Articles rise_up_introverts

Published on February 17th, 2015 | by Rachel Hatcher

Rise Up, Ye Introverts





It seems like the little things that normal people find easy to do are huge, daunting, horrible, excruciating, difficult tasks for us introverts.

For example, most people don’t really have problems making phone calls, or saying “hi” to someone, raising their hand in class, talking louder so people can hear you, or making small talk with someone at a party.

And sometimes it hurts, yes? To muster up the courage just to talk to our brothers and sisters in Christ? To enjoy ourselves at social functions, even when the world is spinning with bright lights, and dixie cups, loud voices, cramped space, and someone says “hi” and you can’t breathe? (o.k., please tell me I’m not the only one on this one …)

Now, despite what society says, introversion isn’t bad in and of itself. But I know from experience that it can get in the way of doing what God calls us to do, because we’re too crippled by our fear to step into the unknown and do something uncomfortable.

Feeling afraid or unworthy doesn’t disqualify us from being used by God.

Remember the story of Moses? When all that came from his mouth were excuses after God had called him to something great?

And he wasn’t the only one.

Remember when Peter lost faith as he was walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33)? When he denied Christ three times?

When Jesus, in His human-ness, experienced such great fear he sweat drops of blood, He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36) — because He knew what was coming.

When we obey God despite our weaknesses, He gets the glory.

There are times when God nudges me to do something, or to talk to someone, and it is completely outside of my comfort zone. There have been times that I obeyed … and times I have not. And I greatly regret those times.

I would say some sort of excuse, “I’m just not an outgoing person”, “I’m too tired”, “I really don’t need to”, “It doesn’t matter”. And then later, I’d wish I did talk to that girl who needed a friend, or make conversation with my other classmates, or reach out to that person who needed to hear the Gospel.

Just when everything is falling apart, and I’m afraid, when I have to climb mountains, and make phone calls, and take big leaps and do the things I’m scared to death to do … He stills the storm in my heart.

Despite our pains, our weaknesses, our fears, we number the stars and see that God has His hand in everything, He has everything planned out. He’s in control.

Sometimes we just need to pray for 20 seconds of insane courage, and God can show His strength and love through us.

And that doesn’t mean that there will never be awkward situations that ensue, or difficult people to deal with, or embarrassing moments. We (and I especially) should remember that those are normal parts of life, and it’s okay.

He’s here, with us, holding our hand through it all, telling us, like He has throughout the ages,

“Fear not.”


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Photo courtesy of MartinaK and Flickr Creative Commons.


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About the Author

is an ordinary 16-year-old with an extraordinary God, who aspires each day to pursue God and to glorify Him. She enjoys reading, hiking, and drinking coffee on rainy days. She strives to be an inspiration to those around her by sharing her love for Jesus and being an encouragement in times of need.



  • Hey Rachel! Nice article!

    I guess I’m different then most people. You see, I’m an introvert that pushed so hard at being social and comfortable with people, that I have “became” an extrovert. The more you do something, the easier it gets. This includes being social. I still am terrified when making phone calls. But I act super comfortable when I do it. Even though it’s still hard, it’s gotten easier.

    Now, I not only love hanging with people, I get my energy from it! That’s how much I enjoy it.

    I hope this helps you in your situation. :)
    God bless you!
    – Trent

    • tmselden

      Trent,
      It is so nice to see how God works through us to help us overcome our inadequacies. You seem like a delightful guy to know.

      Blessings!
      Jean

    • Oh wow! I thought you were an extrovert, Trent! My story is actually a lot like yours. I am naturally shy, but when we moved I really needed some friends so I pushed myself to become more talkative and extroverted. I am still scared of talking to strangers in new places, but I really love talking now! You can barely get me to shut-up!

    • Cassie

      TOTALLY relate to the phone-call-phobia, despite being an extrovert. 😛

      • What is it about phone calls that is so frightening???? Because I totally know that feeling….

        • Because I can’t charm people with my young and dashing good looks. ,:)

          haha

          • Cassie

            Lol, I know. You might actually be onto something there though… I guess I rely on outward confidence (and my smile :P) a bit to, but can’t one the phone…

          • Sadie Clements

            Lol

          • XD

        • For me, I have to rehearse what I’m going to say 2 hours before I call someone, haha. I’m starting to think that, at least for me, I’m just scared that either a) I going to run out of things to say, and awkward silence ensues, or b) I’m going to say the wrong thing,or my words will trip and stumble over each other (which happens 99.9% of the time), and more awkward silence will ensue. *sigh* How about you?

          • Once I actually press “Call” I’m usually ok. But it takes like an hour for me to be like, “You are going to call this person.”

            I have mastered awkward silence. I can make them even awkwarder then they could have been. 😛

        • Ruthie C

          Hey, Blimey Cow read our minds!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cfptu39_yNo

          • Lol!!!! That is awesome!!! :))

          • Ruthie C

            haha yeah 😀

          • Cassie

            Oh my gosh!!! Hahah, this is so good!

