Friday, August 30, 2013

A Lesson in Insecurity and Humility

Jonathan is naturally introverted, so this probably gets on his nerves a little, but…I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE meeting & talking to new people!! I love hearing people’s “stories” & making new friends.

As a little girl, I never met a stranger. I loved talking to everyone and probably drove my parents bonkers with worry. I remember getting in trouble for always turning around in the booth when we were out to eat and interrupting other peoples’ dinner to talk to them.

In high school I had NO problem talking to people either (classmates, adults, strangers, whoever) & I even competed in interview competitions for FBLA for fun just because I loved talking to new people. I was friends with people from all different groups and cliques. Our high school’s population was very diverse and I LOVED that!

As I went off to college, I noticed that it wasn’t quite as easy to make friends (with girls especially). Fortunately I played ball in college & was able to have immediate friendships in my teammates (being involved in athletics creates a really cool opportunity for some unique bonds) , but outside of that, it was a little tougher. Girls were very “cliquish,” & even when I tried to smile & be friendly, some girls just seemed to not be having it.  (Maybe it was like that in high school too and I was just oblivious to it? Or maybe because most of us grew up together?) That was a new experience for me and I didn’t like it, so I always made a point (to the best of my knowledge anyway) to make people feel included and never leave anyone out. And to smile…a lot.

For years I’ve been serving in the youth & worked specifically with the young ladies, but lately have been feeling more of a tug on my heart to serve in women’s ministry. It’s been cool to watch that transition and how the Lord has placed women in my life to work with and to minister to. Women are definitely complex and complicated creatures. Half the time I don’t even understand what’s going on with me!! So as I’ve been praying through this, I’ve been more aware of my interactions with other ladies and I have SO enjoyed all the new friendships God has blessed me with lately. YAY for new friends!!

And then God taught me a great lesson the other day, so I wanted to share. It’s not some brilliant epiphany or anything, but it was definitely a good reminder for me.

One day this week my mom knew I was really needing so gym time in my life, so she watched the baby for me for an hour so I could go work out. I went to a new class. It was a 10:00 am class, and it was obvious most of the ladies were regulars and knew each other and were friends. Normally I would just smile and introduce myself and talk to everyone. And I’m not sure if it was because I was exhausted from not getting much sleep  or what, but for some reason I felt very self conscious and just kept to myself.  It was surprising to me how intimidated I felt to break into their circle and introduce myself. Afterwards, I was like “Seriously, Danielle? What the heck?” They all stood in a little circle and talked & laughed- but I didn’t talk to anyone & they didn’t talk to me. They probably looked at me and assumed I am snobby or stuck up (I’ve had people tell me many times they assumed I was snobby till they got to know me- I don’t mean to come off that way)…but in reality I just felt self-conscious & a little intimidated.

And this was SUCH a great reminder for me on so many levels.

It was a GREAT reminder that so many times we judge people before getting to know them. And so many times we assume things about somebody without reasoning…For example, assuming someone is stuck up or rude when they are actually just shy or maybe a little self-conscious or insecure. It was also a great reminder of what it feels like to be the “outsider” or the “new girl.” I haven’t felt that way in a long time, and it didn’t feel good. It was a lesson I definitely needed to encourage me to be more mindful of reaching out to others and making them feel welcome.

I don’t know why I am not as outgoing as I was when I was younger, but I know I need to work on getting out of my comfort zone again. Some of my best friends in life have come from me breaking the ice with a stranger…so it’s definitely worth it.

I know confidence can be tough, especially for women…but I also know that insecurity can cause a LOT of unnecessary issues.

Here are a few older posts on insecurity….

Are you Insecure?

Green Eyed Monster

Why do women tear each other down?



Unknown said...

That is so relatable to me right now! In HS I was in with nearly all groups, but I've found it more difficult in college! Thanks for you inspirational posts!

Always Learning said...

I think a lot of it has to do with how you are feeling. It takes effort to be warm and friendly. If you are not feeling well, it isn't easy to put out the effort. Everything in life is easier if you are well rested and feel good. Some people are naturally shy but even that can change if you want it to. I was very shy growing up but my mom told me it was a sign of selfishness, thinking more of myself than others. Ouch! It worked...

Ashley said...

You have no idea how much this post blessed me! Just an hour ago I was crying out to God (literally crying) because of the difficulty in navigating adult friendships. I prayed that God would just speak to me and give me wisdom (this has all been building up for 3 years since we moved here). I texted a couple of my friends and was just honest and authentic about how I was feeling. They responded so well and I felt like for the first time I had really verbalized how feel. Then, not a few minutes later, I read your blog post on this exact topic. God used you to speak directly to me and to remind me that I'm not alone in this struggle. I am blown away by His timing!

PS - I started reading your blog when someone told me that we have similar birth stories (which we do!). I had Lynley on May 20 and God again has used your blog to help me process a birth not going according to plan. I've enjoyed reading so much! :)

Danielle said...

I am super introverted and I am always one to be on the outside of the groups of girls laughing and talking - and I have had lots of people tell me they think I am a snob or a B until they get to know me, but in reality I am just shy. I will never be as outgoing as you (or as you were in HS) it's just not me, but I use my feelings and history to remember when I meet other girls who come off as snooty, maybe they are just shy and need to be comfortable around people before talking too. I don't mind being talked to, but honestly as a true introverted person, most times I enjoy being 'left alone' or on the 'outside' of cliques.

Christi said...

I used to think I was out going but as an older lady now and mom, adult relationships are hard. Thanks for sharing.

Christi said...

Hey I just got this in my inbox to read this morning. It touched my heart where I'm at in life right now. I thought of you. Hope it's okay I share with you.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I was just thinking how I would love to make some new friends. It has become so hard, especially since becoming a stay-at home mom. I feel like all I have to talk about are my kids. Thanks so much for this post.

Anonymous said...

Blog more, please!!! Miss you :)