An Introvert Living In An Extrovert World
[Monthly Columnist- Rebekah Synder. I appreciate the fact that I am able to challenge Rebekah without even realizing it. I just simply ask her to post on something I think she would be great at, and then before I know it she’s tweeting me about how it’s the one thing she never wanted to write on. I say it’s all God. Enjoy her piece.]
During my teen years, my parents called me the hermit.
Whenever I would surface from spending hours alone in my room, they would make a big deal about the hermit coming out of her cave, and I would simply roll my eyes, polish off a peanut butter sandwich, and seclude myself again. It was sort of a terrible habit, but also one that kept me sane during the period of my life where I lived with six other Snyders.
Though I’ve never lived by myself, I’ve always known I could do it. I would enjoy it, even.
And perhaps that’s why I never allowed myself to move out on my own. (Well, that and the fact that the rent is considerably cheaper.) I would enjoy it too much. I would become the hermit my family always accused me of being.
I’m an introvert—a loner—and I’ve never been a fan of personal questions.
I don’t pursue people.
And I’ve realized it’s a terrible flaw of mine—leaving the hard work of initiating friendships to the more outgoing people (whom, by the way, I thank God for on a regular basis).
I’m not proud of it, but it is the way I am. I am an introvert living in an extrovert world. And I’m trying, okay?
I really am.
When my housemates tell me they’re going out of town, the first thing that comes to my mind is not how much I’ll miss them, but how much I’ll enjoy the few days of peace and quiet. But I know that ultimately—ultimately—living with the Parkers is the best thing for my current well-being.
For an introvert like me, living with other people gives me a built-in community—one I wouldn’t pursue if I was left to my own devices.
It moves me outside of myself, forcing me to be considerate of others. It makes me engage in the kind of conversation that doesn’t come naturally to me—the kind that doesn’t take place on a page.
It keeps me from becoming a recluse.
I’ve come to realize that hiding isn’t good for me, even though I do it all the time. And I still have days—I still need days—where I lock myself in my room and pretend there is no one else in the world but me and my fictional characters, but I have other days, too. Days filled with people and laughter and nights gathered around a fire playing Bible Trivia in the dark.
As much as I enjoy my solitude, it’s good to know that someone is right there if I need them.
It’s great to be able to say, “You guys, check it out, I just got my endorsement from Shannon Primicerio,” to someone other than the internet.
And it’s wonderful to have someone care enough to call through the bedroom door, “Rebekah, I know you’re probably busy writing, but are you going to eat today?”
Let’s face it. The Bible says it’s not good for man to be alone.
But some of us…
Some of us would choose to be alone.
Even if it’s not the best thing for us.
So maybe we should do ourselves a favor and draw close to other people. Maybe we should force ourselves to become a little more social. Maybe we’d all be a little bit healthier if we learned to do life with other people.
Rebekah Snyder is an introvert who is slowly learning to put herself out there and share life with other people. She’s incredibly grateful for the ones who once ambushed her and practically forced her to be their friend. She is a regular contributor on Devotional Diva and the voice behind www.beyondwaiting.com.
[Photo: warrenski, Creative Commons]