      • Joy Swen

        I used to be scared of phone calls so much, even though I’m an extrovert. But then my friend, who I don’t see much, began calling out of the blue just to cheer me up. I still don’t like phone calls much, but my friend’s calls are helping me to get rid of my phone-call-phobia.

        • Cassie

          That’s great!
          Btw, are you new here, Joy? Haven’t seen you round before.

          • Joy Swen

            I’ve been on since December but haven’t commented much. But with a recent family emergency that came up reading these articals and commenting has helped keep my spirits up. I especially like how the articals seem to come just when I’m dealing with that verry thing.

          • Cassie

            I’m so glad these articles have been an encouragement to you! I’ll be praying that whatever your ‘family emergency’ situation is, that God would shower His peace and love over all of you, and guide you in all that happens.
            Blessings. :)
            P.S. I can’t follow you since your profile is private. (Which is fine.) But if I could, I would! :)

          • Joy Swen

            Thanks for praying. We really appreciate it.
            Sorry, like I said I’m kind ‘a new here and didn’t mean to private my profile. It’s unprivite now so you can fallow me if you want.

          • Cassie

            Yay! *follows* :)

        • How sweet! It’s so nice to have a friend who truly cares for you and wants to cheer you up :)

    • Ruthie C

      Haha, it’s SUCH a relief to know that I’m not alone in my phone call terror. I am definitely an extrovert, but there’s just something about phone calls…

      • Yeah, phone calls with even people I know really well can be awkward :-)

      • Sadie Clements

        I hate making phone calls. Just saying. 😛 :)

      • No kidding! And, before I published this post,I had NO idea that phone calls were something extraverts had a hard time with too! 😉

    • The Raven

      This is slightly sad. I think the world needs introverts. Also I really wonder if you actually ever were introverted or if you were actually like a lot of these commenters just shy. There’s a big difference. I’m an intravert but I’m not shy. Its pretty hard to explain. Especially when talking is just not your thing. There’s actually no fear in being an introvert when it’s my kind. Anybody else like that?

      • Perhaps you’re right. I guess it depends on how we define an introvert. I use “introvert” and “shy” interchangeably. :)

        • The Raven

          I know. A lot of people do. But it kind of casts a bad light on introverts–makes it seem like they have a problem that needs to be fixed. It gets really old having people constantly telling you to “come out of your shell”. Makes me feel like a…turtle.

          • I am curious how you would define the words “introvert” and “shy”?

          • The Raven

            Shyness is what the above article is describing. There’s actual fear involved. Shy people “warm up” to others when they have been exposed to them long enough. Some shy people are actually extroverted.
            Introversion is just social reserve. It’s not really fear. Lethargy, perhaps, at wost. I’m introverted. It doesn’t matter how long I know you, you’ll never get me to really “open up”.
            I could write you a paper on this, but maybe you get it. Does it make sense?

          • So, introverted people tend to follow the idea of “speak only when it’s important” instead of “small talk”?

          • The Raven

            Pretty much.

          • Sam S.

            Hey that make sense! I guess I’m just more of a shy person who’s sort of an extrovert. Maybe. I don’t know. :)

      • Riley H.

        I recently heard a definition describing the difference between introverts and extroverts that made a lot of sense. An extrovert is someone who is energized by being around people. On the other hand, introverts need alone time in order to “charge up” before they spend time in a social atmosphere. They may feel energized for a time and be perfectly fine in a social setting, but before long they feel the need to get away in order to “refresh their batteries”. Generally, introverts tend to be more quiet and reserved, but not as a rule; and extroverts tend to be more loud and energetic. However, you’re right; there is a difference from just being “shy” and being an introvert. An introverted nature is more of a personality trait, and being shy could be more of a manifestation of anxiety. So yes, introverts aren’t necessarily shy and insecure; just because you need alone time and you’re not gushing with noise and energy around people doesn’t make you insecure! In fact, the most confident and secure people I’ve met tend to be more on the quiet and reserved side. I actually find it an attractive trait. –Wow, that got long :P.

        • The Raven

          That’s a good description. Yeah, I would say that being social saps my energy and being alone “charges me up”. It’s not that people make me uncomfortable–they just make me tired. :)

          • Riley H.

            Hey, me too! :) I’m glad I’m not the only one. I would add, that we, as introverts, do have to be careful that our natural tendency to avoid situations because they make us tired shouldn’t get in the way of being obedient to God. Yeah, we may be more introverted, but that isn’t an excuse to disobey and avoid that situation or that person just because it drains us. That’s where the faith comes in. :) It’s hard! But worth it.

          • Me too!

      • Joyful joyful

        I think I get it. I like to be by myself, but I totally have social skills and can interact with lots of people
        (even as a homeschooler… hahaha)

    • Sam S.

