaxed, comfortable stage that most relationships develop to. I end up pushing people away. It's not a fear of intimacy thing, I love intimacy and real, raw relationships. But in nice controlled spurts. If that's possible. I need to have my space to fall back into. I crave my alone time. I end up making people feel rejected because I back out when I feel out of control, or like I can't have my space.

And then I wonder if this makes me some sort of freak. Does everyone else manage to have healthy relationships? I'm a strange sort of introvert. I love meeting new people. I love getting to know people better. Especially if Rene is beside me to give me strength. I can't handle the whole, lets-phone-each-other-and-go-shopping-together thing. I don't know what to say to people if I'm alone with them. I make a complete fool of myself and end up cringing for the rest of the day.

Rene is a total extrovert. He needs to get his fix of talking to people just to stay healthy. I can't figure it out for the life of me. I need my fix of being completely away from people to stay sane. I'm thankful that God put us together. We're the ying and yang. We compliment each other and can help balance each other. It works.

And I hope that as I grow in Christ and mature as a woman, that I'll learn to not be so afraid of interactions with people. I guess in the meantime I need to learn to accept myself the way I am. I'm not someone else, I'm me. And I'm trying. And hopefully I'll get there one day.

Ok so what are you, introvert or extrovert? Are you neurotic or 100% normal and perfect? Especially tell me the bad stuff, to make me feel better.



11 comments:

Herb of Grace said...

I'm a complete extrovert. But. I'm married to an introvert and my sister is pretty much exactly the way you describe yourself in this post. I get along pretty well with both of them :) It takes all kinds to make the world go round, right? It's good to be whoever you are.

Kinsleys4 said...

Personally, I'm perfect. LOL, kidding kidding! ;-) We all have our quirks, we're all different, we all have our strengths & weaknesses -- and with those differences, we make up the Body of Christ, each having a special part. Don't ever feel you have to be something you're not. Cherish that only you can fill the part of the Body that God made you to fill. Love you! :-) "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and a sound mind."

MrsW said...

Well I'm kinda you. I used to consider it part of my culture to be introverted (you know what I mean!) but figured that's disingenuous at the least. I'm too loud for anyone to actually consider me introverted but I look at the friends I have and realise they are few and I've had them for over 30 years. The ease with which I made friends as a child has totally eluded me in my adult life. I just can't thole the Tupperware/school-gate/PTA struggle to find something in common with people beyond the fact we reproduced in the same short window of time. I think I scare people off but I'm sure I do it as a way of avoiding the fact they may bore me to death only slightly quicker than I can manage to get them! I'm sure many of them are lovely but I kind of look on in awe as they arrange to take each others kids and meet up for coffee and honestly... talk about what?? (probably people like me hahaha!). The only thing that bothers me is the example I set for my kids (not a good one) and that I isolate them from these parent-led connections. Paul is already aware that some of his friends see each other way more than he ever sees any of them so I guess I'll have to bite my tongue and (flip) smile.

BTW my man is like yours, take him anywhere, talk to anyone. He's my prop.

MrsW said...

PS - hope you're feeling fit again soon!

Dana said...

I love this post, Niecey! I can relate to what you wrote. I am both introvert & extrovert, but what you wrote about wanting the controlled environment really rings true. Thanks for sharing your heart & soul here! I just look forward to heaven where we'll all be able to relate to each other without the hindrances of these pesky personality hang-ups. We'll be totally free just as God intended!

Laura said...

You know me. I'm like your clone when it comes to this stuff. My worst nightmare is when Andy's work friends want to all get together for the wives to meet. I end up just sitting in a corner hiding. If someone talks to me, I'm perfectly happy chatting away. But the thought of actually approaching someone else that I don't know is terrifying. I'd also rather die than have to call someone other than family on the phone for a chat. It'd also scare me to have to go ring someone's doorbell. Anything where I feel like I am causing someone else's life to be interrupted to have their focus completely on me (phone call, door bell, walking up to someone to say hi) is the ultimate humiliation lol.

I totally 100% know what you mean. The only time I have a good time "socializing" is when it's with a group of people being completely immature goofballs. Like running around pranking people or doing "dare" type things and laughing till I cry. Unfortunately, I don't get a lot of THAT type of interaction as an adult!

Kathie said...

Niecey,
I don't know how to classify myself. I love talking to people, but I'm also happy by myself. I kind of an extroverted introvert.

But seriously, hon--if you like yourself the way you are, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. If you aren't happy the way you are, well...there is help for anxiety disorders--do I think you have one? Not if you are happy!

I'm glad there is the internet so I can get to know you better...in controlled spurts that you can handle. :-) We all have things that we think are weird about ourselves...the important part about life is that you know Jesus loves you, and your family loves you. Anything else is just fluff.

Kristy said...

Love this post. I'm like you - as you will remember my time in high school was fairly similar to yours (except in music dept - happy there). Many things from school make me lack trust in people and I see this affecting my relationships. In the past year I've made a concious effort to not shut out those close to me as much as I have done in the past but this requires a lot of effort from me and sooo does not come naturally. I'm not the small talk person either and dread functions or going to a party at my b/f's friends. it may well make me seem like i have no interest in new people or think myself above them when in fact they just scare me :-). so don't worry - its def not just you :-)

4 Lettre Words said...

No worries, my friend. You are totally normal to me!

Di said...

I would've said that I'm a friendly extrovert. But lifes experiences and a low self-esteem has left me quite the opposite. I want to do the lunch-shopping thing. I love that kind of stuff but I struggle when it gets nearer to the day I'm meeting up with someone. Panic attacks were a big part of my life for about 3 yrs. Not so much now. I'm happy for the first time in many years and comfortable in my skin.

And that's the thing. I'm happy and comfortable being who I am. And honestly, I don't know why I keep pushing myself to be different. To think that I should go to various social events or meet friends for coffee. Not that I don't enjoy seeing them, I do. Obviously. But in some situations, I've come away so cross with myself because I've basically been a wallflower and wasted a whole day or evening or whatever. And what for?

I'm my absolute best at home. Again, like you, controlled situations.

I don't know why. I know I've changed and I do think its lifes experiences that has done that.

Gorgeous. said...

Hi Niecey!! I'm just checking out your blog and read this post... I was thinking, you know, I'm a lot like you ...!! I come across as very open, very outgoing and sociable... but I do best in large gatherings and especially when Rex is there with me. One on one, in a new relationship, it's often difficult. I find myself worrying I won't have anything to say! I worry that me and my new friend would sit and stare at one another in uncomfortable silence!! .. It takes a long time before "Let's go to the Mall" is a comfortable stage in a friendship... until then a group dynamic is the way to go, then there are always others to take the pressure off!! (for what it's worth, Craft/ Unfinished Project Days are great for that...!! There are only a few people here, there's food to eat and talk about, hot tea to drink if you feel awkward, and a project to focus on! Not to mention the kids are always into something so there's always that distraction!! :D )