One major benefit of working in the business world has been that I have been encouraged (and many times required) to take strength and personality tests. It is important when you are working on a team that you know your own strengths and weaknesses and that others know them too so that you can work well together. One thing that I learned about eight years ago is that contrary to what I thought and probably what everyone who knows me thought….I am an introvert NOT an extrovert! There is a joke on my work team that I only last ¾ of a conference and then I pack up and go home. I couldn’t figure out why traveling for conferences and meetings were so draining. I love what I do but I was exhausted by the end of the day. Right about the time everyone is ready to go out and socialize, I am heading to the room. I have been nicknamed the “boring girl.” 🙂 My life coach helped me understand that for an introvert, it takes an enormous amount of emotional energy to be social and “on” all day. That is why I was so tired and spent by the end of the conferences.
This introverted part of my personality makes going to social events an effort, even things I really want to attend. I usually make sure that I know at least one person at the event and coordinate with that person to either ride with them or have them save me a seat. It makes these types of events so much easier. I recently attended a wedding where a group of people including me were assigned a table but the seats were not marked. One lady, who was attending the wedding alone, asked a younger woman she knew if the seat was taken beside her. The younger woman was so cruel and hurtful as she announced that she was sure that other people were going to be sitting there and there wasn’t room, even though the lady was assigned to the table. I couldn’t stand how hurt the woman looked and made sure I moved over and invited her to sit by me. I enjoyed the wedding so much more and made a really nice friend. The younger woman’s insensitivity was terrible but it brought to my attention my responsibility to help in the situation.
In my Bible reading this morning, something jumped out at me. God is talking to Moses and promising to go with him and give him rest. I spent some time meditating on Exodus 33:14. “…My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” What a sweet verse when we are lonely and tired. God is with us and will give us rest. He understands that it takes a lot of emotional energy to survive each day. I continued to read and something I had never seen literally jumped off the page at me further down. Exodus 33:21 “And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me…” Oh my word! The LORD is saving me a seat! What an awesome thought! As I go throughout my day, I am comforted that God knows I am an introvert viewed by others as an extrovert. God knows I need his support and rest and he is going to save me a seat!
- Trust God to provide the rest you need. Don’t try to do things on your own.
- Look for others to encourage. Since God is saving you a seat, reach out to someone else and save them a seat.
- Realize that others struggle with insecurity and be quick to offer support NOT judgment.
- Thank God for the “encouragers” in your life and strive to become an encourager for others.