Tuesday, August 07, 2012

At my church, the main area is usually just crowded enough so there are couples or families in every row, with only one or two empty seats between them. I never know who is expecting one more person, plus a lot of these people are talking to each other when I arrive, so I usually go sit in the balcony. There are plenty of other people up there, yet there’s lots of room so I don’t have to intrude on others to find a seat. I automatically head to the balcony each Sunday, and I didn’t realize it was an abnormal place to sit. But last week I ran into a woman I know after the service and she stated, “I see you’re still hiding in the balcony.” HIDING? Um, if I were hiding, I think I’d be crouching behind the railing so no one would see me. Or perhaps I’d be just outside the door! Shhhh.. Guess I’m not a very good hider, sitting there in plain site. (Why is enjoying my favorite spots considered "hiding?")
It's the same situation for me, that's why I can't stand sitting in the middle of the seats and that's why I cringe whenever I'm spotted by a "greeter" sitting alone by myself. Not to denigrate other church goers, but that's my usual experience which results in lots of awkward moments afterwards because I'm unable to sustain small talk. This is one of those eye-opening articles on the site that I discovered pertaining to introverts: The Introvert Zone. Lots of articles if you like reading and lots of time alone like me.

I just had to add this insight I discovered in the article Reader wonders how to become friends with an introvert:

As an introvert, I’d have to say that the prospect of someone setting out to be my friend seems kind of creepy. Ordinarily, friendship just happens. You spend time with someone for whatever reason (work, church, school, etc.), get along well, discover common interests and beliefs, and pretty soon you’re friends. To pick someone with whom you haven’t gone through that process, and decide you want to be his friend…I guess my first question would be, “Why?” It seems like there would have to be an ulterior motive, like hoping it’ll develop into romance. Nothing wrong with that, and starting with friendship is a good idea, but knowing that might affect the answer a little.

If you really just want to be friends, for whatever reason, then….just do so. Friendship doesn’t have to mean talking every day and going clubbing on weekends, just because that’s what it means to a lot of people. It can mean dropping an email once a week or so when you run across a poem or article you think he’d appreciate, or noticing something’s bothering him and offering a sympathetic ear (without being pushy). Let it come naturally, and don’t try too hard to define it. As Steve said, be patient.

As for whether introverts notice attractive people (which is why I guessed there might be a romantic angle here), yes, we certainly do. We may not show it, though. In the same way that we tend to keep our thoughts to ourselves instead of blurting them out, we tend to keep our emotions under wraps until we feel safe expressing them. If the real question is, “How can I tell if he’s attracted to me?” then it may take time. If he wants to spend time with you, that’s an easy tell; but if he mostly keeps to himself, you’ll have to look for subtler signs. Watch how he acts around you compared to how he treats other people. Maybe he’s not clamoring for your attention, but does he talk to you more than to others? Does he smile when you walk into the room? Does he do little nice or helpful things for you? Introverts are often more comfortable showing their affections than expressing them out loud, so pay attention to his actions.

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