      Yep. That’s pretty much me! (Good thing I don’t have to make a lot of phone calls, right?) I love how we don’t have to stay quiet people. I found it rather boring, personally.

    • That’s awesome,Trent! Good for you! That really does help, thank you :)

    • mimeforJesus

      Same here – used to be terrified of meeting people, or talking to most unrelated people. Now I thrive on it!

  • Josh A

    Great article! I can be especially introverted when it comes to spreading the gospel. :-/

    One thing I will say, is that your intravertedness/extravertedness (if that makes sense) is not set in stone. I went from being “the quiet kid” to getting voted third craziest person at a party in just a year or two. 😛

    Also, some good verses to keep in mind…

    2 Corinthians 12: 9 “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

    Philipians 2: 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

    • Great verses! And that is really encouraging — sometimes I think, “oh no, I’m probably going to be stuck like this forever,” haha. So I’m glad there’s hope for change :)

  • Gabrielle S.

    Hahaha you are SO not alone in this, Rachel. I think you just wrote out my life’s story! It’s so awkward to think about, saying hi or stepping out of your comfort zone. What if we’re rejected? What if the terrible awkward silence comes up in the middle of the conversation? What if we’re just too small and nothing good can come out of us trying? There’s so many times when I’ve felt like this.

    Once when I was at a public pool with my friend, I noticed an older teen girl sitting to the side. She looked like she was trying to hold back tears. “Go talk to her,” God had urged me. “But what if she doesn’t want to talk?” I argued. “And what about my friend? I don’t want her to feel weird. Plus, that girl is so much older than me. That would be totally embarrassing, trying to comfort her.” When I looked back, the girl was gone, and to this day I hate the fact that I couldn’t make myself go see what was wrong and spread a little bit of light in her life.

    When we hear God tell us to do something, we need to just do it. It’s difficult to act impulsively, but if we try to argue with God or wonder if it really was him, we’re going to miss out on miracles. I for one want to be known as the girl who followed God without a second thought, not the girl who hid and waited for someone else to do something. As sons and daughters of the King, we need to step up and lead our generation, because I can bet you that no one else will.

    Let’s go be the salt and light!! 😀

    • ” I for one want to be known as the girl who followed God without a
      second thought, not the girl who hid and waited for someone else to do
      something.” <– This is such a great thing to remember. I have a hard time acting impulsively as well, and often a great opportunity is lost! You are SO right.

  • tmselden

    Rachel, I sympathize with you. I was so shy as a young adult, I would go places and not speak one word. It is alright to be shy and introverted if it doesn’t impede your emotional or spiritual growth. The Word is a real stabilizing force in realizing your value in Christ. It gives you a healthy confidence in lots of situations. We live in such a competitive society that loves to compare one against another that it can be very hard to get your bearings as to where you fit. A good family structure is very helpful in overcoming shyness. Young introverts usually outgrow their shyness once they are exposed to challenging situations that come up when growing up. You will overcome and may God bless you in every situations.

    PS: you are a beautiful girl.

    Blessings,
    Jean

    • Wow, thank you so much for the encouraging words! I truly need them :) Sometimes it feels like something I will never be able to grow out of, but you’re right: my confidence should come from Christ. Thank you :)

  • AnnaGrace

    Rachel, thank you soooo much for this article. It is truly a word spoken in season. I am extremely introverted and have wondered for a long time if there were any CHRISTIANS out there who wrote about this stuff. I see a lot of articles by other (secular) introverts about being an introvert but they all seemed so self-centered. Almost like their introversion was some kind of excuse for behaving in certain (not-so-good) ways. Thank you for both your understanding and challenge to obey God in spite of our weaknesses. ~AnnaGrace

    • I’m glad that you are so encouraged by it. I’ve seen those articles too. I’ve read them and let them make excuses for me, so I can “justify” doing/ not doing something. 😉 Thank you for the lovey comment!

  • Cassie

    Brilliant article, Rachel! Such a lot of it holds true for everyone! I think everyone struggles with speaking up at times. And those key points in bold are true no matter where you find your energy! 😀
    Blessings!

    • Do you really think so? That makes me feel better. Sometimes I think I am THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD who has these issues, but I guess I must be wrong. Thank you!

      • Cassie

        Haha, you’re definitely not alone! :)

  • Thank you for this amazing article. Sometimes I do feel introverted. I’m actually really sociable, but I have a hard time getting of my “box”.
    “Sometimes we just need to pray for 20 seconds of insane courage, and God can show His strength and love through us.”
    That is so true and I relate to it really well! Thanks again! :)

    • Stepping out of your circle/box is very challenging — I have a hard time with that too :)

  • Emily

    I used to be a little shy (I wouldn’t say I was introverted, but kind of just a little tiny bit). I’ve learned that the secret is staying confident. Afraid of what they’ll think of you? God’s opinion is the only one that really matters. Scared to try something new? What if it turns out to be AWESOME?!?!?!?!? Take a chance! It really does get easier with time and repetition.

