Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Awkward Moments for Introverts - Free Time

It's been a week since we have all been together in one one place. Busy with our families, jobs, and other responsibilities, there is much we haven't shared with many in our church family. These Sunday mornings are a din of chatter, often elevating to a low roar as the sanctuary fills, and everyone scrambles to utter their last words before the playing of the piano, signaling the beginning of our worship service.

It seems most look forward to these times of fellowship. The chance to catch up on the latest and to enjoy the company of friends, but these are some of the most awkward times for an introvert. There is no schedule, no agenda to follow. This is just open space in a crowded room, as we seek to blend into the background, sitting quietly in our pew awaiting the merciful sound of the opening piano.

It's not that we, or more importantly I, have no love for and friendship with the members of the congregation, it's just that one of the most pervasive symptoms of introversion, is the inability to engage in small talk. Give me a subject I feel passionate about and I'll talk your ear off, but bump into me in an unexpected place without a obvious topic of discussion, and I'll struggle to articulate a coherent greeting.

Sometimes I fear that my shyness and clumsy speech can leave others with the impression that I am in fact lacking in mental capacity, that my light is dim. In truth, my mind is most likely racing frantically, closing in on and clarifying some conundrum or interest that I'm currently exploring. To invite someone in to my world so to speak, would leave them disoriented, unable to make heads or tails of the thoughts in which they suddenly find themselves thrust into the middle of, just as I stumble when trying to leave. That is of course, if I would let anyone enter into my mind.

Yes, the free time before or between services, or the before evening service dinner that is allotted two hours, yet we all finish in one, where my solace is found in hiding in the preoccupation of watching my children play, these are the most stressful for the introvert, well for this one any way.

It is here, that I find myself most envious of the ease at which others engage in light hearted banter.


So do you struggle in these situations? Or am I the lone stranger? What methods of copping or avoidance do you employ in these circumstances?

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