Tag Archives: Relationships

Thoughts on {Extroverts and Introverts}

I’ve read a few articles recently about this introvert/extrovert, let’s say, debate. Most articles from the introvert’s perspective, or a “how to” when interacting with a self-proclaimed introvert. But loudly, as extroverts usually do, the responses and rebuttals are quickly making an appearance in social media.

So, why not weigh in, here are a few of my thoughts on this topic.

On the continuum of painfully shy, timid, unable to converse with people to the loud, obnoxious, talk to anyone, I would put myself quite firmly on the extrovert side. I realize this is both a personality trait, and a personal choice.

I do realize that introvert is not synonymous with quiet or shy. Nor should extrovert have the same definition as loud or obnoxious.

There is a certain disdain towards extroverts’ communication styles, with words such as shallow, pithy, empty, meaningless often thrown in as the key adjectives. This may or may not be true for some extroverts, but can I just point out one minor thing? How do you get to know someone without talking? I can hear it already, “Small talk isn’t communication.” False. (insert Dwight’s face) You learn something from every conversation, well you can learn something from every conversation. It just depends if you’re looking. Discussing the seemingly “small things of life” can show priorities, goals, values, as well as provide insight into the person’s way of thinking. Discussing my junior high girls’ favorite pop group or movie can give huge understanding to a group’s dynamics or priorities. You just have to be alert during these “meaningless” conversations to grasp the real meat of the discussion.

Extroverts are often labeled as conversational hogs or attention seekers. But, pause for a moment, someone has to start the conversation. Starting a conversation, even with seemingly “meaningless” topics, is important to relationships. It shows interest, it allows others to give opinions, thoughts on the topic. You don’t normally just jump into a deep conversation with a random person. But how does asking, “Where did you get that scarf” open a conversation? Leads to discussion of places to shop, deals found, favorite items, colors, etc. Bits and pieces of information used to keep the conversation going. Now can you have a friendship with someone and not know their favorite color? Of course. Taking the time to learn about people, to know information, to many, this may seem inconsequential. But I would argue this, spending the time to learn about someone else,  that shows interest, and gives value to that person beyond just a face in the crowd.

I love my generation’s attempt to label everything, but always attempting to be different, unique. We’re programmed with this need to stand out from the crowd.  But in this desperate need to be someone or make something of ourselves, we have lost what it means to be a friend. We network, we use people, we learn what we need to know to get by. Be different, learn someone’s favorite color, ask about the small things in life, not just the obvious or surface”y” topics. Obviously this goes both for introverts, as well as extroverts. But sometimes an extrovert feels rejected or hurt when an introvert does not express any interest in learning about them. Sharing is a natural thing for an extrovert, so introverts can be perceived as rude if this same interest is not returned.

Extroverts may not open up easily. Yes, I hear your thoughts “they’re actually WAY to open” but pause again. Self-proclaimed extrovert moment, we use shallow topics to build up friendships to slowly open up on other more meaningful topics.

Bear in mind, I am speaking in generalities. Don’t be offended, these are just observations and personal feelings.

Introverts claim the corner on self-reflective thought and soul searching. I disagree. As an extrovert, I am often reflecting on my behaviors, words, actions. But some difference may occur in that as I reflect on all that is me, I am also analyzing how this interacts with others. How does it make them feel? Am I coming across rude because I don’t start a conversation? Am I coming across shallow because I compliment their outfit? The pressure to entertain, amuse, keep the conversation going is something an extrovert knows well.

I’ll review a conversation multiple times in my head to see where it went wrong, or when the “I’m overwhelmed” face appeared. I would bet that many self-proclaimed extroverts also have these same experiences.

Of course we are human, and all very selfish in our interactions. Selfishness can be seen all across this spectrum. So learn about people different from you, have the pithy conversations, engage in the deep discussions, remember, this life is not all about you.

So these are a few of a self-proclaimed extrovert’s thoughts. Take them as you will. I’m interested to know your thoughts on this topic.

 

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You Simply MUST Do

9_Things_Before_You_Die_large

For my class I had to read the book 9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life By Dr. Henry Cloud

These are a few of my thoughts and hopefully they will encourage you to take the time to read this fabulous book.

He starts out by defining Deja vu people as “People who found what they were looking for in life” and that these people had specific traits in common. None of these people had the same background, they were from all walks of life, upbringings varied, which encourages us that these things can be learned, we are not stuck. We can learn from these people and become successful.