    • Wow, great reminder! Totally something I need to remember.

  • Thanks for this, Rachel! I could relate to EVERYTHING you said. Yep, every word. My personality is what you described. You’re definitely not alone…I’m glad I am not. *smiles*

    God has used the story of Moses to convict me before when it came to me needing to speak in front of church. I was terrified at the thought, but the Lord was with me giving all the courage needed. He who created our mouth gives us the ability to speak if we rely on His strength.

    One verse that really comforts me, spurs me onwards is this portion of Isaiah 40:9:

    “…lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid…”

    • ::whew:: I’m SO glad I’m not the only one, haha. That’s a great verse too, I should hang it up in my locker or something :)

  • Hannah Bergmann

    Thank you so much for this! This is definitely perfect timing. My best friend decided she didn’t want to be friends anymore, and started to ignore me, and my other friends kind of all faded out of the picture, and I was so afraid to even talk to anyone because I thought they would just end up leaving me, too. But then when I started focusing on “How can I reach out and help others” rather than “I need to talk to someone who will love ME”, God opened up so many opportunities for me to talk to people and if I hadn’t listened to Him, I would’ve missed out on so many great conversations and opportunities to make friends. So, yes, it definitely pays to get out of your comfort zone to just talk to fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. :)

    • I am so sorry your friend is treating you that way. And, wow, that is a really great way to look at it: “But then when I started focusing on “How can I reach out and help
      others” rather than “I need to talk to someone who will love ME”, God
      opened up so many opportunities for me to talk to people and if I hadn’t
      listened to Him, I would’ve missed out on so many great conversations
      and opportunities to make friends.” I seriously need to remember that. Thank you!

    • *jaw drops* Wow. I feel for you! I don’t know what it’s like to lose my best friend, but I do know what it’s like to not want to open up to someone for fear that they would leave too. Do it anyway, I guess. Maybe even a short friendship is perfect.
      Okay okay, I know that’s really hard. :'( I’m sorry.

      • Hannah Bergmann

        Aw, thanks. :) Yeah, it was pretty hard, but my parents and older sister gave me awesome advice and prayed with me a lot…and I’ve made a few good friendships since then, so God has definitely been with me through all this. :)
        Recently I went to TeenPact, and it really taught me to get out of my comfort zone and just talk and encourage others who may be struggling. Which is hard to do, but such a great thing when done and definitely worth it!! 😀

        • Oh. Wow. It’s always funny when I look back at something old seeing who wrote it. Like, oh…context! :)

          • Hannah Bergmann

            Psh, I know, right! :)

          • How’s it been going?

          • Hannah Bergmann

            Liiiike…my friendships???

          • Yeh, how’s that been going?

          • Hannah Bergmann

            Well, they’re going good! :) I’m pretty close to about six people who are mostly from my church, and it’s been awesome! :)
            Also, the girl who said she didn’t want to be friends anymore apologized for ignoring me; I forgave her, and we were able to talk things through, so at least it ended with a better note. (She moved to Virginia)

          • Oh okay. Sounds pretty good! :)

          • Hannah Bergmann

            Yep. :) And then of course, all you awesome people online…

          • …and that one awkward person…

          • Hannah Bergmann

            …who we ALL know…

          • Hannah Bergmann

            Just kidding. 😛 I’m pretty awkward. So. Yeah.

          • Wait… we aren’t talking about you? Ohhhhh yeah, you are pretty awkward.
            (*facepalm*)

          • Hannah Bergmann

            Wait, you were talking about you, right? Hahaha, you see what I did there. 😛

          • Yes I was. Yes I do. Wait.. what?? Which thing are you referring too? I did not just call myself “pretty”. It’s not happening, girl!

          • Hannah Bergmann

            NO. You said “the one awkward person”. I dare you.

          • The one awkward person was originally intended to refer to me. Meanings have changed to make me look innocent. (Not convincing enough? Oh well. *hangs head*)

          • Hannah Bergmann

            Yes. Okay. I got that. I just…wasn’t sure, because I’m normally terrrrrrible at following conversations. HAH. Yep, yer *pretty* awkward. 😛

      • Amanda

        Aww :'( still praying for you brother!

  • Joy Swen

    Thank you for the artical! I’m an extrovert yet I too am often struck with that deer-in-headlights fear. I like the idea of “Sometimes we just need to pray for 20 seconds of insane courage, and God can show His strength and love through us.” I just need to trust God has a plan. Even though I can’t always see it.

    • Cassie

      ‘Deer-in-headlights fear’ – like that comparison!

    • It’s not easy to trust Him, but He is always Faithful. :)

  • Eva H.

    I am also a introvert, so thank you, Rachel. What I have been working on, even though it is hard, is to live by what I know to be true (that I am completely accepted in Jesus and should not fear because He is with me) and not by what I am feeling. Thank God that He gave us that promise!

