{31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way} :: Lesson 17~The Balance of the People Pendulum

I'm an introvert. Have I ever said this here before? I don't know that I have. Being an introvert doesn't mean that I don't like people. I love people! Being an introvert means that I require time by myself in order to recharge.

My husband...he is an extreme extrovert. He can be grouchy, tired, discouraged...give him 30 minutes mingling with people and he'll be happy, energized, ready to conquer the world!

I am so introverted that I can spend days at home. In my pjs. No phone calls, no emails...and I'm fine. If I'm not careful, I can go days without talking to anyone but my husband and children.

But I'm not at my best this way. Ideally, I should have 2-3 days a week without a lot scheduled. I need a few things here and there to make sure I get dressed and actually shower occasionally...you think I'm kidding...

If I spend too much time on my own I can become cynical and edgy. I can get so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I become unbalanced. So introspective that I lose touch with real people and real needs. God didn't create us to live alone. He has given us each other. I am strengthened by people. My times alone with my thoughts and with the Lord are in turn used to strengthen others.

I think it's important to come in contact with a variety of people. Mixing it up every now and then keeps us on our toes. It keeps us from becoming too comfortable. Here are some types of people that I've found to help "round out" my rough edges. These are people beyond my immediate family:

A best friend. Hopefully one you've known for 5+ years. You've been around each other long enough to see the joyful, triumphant moments and the dark and dirty, unattractive ones (both physically and emotionally) and you still love each other. It's comfortable and yet, there's no doubt this person will lovingly tell you if there's spinach in your teeth...or a plank in your eye (both physically and emotionally)

A mentor. Someone who's been married longer than you. Has kids older than you. Has walked with God longer than you. Knows enough to tell you that it won't always be this way...A) If things are great, make sure you're storing up for the drought. B) If things are rough, hang on because things will get better.

A younger friend. Someone who's 5-10 years behind you. They make you feel smart because you're able to tell them A & B from above. Just kidding...they strengthen you because they require you to think beyond yourself. They require you to analyze what you actually believe and explain why you believe it.

A calling encourager. Someone who's actually doing (or has done) what is in your heart to be doing. A teacher, leader who can give you real practical tips and advice to help you get where you're going. If you want to sing, find a voice teacher. If you want to write, find an author. If you want to speak, find a speaker. If you enjoy taking pictures, find a photographer.

A new friend. Enjoy the newness and how this really feels like dating. Enjoy it even more when it moves beyond this point.

A hobby friend. A workout buddy. A crafting friend. A shopping companion. Can't think of a hobby? Find one!

A group of older people. Listen to their stories. Notice how easily (or not easily) they laugh. Notice if they still love their spouse. Ask them what gives them joy. Find out what their greatest life lessons are.

A group of younger people. Laugh. Goof around. Be silly. It'll feel good, I promise.

I know, it's A LOT of people! Tell me about it...I'm an introvert, remember? But life is so much richer with people...even the ones you don't like very much. Everyone has a story and has something to teach us and I've found much joy in being open to the unexpected surprises...

an unexpected friend,
an encouragement from an unlikely source,
seeing the world through someone else's eyes.

What do you think? Do you have these people? Is there someone I missed?


This post is part of the series {31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way}. Did you miss a lesson? Catch up here.

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