He then proceeds to give us 9 Principles or word pictures based on the actions of successful people he has met and interacted with.

Since there are several of them that impacted me deeply, I will divide them up so you don’t have a novel to dig through, so to start:

Principle #1

Dig it up: Find your heart’s desire. Find that combination of interest and what lays deeply buried in your heart. So often we become distracted or lose that which makes us “come alive”–I firmly believe that God has given us all talents that must be used, and when we neglect them we lose the purpose for life. Find it, act on it, invest in it, hold on to it, fight for it. Do not ignore your heart, mind, and soul…Do not allow for it to be buried in the busyness of life.

Awesome quote “Those who take what they possess, invest it in life, and are diligent and faithful with it over time, grow and build something good. But those who allow fear to keep them from stepping out, not only fail to increase what they have, they actually lose it” 

I challenge you, search your heart, when you are feeling discontent and frustrated, seek those things you have buried away. We were created for a purpose and we must not neglect to use the talents and skills, passions that were given to us.

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Son of Encouragement

Barnabas 

We first meet Barnabas selling his property to help those in need (Acts 4:36) His given name was Joses, but he was re-named Barnabas by the apostles, which means Son of Encouragement. Barnabas lived a life that encouraged others.

Barnabas was an encouragement to Paul. When Paul converted to Christ on the road to Damascus the Jews were not at all excited to accept him (for obvious reasons since he was known as a Jew killer). But Barnabas stood along side Paul, he supported, he was an encouragement while others rejected Paul.

Barnabas was an encouragement to his nephew(or cousin?) Mark. He gave Mark a second chance. He stood along side and he supported Mark, even when Paul rejected Mark.

Barnabas was an encouragement when others gave up on people.

{Who are you encouraging today?} 

 

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Pops

I know it’s a few days after Father’s Day, but hey I’ve always held to “better late than never”

I love my Pops, so so so much!

I know lots of people may say they have the best Dad, but they are {inadvertently} lying because I have the best Dad in the world.

He gives of himself daily. He love people.

My Dad is a Christ-like example in all areas of his life.

He loves {unconditionally}

He speaks the truth

He gives advice

He teaches, he encourages, he corrects

He is the person I quote most often.  {Insert multiple snarky responses}

My Father is really just the best.

I have learned so much from Him, I continue to learn from Him.

His example and His love have pointed me to Christ & A true relationship with my God.

Thank you Pops for being you & for being my Dad

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A Vision

Do you have a vision? Not like a vision in the sense of “i saw people in white descending from the clouds” {if that has happened to you, well you may want to schedule a doctor’s appointment}

A vision, a direction, a goal if you will. But I think vision is so much more.

Vision in-compasses all that you want to be, all that you hope to accomplish, and even what you want to be remembered for. More like a mission statement. A direction you want your life to be headed. A way to make your life meaningful.

What is your vision?

My vision is related to relationships. I feel that relationships are an area that I can excel in. A vision can be any area of life, but remember in the end people are what matter.

My vision is to build relationships, encourage those around me, and help people to grow into who they want to become. See their vision, encourage them to develop it, and help them accomplish it. My vision is to impact those around me for Christ.

Do you have a vision?

 

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On Judging

 

{my all time favorite book} Pride & Prejudice 

There are many many lessons to be learned from this book.

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth both judge each other from a distance.

They make their conclusions and proceed to place each other in a box.

The make assumptions, jump to conclusions, and judgments are passed.

Are you judgmental? I am.

I see people and instantly know I have them figured out.

I see what people are wearing and make snap decisions about their character.

I hear what people talk about so obviously I know their heart.

I judge…a lot.

It’s amazing how people change when you take the time to get past the judgement and get to know them.

Assumptions…well we all know what those do ;)

and I love how people “improve on closer acquaintance” {Elizabeth Bennett ~P&P}

stop the judging; take the time to get to know people 

 

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On Guarding Your Heart

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” ~C. S. Lewis

The phrase “guard your heart” often crosses my lips.

Guard your heart, be careful, don’t get hurt

But guarding your heart does not mean that we lock it away, never open it to anyone with the fear of being hurt.

I remember one bleak day while driving to work and pondering life events I found myself whining to God “lock my heart up in a cage; I’m sick of this hurt and I don’t want to be hurt any more” Instantly I was convicted. That prayer was incredibly selfish! I didn’t want pain in my life, I didn’t want hurt, so I wanted to God to lock my heart away. Terrible.