    • Feelings come and go, but God is with us through it all. Praise Him!

      • Haylie

        Amen!

  • Beautiful article!!! I love the part about 20 seconds of insane courage. It reminded me of a quote I saw somewhere “My God can do more in a second than I can do in a lifetime.” I used to be more of an extrovert, but jumping from a very little school to a rather large school, I got much quieter. I have to learn to strike a balance and know when to speak and when to be silent.

    • What a great quote! And that’s good that you figured out how to balance it all :)

  • Haylie

    This article was really encouraging to me, Rachel! It had my name written all over it 😉 I used to be really introverted, and than i tried to hard to be more outgoing, but i tried a wee bit to hard. I’m trying to find my friendly balance, and reading this article gave me the nudge i needed to try to do better for the glory of God! Thank you!

    • I’m so glad! It’s so easy to try to go to the other extreme and try to become someone you’re not. But God made us a certain way, and there’s nothing wrong with that! And sometimes, by doing that, we fall short because we try too hard. It REALLY IS hard finding that balance. And thank *you*!

  • Lanae Bond

    When I was younger I had this deep fear of talking in public. But with prayer and much learning about introverts I realized that I could overcome my fear!

  • alana

    I’m an introvert too, probably best placed in the extreme category. It’s not just terror from my surroundings, but also frustration and loneliness. I’m the girl that wishes that someone in my class would walk up to me and say, “Hi, how are you doing?” I don’t like the feeling of being left out, and personally, I think my purpose is to make sure those who need comfort get comfort.

    • Joy Swen

      I know how you feel. My family visited deferent churches for three years and every week I’d stand in the corner praying for someone to come say hello. And it didn’t happen. So now that we’ve been attending a church for about a year, I try to pray for those 20 seconds of courage so I can reach out to the new young people in our church.

      • That’s great!

      • mimeforJesus

        Yeah, I don’t have trouble really talking to people as soon as I start talking (I guess I’m more of an extrovert, looking at Blimey Cow’s definition). But in all the times I’ve been the new person at a church, I’ve had someone walk up to ME and welcome me once. Ever. And I’ve probably visited 20+ churches in my time.

    • AnnaGrace

      Can very much identify. I struggled with the frustration and the loneliness, the wondering if people who could talk and make friends easily (usually extroverts–I’d never heard of the term at the time) only cared to make friends with people who were like them. Scared of so many people surrounding me in a crowd, yet wishing I was one of them, that I mattered to someone else. I wondered for a long time if anyone would miss me if I wasn’t in class the next day. But God has taught me–and still has to teach me because I am a forgetful person–that HE cares how I’m doing. And He showed me the people who were even more left out than me, people who even I would never think to walk up to and say, “Hi, how are you doing?” It’s still an intense struggle to walk up to someone I don’t know or barely know but God is helping me overcome that fear and reach out. Thanks Alana for being real–it’s good knowing I’m not the only one out there. ~AnnaGrace

    • I can sympathize with you. This is EXACTLY what God has been pressing on my heart lately, and something I seriously struggle with. You put it perfectly into words. But we can do it! :)

  • Ezra Walls

    Haha “20 seconds of insane courage”…I like that :) Good reminders Rachel, thanks!

    • Thanks! Actually, it’s part of a quote from a movie :)

  • Riley H.

    Thank you, Rachel! Our God is more than able to give us “20 seconds of insane courage”. Yes, and much more:

    “In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale a wall. God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection.” – Psalm 18:29-30

  • Krin Canseco

    The word “introvert” is not biblical:)

    • Are you new on here Krin? I don’t think I’ve seen you around before! I love your profile picture!!

      Welcome to the Rebelution! Feel free to ask questions, none of us bite. 😀 (Ok. Yoda does, but Trent keeps him on a leash.)

    • I second what @thewriterchick:disqus said.

  • Krin Canseco

    I am a shy person too and this article encouraged me a lot:D I always think that people like me are worthless but I realized that we’re made unique for His glory:D but I still need to never stop praying to the Lord for strength.

    • I used to think that way too, but, like others have said, God made everyone different. There’s nothing wrong with being introverted, or extroverted. “From the ends of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2 He is our Rock, our Fortress, our Refuge. He shows His strength in our weaknesses.

  • Madison W

    Amen, Rachel! :) I’m not an introvert (at least I’m not the majority of the time XD) but everything you said still impacts me and my life. I totally understand the whole feeling a nudge to go talk to/do something for someone, and then engaging in a debate in your brain over why you don’t need to do it. And then when the opportunity is gone, you give a sigh of relief…but feel such guilt. Literally just came upon this quote: “You can’t be a world changer until you serve. And you can’t serve until you break free of your comfort zone.” Great post, Rachel :)

  • Sadie Clements

    I really like this article.
    I was just in a situation today where I really wanted to talk to this person who was a complete stranger but was too bound up by my fear to actually do it.
    And I HATE making phone calls. :p
    But fear is not of the Lord.
    A lesson turned motto that has recently been worming its way into my way of life. :)
    Thanks for the article, Rachel! May God bless you as you do hard things and gain victory for Him!

