Monday, June 8, 2015

The Introverted Extrovert

I'm sitting on my couch super antsy.

I know that there is no way I'm staying home tonight.

But I have already called my best friends and they're all busy with something to do and can't hang out with me. So I guess I'll just sit on this couch and watch another marathon of Fixer Upper.

But I've already been on my couch three other times this week and I reaaaaally wanted to go out and do something. I mean, I could always call that one girl I'm constantly "making plans" with (but have never actually set a concrete date to do so.)

She's probably busy tonight anyway.

But what if she isn't, then I'm ruining an opportunity to get to know someone new (not to mention an opportunity to get off this couch.)

But what if I don't want to get to know someone new. I mean, I do have several friends already and chatting it up with someone new could possibly just add another person to the social rotation and who really has time for that??

Oh my goodness, I'm just making excuses. Just call her!

(Completely holding breath while dialing the number.) The phone is ringing.

She picks up and of course she would love to go get some coffee with me. That's awesome!

But now what am I suppose to say when I get there??? We always say "Hi" when we see each other at church but never actually talk about many things of substance. I should have at least 10 talking points in the Notes section of my cell phone, in case there is a lull in the conversation.

Better go prep for this!

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

I can not tell you how many times I have had this exact conversation with my self over the years. And I'm even sad to say that there have been many-a-times where I have chosen that TV marathon over the possibility of connecting with another soul sister.

I feel like in life, many of my close friends would call me an outgoing, extroverted kind of gal. When I am around the people I love most I'm loud, opinionated, joyful, and carefree.

But put me around someone I hardly know in a one on one situation and I tighten up like a clam, palms sweating, can't breath sort of deal. For the longest time I never went anywhere without one of my closest friends by my side. I truly didn't know how to do it. 

This is what I would like to describe as the introverted extrovert. And I am very much aware of how that describes me down to my core.

Over the past several years I've gotten much better at it. I actually actively engage in asking new friends for some of their spare time. That doesn't mean it started to become easy or natural, it just means I pushed myself into that uncomfortable zone. 

I remember one year when I truly wanted to make that new connection, heard God pushing me to make that new connection, and it still took me over 4 solid months to send that person a little text asking them out for breakfast. It was terrifying.

But ya know what? Breakfast was awesome. We chatted for almost two hours without there ever being a lull in the conversation or the fear of awkwardness I was sure there was going to be.

I think I underestimate myself sometimes and the deep rooted confidence that God has grown in my soul since I was a child. I spend so much time worrying about the possibility for awkwardness that I consistently allow myself to pass by the incredible friendships that could bless my life or even theirs.

For me it's easy to get into a room of people and be that person who crawls into a corner so no one can see me. But this year I am challenging myself to step out in faith, boldness, and confidence, and walk up to the person that I may have passed by before or simply smiled a quick Hi to, and ask them for coffee, brunch, or even some farmer's market shopping. 

Anything to build those new relationships. 

And by doing this I am hoping that one day I will graduate from that introverted extrovert, to a full on extrovert. Hopefully. Maybe. We'll see.

Are you struggling with creating deeper relationships due to a desire to run in the other direction and hide? If so then I am challenging you as well, to step out of your comfort zone and make that heart felt connection with a new friend.
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