Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Learning to Love Myself (Vol. 4)

There is one part of myself which I have always hated.  Call it what you will:  shyness, introversion, social awkwardness, difficulty connecting with other people and making friends.  (Or all of the above, really.)

You know how little kids will hide behind their parent's legs when introduced to someone new?  I'm 34 years old and that's still what I want to do when I meet new people!  It's frustrating, lemme tell ya.  It makes making friends hard-to-impossible, and going to a party FULL of people I don't know?  DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE LEVELS OF STRESS THIS CAUSES!!!
Being awkward:  Because I couldn't possibly feel more like an ass than I already do.

One of the worst things is that I think back on my life and wonder
about all of the things I may have missed out on because of this part of my personality.  Did I get invited to parties in school?  No.  Did I have boyfriends or get asked out on dates?  No.  Did I have crazy-fun adventures?  No.  Would I have even enjoyed any of the above?  I have no idea.

On the other hand, I also look back on my life and realize that, because I was shy and didn't have a lot of friends, I probably avoided a lot of the bad influences that otherwise may have damaged me.  Was I ever put into a situation where I felt pressured to drink/smoke/do drugs?  No.  Did I get my heart broken over and over again?  No.  Was I influenced to disrespect my parents and their rules or turn my back on my Catholic faith and morality?  Very little.

I'm learning to see that, even though being shy has limited my life in some ways, it has probably been a tool God has used to keep me out of a lot of trouble I would otherwise have been in.  Because, to be honest, I'm pretty credulous, and I like to fit in and make people like me.  I probably would have succumbed to some very negative influences if I hadn't been too damn shy to seek out the people that would have led me astray (or been so awkward that those people weren't interested in me in the first place).  So I can think of reasons to thank God for letting me be this way, as hard and lonely as it is at times.

I'm still working on trying to love this part of myself.  At least, I'm getting better at accepting it gracefully, and learning to work around it when I need to in certain situations.

What do you love about yourself?  What part of you do you not like so much but are trying to learn to love so that you can love yourself a little better?  I'd love to know!


  1. It's interesting to me to read this, because I sometimes cringe at my extroversion outgoing-ness. I'm working hard right now to use my ears and mouth in the proportion God gave them to me (listen more, talk less), but I'm also working to love this part of me.

    I found myself relating to this, if from a bit "on the other side" and wanted to encourage you and let you know I'll be praying for you.

    Something that was very helpful to me was taking the 4 Temperaments test and learning that I am a Choleric-Sanguine (or vice-versa depending on the day) and then reading about what that means. It really helped me to feel more comfortable in my own skin.

    1. Haha my mom is a talker, and every stranger is her new best friend. She agonizes about it too, wondering if she should tone it down. Here's a secret: introverts love you people. You take the burden off us!

  2. Oh man, I can so relate (except for the never rebelled/ got pressured to smoke etc. I have a prickly relationship with authority; still working on it). It's so hard to force yourself to go social events where you don't know people. And when there are small clusters of people already talking, what to do? You can't just sidle over and say y'all you are so right, her hair cut is terrible. I think there was a social cues 101 class that I missed.

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