Love means having to open yourself up to people. Putting other people before yourself. The exact opposite of the prayer I was praying.

Let’s be honest…none of us like pain. And there are lots of different types of pain, {physical, spiritual, emotional} and none of them are pleasant to experience.

As humans we will all hurt someone around us. As much I may try there are moments in the day when the flesh takes over, a word spoken, an action done, that will cause someone I love pain.

We cannot live our lives hiding from the pain of relationships.

Painful—Yes, but not unbearable. We learn from the pain, we grow from the pain, we help others, learn humility, becomae more sensitive to the needs of others around us.

Jesus opened himself up to pain by allowing the 12 disciples (most of whom were teenagers) to follow Him around in His ministry, knowing that they would desert Him in His hour of need. He loved them even though they hurt Him. He loved them and encouraged them to grow.

As a leader there will be many times when we are hurt by those we trusted, torn down by those we mentored, but we cannot solve this by locking the heart in a cage.

Ministry will not happen when a heart is not open. It will become self-focused and hard.

So yes, guard your heart–against yourself.

Lord, help my guard my heart so that my actions bring honor and glory to You.

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{Eternal Perspective}

 

“Life is short” 

A common phrase often heard at funerals.

But I’ve been thinking about it recently, the past four years of my life have just flown by! I am suddenly {23} and staring back at the years which have passed in the blink of an eye.

Life is {very} short.

The time we have here on the Earth is limited. The time we have to spend with people is limited.

Don’t be a time {hoard}

Give your time to those around you who need it. Selfishly storing the time for your own interests or pleasures is not the example left for us by Christ.

If we have an eternal perspective & recognize the fleeting time on this Earth, it should motivate us to act ToDay!

If we are truly loving others, we will act on that today, because we do not know how long we will have to impact & influence their lives.

Christ loved His {teenage} disciples so fully and completely that He acted, He washed their feet the day before His death (John 13). I don’t know about you, but that is NOT the way I would chose to spend my last night here on Earth…

We have such a limited time, it is imperative to act now!

Take every opportunity to pour your lives into those around you, for we never know when those opportunities will be taken away. 

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Are You Ready to Order Yet?

I stare blankly at the list before me. So many options, types, flavors, perks…how’s a girl to choose!?

“You ready to order?” The question makes me pause, am I ready to order. This is a crazy important decision…I better not mess it up!

“I’ll take a caramel, no wait, chocolate, nope, just kidding I want something sweet, but not like sickly sweet. Do I want a latte? I’ll go with…wow this is hard! I’ll just take a tall dark roast brew. Nice and healthy, and well..safe.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just order a boy like I order my coffee? Tall, dark, rich, and sweet. Sounds perfect to me!

Write out a list, give it to God, and *wham* the perfect man appears at the end of the bar.

But life doesn’t work like that….

We can’t just write a list and expect God to be the barista of our significant other delivery.

I think I’ve kind of developed that mindset when it comes to asking God for a spouse. “God can you make him my height or taller, dark hair & eyes, well obviously I want him to love You. A good sense of humor, intelligent, o and dedicated to ministry and serving you. And it wouldn’t hurt if he were sarcastic” Then I wait…ok God, where is he? I’m waiting.

But you know what…standards are different from demands. My standards need to be things that God requires, my demands can be compromised & need to be flexible. God is leading, and if I’m unable to distinguish my wants from God’s requirements there’s a problem.

So what does God want me to have? What can I never ever compromise on?

Stop ordering!

 

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Do You See?

Do you take joy in seeing others succeed? Do you love helping empower people to rise to their best? Are you able to see the good and the talents in people and encourage them to develop those talents?

Do you watch people? (In a non-creepy manner!) Do you study their character?

Do you see People? Do you see what they can become?

Part of loving people is seeing them. Seeing them not for the blind, the maimed, and abused, but seeing them for who they are or can become in Christ.

Christ saw people and he saw what they really were. Those who looked good on the outside and had no heart for him, he called them out as whited sepulchers. Those who looked sketchy but truly recognized their need for a Savior, he reached out and made them whole.

Are you being Christ-like in how you see people? Do you see in inside or are you distracted by the outward?

Lord, give me Your eyes so I can see.

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