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Building Community as an Introvert

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The room is filled with sounds; of laughter and chairs scraping across the worn wood floors.  Glasses are being drained and filled again.  There’s intermingling conversations and the far away sound of the night coming to life.  It’s a chaotic peace that settles warmly within my soul.  Community.

Since I was young, I craved friendships that went beyond the schoolyard playground.  I longed for face to face interactions, long phone calls, and inside jokes that induced rounds of belly laughs.  I prayed for the kind of people who didn’t think twice about digging in deep and learning my character as much as I longed to know their own.

But there’s always been a problem.  I’m an introvert.

Introversion, it’s a trait that I’ve allowed to hold me back from experiences that most others thrive in and enjoy.  It’s also a trait that easily concocts justifiable excuses of why I should not pursue something outside my norm.  And over the years I’ve learned just how lonely that can make a person.

Do you make excuses too?  Have you ever told yourself that you won’t fit in or you’re not good enough for a certain task or group of people?

You’re not alone.

According to statistics, introverts make up 40-50% of the people around you, meaning that approximately half of the world’s population prefers to skip the small talk and cut to the meaningful conversation.  Half of the world’s population derives their energy from time alone.

So how do we as introverts, build thriving communities when setting a foundation requires a lot of effort, ie., small talk?

  1. Pray – God is community (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), so He understands the importance of this type of connection, especially in His creation.  He knows the desires of your heart, He put them there, and He longs to provide opportunities to make you smile.  Take some time and share with Him.  If there’s a group of people whom you want to connect with, tell Him about it.  If there’s someone that you admire and hope to meet, but don’t know how to approach, ask for guidance.  He’ll meet you where you are.
  2. Be Bold – Introversion is not an excuse to sit back and feel sorry for yourself.  It’s part of your personality, but you have great worth, and that worth is needed in this world.  Take a deep breath and introduce yourself to someone new.  Stepping out of your comfort zone may turn out to be the most comfortable and/or rewarding step you’ve ever taken.
  3. Be Honest – Remember that 40-50% of the world’s population is introverted, so there’s a good chance that others in the community of friends you’re building feel the same way as you. By being honest and open about your tendencies to shy away from large groups or being quiet in conversations allows your extroverted friends to know that a little extra encouragement may be needed to get you involved in social settings or to retreat from your living room.
  4. Be a Leader and a Follower – Everyone has their own set of strengths, so don’t feel obligated to always push yourself to the limit, especially if someone else in your group is willing to take the lead.  But at the same time, don’t use this as another excuse to always be the follower.  It’s sometimes fun to surprise your friends by being the first to make contact or to plan an event, and putting yourself out there in that capacity may spark something inside of you that you didn’t know existed.
  5. Be Yourself – God created you just as you are, on purpose, with purpose and for a purpose.  The people that He has placed in your path are there for a reason, so don’t feel like you have to impress them or go out of your way to make them like you.  You, just as you are, are valuable and what you have to offer may be the very thing that the others in your community need.
“God is community; He understands the importance of this connection, especially in His creation.”

Do you have a desire in your heart for a community of friends?  Have you taken any of the steps above to grow a community?  I’d love to hear what has worked (and even what hasn’t worked) for you.



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  1. Wow! This really spoke to me right where I am now. I am out of town for work and was invited to attend an optional group dinner this evening. I told my husband I would go then after I got in the car, I changed my mind and am sitting at a different restaurant by myself eating dinner and catching up on emails. I totally long for community but find myself frustrated when others don’t have the same desire for deep relationship in the same way I do. I appreciate your suggestion to pray for God’s guidance in this area. I have recently moved to a new town and need to take advantage of the opportunity to be planted and involved where God would have me make an impact in this new place. Thank you for the encouragement and making me feel like someone else understands.

  2. I found this post so encouraging. After college, I have consistently struggled with building up a community of friends in my area. My college and high school friends are scattered all over, and those are the people I am still closets to. I struggle with building community where I am at.

    1. Julie, this has been a struggle of mine for the majority of my life. Even now, with a growing community, it’s work. Glad to know you were encouraged by this. You’re not alone, girl!

