I’ve been hearing relationships emphasized – at work, in church, out of my own mouth. And I love it. Building relationships is my favorite activity. My mission.
But I wasn’t always like that.
Most of my life, I used relationships to feel good. To feel loved and accepted. And I was never satisfied because I was only taking from people. They never met my expectations. So, I thought I hated people. I avoided talking to strangers at all costs. And I settled for blaming my introversion.
What’s Introverting and What’s Not
Thankfully, I realized that hating people isn’t a characteristic of introverts.
And I found out that hating people is different than feeling exhausted by large groups of them (a truer characteristic of introverts). And being loved is different than receiving the type of love I wanted. I was doing it all, but I didn’t have to include the hatred.
Once I wised up on what it really means to be an introvert, and once I really claimed my “love language” (quality time), I found myself loving to be with people. I wanted to invest in all of my relationships. And while I still avoid eye contact with retail workers and dread their perky deals and too many exclamation marks, I look forward to making friends – new and old.
Spreading the Love
So why should you care? You might be extroverted, knowing that you always have and will love being around people. Or you might hate socializing and be content with that.
But all of us have to remember something about relationships: they are the stuff of life. They create fruitful teams, marriages, families, love. And love is the only thing that can overcome our dissatisfaction and fear.
What really matters to you? You? Your significant other? Sex? Your family? Safety? Popularity? Respect? Money?
I know from experience that investing in my own desires only brings dissatisfaction. And investing in others for my own gain does the same. So I know that selflessness is necessary. Letting go of my fear is crucial. Let’s not waste our time to love.
I want to hear your thoughts. What’s your experience with introversion, extroversion, something in between, or building relationships?