  • Amy W

    Yes!!! You are most definitely not the only one. I can really relate to being overwhelmed with your surroundings. Before youth group today I just wanted to either hide in a closet or find a “safe corner” There was just too much going on- loud voices, people being rowdy, so many people moving and doing things that my mind just couldn’t keep up.

    I read somewhere that us introverts have so much going on inside of us that our outside sensory system is easily overwhelmed. In my ideal environment there are only a few people, everyone stays in somewhat the same place, no one talks out of turn, and there’s very little background noise.

    I think its important to remember that many aspects of introversion are strengths, such as the tendency to think things through. (if anyone knows some of these, please share) But you are right that it can sometimes get in the way of what God wants us to do.

    Insane courage is right! I really like how you ended:

    “He’s here, with us, holding our hand through it all, telling us, like He has throughout the ages,

    ‘Fear not.'”

    I think its important to remember that many aspects of introversion are strengths.But you are right that it can sometimes get in the way.

    • You know, I’ve heard that too, and it makes total sense. Haha, your ideal environment — me too :) And I agree! I think it’s great to be an introvert in a lot of respects. I just struggle a lot with crawling out of my shell and do what I’m supposed to be doing! 😀

      • Amy W

        Yep, I have a great difficulty crawling out of my shell, too. I envy my friend who has no problem talking to anyone and doesn’t really care what people think of him. Oh well, I guess that’s our “Hard Thing!” :)

    • Allie Blue

      Hiding in a closet or a little safe place is definitely what I feel like doing sometimes too. It’s not that I don’t like people or am afraid of everybody, but like you said, “we just need to recharge sometimes.”

  • Hannah

    Hi Rachel,
    I was so delighted to see and read this article as it touched on some things I have been thinking about a lot lately. I know that God has created introverts for a purpose(being half an introvert myself), yet I have noticed more and more people use that as an excuse for not reaching out to others or hiding within one’s self. It may be harder for an introvert to reach out and talk to a new comer at church or school or else where, but in my own experience I have seen God really work in my own life and others when I was willing to step out of my comfort zone and be friends with a stranger. I do not want my being an introvert to define who I am, but rather one who loves and reaches out to others no matter how hard it may be. 😉

    • True! Honestly, I don’t mind being labeled/defined as an introvert (there are a lot of perks!), however, it’s easy for me to huddle in my little corner and act like a hermit and not reach out to people the way I need to be doing. That’s awesome! God is so good.

  • Heather

    This was sooooooo great! I really needed to hear that. I have experienced tremendous fear for the calling God has on my life because it includes leading and that scares me so much. I have always said: “I’m not a leader, I can’t do that, there has to be some other way, well I guess I’m just going to fail then…” But God has been so faithful to give me little successes…little opportunities where I can trust in Him and speak up a little and then SEE God work it out . . .and now I am excited to see God use my weakness to connect, teach, and even….lead 😉 Thank you for this encouragement!!!

  • Some good points. Be careful not to confuse shyness with introversion. They are not the same.

    • AnnaGrace

      Read both the articles you posted. Yes, I’m a definite introvert. And yes, sometimes I can be shy. I agree with you that they are different. However, introversion can definitely be a hindrance in situations such as evangelism or talking to a friend who’s hurting. I have a hard time coming up with responses quickly because I have to think them over before I am ready to say something. In a group discussion it doesn’t matter; I enjoy those but often don’t say something until later in the discussion when I’ve collected my thoughts. Even the comments I make on here take forever to type and I usually don’t comment until the day after I see the article or discussion question because I’m thinking it through. ~AnnaGrace

      • Me too!

        • AnnaGrace

          For the three comments I made on the last discussion question (the one about baptism) I think it took me two hours total just typing them up–that’s not counting all the time I was mulling them over in my mind!

          • Haha, yes — it just HAS to be perfect, doesn’t it? 😉 Sometimes I’ll spend a half hour on a comment, and then just end up deleting it because I can’t word it right.

          • AnnaGrace

            Part of it’s just because it’s online and you’re not really having a conversation–on a sticky subject like that one, it’s easy for a person to misunderstand or misconstrue your words. So you have to word things carefully. In a conversation you can reply pretty quickly but online you might not know what the person thought of it until much later, by which time they may have thought about it and blown what you said out of proportion!

          • So true! You really do have to take your time and think it through more.

    • Yes! I agree — there’s a fine line between being “introverted” and being “shy” — I happen to be both. You’re right though, I probably blurred to two together in this post, and should”ve used the term “shy people” (or something) over “introverts”. I just wasn’t thinking. However, for me personally, both my introversion and my shyness tend to overwhelm me at times to the point of ruined opportunities, and regret.