  3. Great post Bree! As an introvert, your title hooked me. You have made some wonderful points here. Iespecially like that you encourage us not to use our personalities and as excuse. So true! Visiting you today from Holly Gerth’s place. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

    1. Thanks for stopping by today, Ellen! As much as this post has encouraged others, I think it will be a great reminder for myself! Be bold, sweet sister!

  4. Yes. I am an introvert and have had to be extreme intentional about building community. It can be so hard and so awkward but so worth it!

  5. This is so helpful. As an extrovert, I need perspective into introverts to make them feel comfortable around me.

    Mandie from yellowdogpinkpig.con

    1. Mandie, I’m glad to know that this was beneficial for you, someone on the outside looking in. Some of my dear friends are extroverts and I have learned to encourage them to encourage me and it has made a world of difference. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Bree, I was an introvert. God has done a wonderful work in me. He place in a position that forces me to step outside of myself. When people look at me they always say they would have never known. And you would understand this….going outside of who I am wares me out although I enjoy the interaction.

    1. Marilyn, I’m proud of you for pushing yourself to be bold and to step out of those comfort zones! I recently learned of the term “ambivert”, which is essentially someone who is both extroverted and introverted. Maybe that’s us!

  7. I too am an introvert. I make friends but, sadly, most times hold them at a distance. But I’ve found that if you let people into your life they enrich it greatly. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Simple Moments.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing these insights!

    I am unusual in that “depending on the crowd”, even if I don’t know them, I can be extroverted or introverted. I seem to make an assessment and feel intimidated in some cases where there are a lot of extroverts, but if I am in a gathering of all introverts, I will tend to take the lead. It doesn’t really make sense. lol. I am definitely extroverted around those I am comfortable with, but do find it hard to just walk up to a new face in church and introduce myself.

    I appreciated the gentle encouragement you gave here in this post. It was a blessing to visit. 🙂

    1. Your response made sense to me. 🙂 I find that in some instances I can be more extroverted, while others I find myself more reserved. Blessed to know that you were encouraged by this post. Keep seeking Him!

  9. I am so glad to know that I am not alone! I often desired a community outside of my family especially as a teenager. My last job allowed me to be outspoken and to talk to different people from all walks of life. So I have improved some but I am still looking for my community!

    1. You are absolutely not alone, Lanae! Keep seeking God and lifting your requests to Him and in His perfect timing, I’m certain you’ll find what your heart desires!

  10. Hi! I am visiting from The Peony Project. I know from experience that what you shared is true! I remember after I graduated from college, I longed for a group of friends who walked with the Lord and loved him as much as I did. I prayed and he did just that! This post is going to bless so many. I am sure some have never thought about praying for this. Thanks for sharing!

  11. This is profound! “God is community (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), so He understands the importance of this type of connection, especially in His creation. ” I LOVED this. I stopped and re-read it a few times just to let it sink in and it is going in my journal entry today. 🙂
    As an introvert who is pretty extroverted at times ( I speak at conferences and ladies retreats and love it), I have a hard time moving away from the wall in a group where I am an observer. I prefer the quiet conversation to the loud noisy boisterous one. It has taken many years to see that my make up makes it possible to connect deeply and think hard on those things that catch my heart and it is ok. 🙂
    Thanks for your valuable insight.

    1. Thank you, Dawn! It’s an honor to know that this inspired you enough to be added to your journal. I pray that God gives you the confidence to begin implementing these small steps to find one of the greatest gifts, community!

  12. How wonderful God works! I am the introvert that everyone thinks is an extrovert. I have only 2 or 3 real friendships but even those are strained by the introvert thoughts and behaviors. I am good at stepping out of my comfort zone but I guess, because so many pepole see me as more the extrovert, they don’t realize what a struggle it is. I have a million acquaintances and a huge longing for community. But, back to how wonderful God is. I was Journaling about this very thing, yesterday and God reminded me of do many holy people before who waited patiently for His plan and were richly rewarded. And then I read this. Thank you!

    1. Barbara, I am so blessed to know that this post was an answer to your prayer. I completely understand the predicament that you face. Many times I find that once I’ve gotten to know people, I ease into a more extroverted approach, but there are still a lot of introverted tendencies hanging out just below the surface. It’s a balancing act, but luckily God knows this (He created us this way) and is able to provide grace and reassurance that we’re not alone! Keep seeking Him!

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