Have you ever taken a personality test?
I hear a lot about them these days. Frequently, on podcasts I listen to, the host or guests will proudly proclaim that they’re an Enneagram 7 or an ENFP. And I’m certainly a fan of learning not only what personality type you are, but also the personality styles of those around you.
Better understanding our children’s personalities has guided my husband and I as we instruct and discipline them. We know that one daughter responds best to clear, direct communication. She doesn’t care about a gentle approach, nor does she have time for long-winded explanations.
While I’ve taken a personality test before, I didn’t need one to tell me that I’m an introvert. I enjoy being around people, but I recharge by having alone time. And when it comes to entering new social situations, I have to force myself out of my comfort zone.
Now, if you’re an extrovert, you may not relate to anything in this post, but perhaps it will give you insight into how the rest of us feel!
If we’re going to a social event, most of us realize that it will be more enjoyable if someone we know is going to be there. There’ll be someone to talk to, and we won’t awkwardly stand around looking lonely. And that’s all fine and good.
But sometimes good things happen when I’m a little uncomfortable.
Several months ago, I attended a wedding with my daughters. There was a fairly large crowd, and we knew some of the guests. When it came time for the sit-down dinner reception, my girls split off with friends, and I was on my own.
By the time I got my food from the buffet line, many of the tables were full. In the large room, I didn’t want to wander around looking for someone I knew in hopes that there was an empty seat at their table.
I spotted a table with a few empty chairs, and just sat down by myself. On impulse, I introduced myself to the lady on my left. She was a friend of the groom, was from out-of-state, and we ended up having the most interesting conversation!
This woman was an elementary school teacher (which I used to be). She also happened to be from the area where I attended college. We talked and talked about all kinds of things, and didn’t leave the table until it was time to say farewell to the newly married couple!
That whole experience was a blessing! It reminded me that I need to be more intentional about stepping out of my comfort zone. (By the way, this post is not at all intended to brag on myself! Most of the time I get so self-focused that I forget about trying to bless anyone else.)
Sometimes, if I know I’m going into a situation like that, I try to remember to pray and ask God to lead me to just the right person He would have me interact with. It might seem like a small request. However, I believe that God will put me in the path of someone I can fellowship with. Even when people I know are around, it can be a blessing to reach out and make a new friend.
So the next time we introverts head into a new social situation, let’s ask God to lead us in where to sit or who to talk to. This incident made me want to be more mindful of noticing someone who doesn’t seem to have anyone to talk to. Rather than focusing on my own pleasure, I can see if there’s a person nearby who could use some conversation.
You never know when you might make a new friend ~ and get a blessing for yourself in the process.