September 20, 2011 by Heather Harris
I am a pretty reserved person. Meeting new people in group settings is hard for me a lot of times because unless someone strikes up a conversation with me first, I will hide in the background and leave without saying a word to anyone, chickening out of putting myself out there. I don’t like to be vulnerable. I don’t like the idea of possibly being rejected, so I hide and try to pretend I’m not there, hoping no one will notice and I won’t have to chance it.
But the truth is, I’m also secretly hoping someone will notice me anyway.
One of the reasons I fell so hard for my ex-boyfriend was because he noticed me when I was at one of the lowest parts of my life, and he liked me anyway. I was a mess, and he thought I was breathtaking. He noticed me when I thought I was invisible, and it made me feel like maybe I was somebody after all. He gave me confidence in myself, made me believe that what I had to give was worth putting out there because it was unique and beautiful. I felt like I went from a faded, flat, flickering ghost of a person, to a bold, 3-dimensional, solid human being with something to contribute to the world.
And now that I’m without him, I feel myself fading back into that ghost again.
But he’s not the only one who noticed me. God did too. In fact, He did first. So I don’t need anyone else to notice me to validate that I have something to give. Knowing that God sees me for the beautiful, creative woman that I am is enough to fill me and make me feel whole, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still long for other human interaction. Though I’m an introvert, I don’t like to always be alone, and I don’t think God meant for any of us to live our lives without other people to help us along.
The problem is this: if I want to be noticed by others, if I want to make friends who are real friends and not just acquaintances, I have to put myself out there, whether I’m scared of being vulnerable and rejected or not. I can’t just expect people to notice me anyway. A lot of times, I tend to tell myself, “Well I’m an introvert, and introverts just aren’t good at people skills,” or “I’m an introvert, so making friends just isn’t my thing.” However, being an introvert shouldn’t become my excuse for not doing things that may put me outside my comfort zone. Introvert or not, I can be friendly and authentic. I can strike up a conversation. I can add my thoughts to a conversation that’s already been started. I can put myself out there, and if I’m rejected, it doesn’t mean I don’t have something to give. Living my life in the security that God loves and appreciates me for exactly who I am can and will free me from the fear of rejection.
I have something to give. Now I just have to go out there and give it.