      • Allie Blue

        I can completely relate, as I am also a shy and introverted person. It can be overwhelming sometimes.

  • This excellent article would really benefit from one important tweak. The points are actually aimed at overcoming /shyness/, not introversion. There’s a lot of good articles and research to help understand the difference. Here’s a starting point: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sophia-dembling/nine-signs-that-you-might_b_2251932.html

  • Sam S.

    Hey Rachel!
    Aside from the fact that I don’t ever write stuff this good, your article could totally have been something written by me. I feel almost exactly the same way.
    I see that everyone is talking about the insane courage part; did you read that in a book or something? I know I did. It totally fits with doing hard things.

    • Madeleine Grace

      Sam your an introvert? i never would have guessed 😉

      • Sam S.

        Um, I don’t really know. I suppose so. I actually didn’t even know the term until a few months ago. I’ve always considered myself a shy person, but honestly, I hate not being able to talk to people. So I just sort of started talking to people…and here I am.

        • Madeleine Grace

          haha conquering your fear!! i told there’s nothing we can’t do through Christ!! 😀 Your Awesome!

        • mimeforJesus

          I’m not the only one!!!!

    • Actually it’s a quote from the movie, “We Bought a Zoo”. I heard and I thought, “WOW, I need to remember this, and use it.” Here’s the original quote: “Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just
      literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you
      something great will come of it.”

      • Sam S.

        Oh that’s right. Thanks.

  • Elizabeth Marie

    YES YES YES…. I too am an introvert! Wonderful article!

  • I am sorry for you being lonely. That’s such a terrible feeling. That’s awesome though that you found a friend you could connect with!

  • Allie Blue

    Wow, I must take my hat off to you , Rachel, that was an awesome article!!! It describes me to a T; making phone calls, making small talk, making myself go up to someone that I don’t know and saying “Hi” is pretty hard for me. Stepping outside of my comfort zone is scary, but thank you so much for writing this encouraging article and reminding me that God is constantly by my side telling me to “Fear Not.” And you made a very good suggestion when you said that we should just take 20 second and pray for insane courage; I’m gonna do that.
    thanks again , God Bless

    • It’s taken a long time to learn this, (and it’s still very hard to execute), but the journey has been so worth it. God bless you!

      • Allie Blue

        Yes, I’m finding that it is worth it. Thanks for your encouragement. :)

  • Gabrielle S.

    I have a cool story about trusting God outside your comfort zone, if any of you want to hear (or read :P) it.

    When my dad was younger, he and a ton of other kids from his church would go to abortion clinics and just sit there in front of the door with elbows linked. There were a LOT of people that joined in. The doctors wouldn’t even be able to get through and go to work, and the women coming to get abortions wouldn’t be able to go in. They would literally close down the abortion clinic for the entire day, and they convinced a lot of soon-to-be mothers not to get abortions.

    Then the police showed up.

    They took everyone and told them that if they didn’t want to go to jail, they’d have to sign a contract saying they wouldn’t do something like this again. Out of the 1000+ people there, only 200 refused to sign the paper. They were scared and insecure, but they trusted God to keep them safe. And sure enough, they went to jail. They were going to have to stay there a night or two, while the officers broke the group apart and tried to force them to see sense and accept the fact that they weren’t allowed to close down the abortion clinics.

    First they called my dad in. He was a little nervous because he was one of the people in charge of the group, and he wasn’t much older than many of us here on this site. But guess what? Then hadn’t called him in to break his spirit.

    A while ago he had volunteered at a youth conference, along with a police officer who thought it was really cool that all those teens were going after God. And now, years later, that police officer had recognized my dad’s name on the list! He talked to him, and ended up gathering all the names of the people who had refused to sign the paper, and he let them all go. Plus, he ensured that everyone on that list would have free leave for when they shut down abortion clinics in the future!!!

    So whether it’s talking on the phone or getting sent to jail, just know that God is always with you, and there’s absolutely no reason to stay stuck in your comfort zone and miss out on miracles. :-)

    • mimeforJesus

      Wow, that’s awesome :)

    • Wow, that is incredible! Good for him!

    • Katherine Edwards

      That’s such a awesome story!! An example of teens starting a Rebalution!! Please tell your dad his story is a great example of starting a Rebalution!

      • mimeforJesus

        Hi Katherine! Welcome to the Rebelution! Glad to have you 😀

        • Katherine Edwards

          So glad to be here! :)

          • mimeforJesus

            So, how’d you find us?

          • Katherine Edwards

            I joined a book study on Do Hard Things. I loved the book and could really relate so I came to the website.

          • That’s awesome, Katherine! Welcome to the site. =)

          • Katherine Edwards

            I’m so glad to be here Brett!

      • Gabrielle S.

        I will! Thanks!

    • That is so close to my heart! Thanks so much for sharing! tell your dad that is so amazing.

