I am frequently confused for an extrovert. On Sundays and other important days of ministry I can perform as an extrovert. I assure you, it’s not the real me!
I’m an introvert. I’ve written extensively about it here. You might read:
True Confession: Life as an Introvert
It’s not that I’m fake in those incidents. I love people. I love connecting. I genuinely want to engage with others. It simply doesn’t come natural to me.
As a result of my ability to appear extroverted, a question I receive frequently is: How do you do it? How do I appear so extroverted when I am so introverted? (I almost max out that preference on the Myers Briggs.) How do I perform on Sundays…and other days of the week?
Recently I went through a week of interviews for my new ministry assignment. I was expected to meet and engage at several affairs each day. I was exhausted, but I kept going. I’ve never been so extroverted for a week. How did I do that?
Here are 5 ways I break away from my introversion to perform as an extrovert:
Prepare mentally – I have to prep myself before Sunday, for example, that I have a job to do, people are expecting me to engage with them, that it’s not going to be easy, but that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. It’s a mental exercise before any event where I need to be outgoing.
Act purposeful – I remind myself that there is a reason to be extroverted in some occasions. Often people are waiting on me to engage them. To be a Kingdom builder, I have to converse with others; even when it’s uncomfortable. The reason I am willing to act outside my comfort zone is that I love people more than I love my individual preference or comfort. I have to be purposeful.
Discipline myself – At some point, I just do it. I simply have to make myself do what I may not want to do. Work the room. Make the initial approach for a new relationship. Talk! Engage! Connect! Do it!
Practice – It gets easier with time. It really does.
Reward myself – After an extremely extroverted occasion…I crash heartily. Sunday afternoon naps are the deepest sleeping I ever have. Plus, my family understands if I’m quieter than normal at Sunday lunch.
Okay, introverts, your turn. How do you breakout of your introversion when you need to do so?