  • Heidi Erickson

    Wow, thank you so much for this Rachel. I really really needed it. I especially loved your idea of praying for 20 seconds of insane courage. That’s brilliant. Thank you so much. God bless. :)

    • I’m so glad! And thank you! 20 seconds of insane courage has done so much for me :)

  • Alexandra Gaba

    Hi,Rachel! This article is really great. I just wanted to tell you that I also cannot breathe whenever someone says “Hi” to me. So,no. You are not alone on that one. Please continue to write and inspire others because you definitely inspired me. God bless you! :)

    • I’m so relieved! And thank you, you too!

    • mimeforJesus

      Hi! Welcome to the Rebelution!

      • Alexandra Gaba

        Thanks!! Sorry for the late reply. :(

        • GodsThespian

          You’re welcome!

    • Nathanael B.

      I’m a bit late, but welcome to the Rebelution! Also, if you take your account off of private I will follow you!

      • Alexandra Gaba

        I’m a bit late too, but thanks for the welcome!!

    • Oh good! That makes me feel better :) And thank you so much for your support!

  • Emma

    Great article! I love how you said that, ” When we obey God despite our weaknesses, He gets the glory.”

  • Recently, I had the opportunity to consider going to the Lamplighter Guild. I realized that hiding behind the excuse of being too shy as a reason not to go was no longer a valid one.

    God has helped me to realize the beauty of going out of my comfort zones to run deeper into the plans He has for me!!

    I posted a clip of the promo for LL Guild 2015 on my blog here: http://uniquelyfashionedforhisglory.blogspot.com/2015/03/lamplighter-guild-2015.html?m=1

    This is a wonderful opportunity for us Rebelutionaries who struggle with being an introvert. Let’s rise up as Rachel urged us–We can embrace God’s best!!

    • mimeforJesus

      What is Lamplighter Guild? (Sorry, I can’t go to your blog…)

      • On their website, they describe it better than I can…”mission is to provide students with a life-transforming week, which will inspire them to attain the skills needed to become diligent craftsmen, reaching the highest level of excellence in their work and life. We desire to provide a platform where students and masters will share ideas and explore new and strategic ways to be God’s image-bearer in today’s culture

        • mimeforJesus

          That looks like a great program! I’m glad you get to do it!

          • I actually decided not to this year…It cost about the same to go on a trip to Uganda (my first choice). Maybe next year could work out for the Guild. *smiles hopefully*

          • mimeforJesus

            Hopefully :) Choices are hard sometimes…

    • I love lamplighter!!! would so love to go on the guild. that’s so cool!

    • How exciting! Good for you, Moriah!!

  • Madison Camp

    I completely agree! Sometimes, especially when dealing with introvertedness, we use it as an excuse not to do something hard. It is not a medical condition, it’s not a sin, but it is OUR choice whether to let the Devil use it to cripple us, or to let God use it to glorify himsellf in our weaknesses!! God is so great and loving, and he will always be there for us and challenge us to be more than we could ever dream!

    • You’re right! Amen and amen! It is a daily choice to flee from temptation and to branch out and let God use us :)

  • Lia Tyto

    hey, i’m not sure if I’m the only one on this, but i’m a 9 on this thing called the enneagram. it’s this personality thing, and the 9 tends to be lazy and procrastinate. And the thing is, sometimes i catch myself not doing something I should be doing and I just say, “I’m a 9!” when really, I should be aiming to overcome my tendencies. But recently, I’ve started to reach out. My teacher started reading us Do Hard Things for morning devotions at my school, and I decided to do a bake sale for needy children in the Philippines. So one of the main things I think that we have to overcome is our own excuses, because self-pity seems so harmless, but it might be one of the toughest things for us. One of the things that I keep having to tell myself is that I’m not limited by my age. I just turned 13, but I think that being introverted and kinda lazy and young compared to the rest of the world are some of the biggest struggles I’ve ever had to reach out against.

    • Wow! What a great and fun thing to do! Self pity and excuses are sooo tempting to accept and believe. Stay strong! It is a struggle, but God is with us always.

  • I so identify. I’m the introvert in a large house of extroverts! I learned that because I was shy, it made me appear stuck up. (not exactly the impression i want to give) So I’ve been working really hard at being friendly. sometimes I do have to back away, just because I’m overwhelmed. But this post was such an inspiration! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • I know what you mean! It’s so sad that people think you’re stuck up just because you have a hard time talking to people :/ “Sometimes I do have to back away, just because I’m overwhelmed.” <— Yes! I do this too. I don't think we need to "change" ourselves, but stepping out of our comfort zone to obey God is something required of ALL of us, extroverts included. And I agree, it IS the little things that become big things!

      • Thanks so much! its great to know that I’m not the only one 😛

  • Spitfire

    “20 seconds of insane courage”…I understood that reference. 😉

  • DavidLHagen

    Susan Cain explores introverts in: “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” http://amzn.to/1VMpWey She finds exceptional achievements by introverts as business leaders and very creative people.

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