I wouldn’t describe myself as shy, but I would say that meeting new people makes my arm pits sweat. And now this blog has officially gotten too personal.
But you need to know this because it’s important to understand how far I’ve come! Actually, I’m not sure if it’s really that important but I just wanted to share this with you.
It’s just extremely unnatural for me to introduce myself to people and make conversation. I fear not knowing what to say, what type of conversation we will have, if the person will even want to know my name, talking about the weather and all that.
But more than even that, I’ve realized over the years, though, that part of my fear of stepping out of my comfort zone and meeting people, or talking to strangers for that matter, whether it be at the kids activities, at church, at school, at the grocery store, whatever, is the fear of man.
This has been something that’s been a long lesson to learn about myself, but so often I struggle with this, the fear of man, which is putting what I *think* other people think of me as more important than pleasing God and being concerned about honoring Him. It can be all consuming.
We can do it both in being afraid to talk to people, or talking to people and not being honest about our beliefs because we don’t want people to dislike us, or choosing activities or clothes or lifestyle based on people’s approval (again, what we *think* of as their approval)
There are many ways that it affects me, and one of the major ways is my uncomfortableness in going up to people and introducing myself and starting conversations. It’s hard for me.
But I’m here to testify that it’s gotten better, and I’ve seen tremendous growth in the last couple of years, and I know it’s because of God’s grace in my life and giving me the strength to do the scariest thing for me…
Walking over to someone and saying, “Hi, I’m Gabrielle!”
And I have made some really amazing friends in recent years that started with a simple introduction (and a sweet response from sweet people, because in the end it really isn’t as bad as I fear it will be!)
It seems so basic, almost exactly what you would tell your second grader, to just go up to the kid on the playground and tell her your name and ask her what hers is, and go from there.
But it requires so much effort for some of us introverted types…I love people! I love friends, and I love knowing people. It’s just so hard to get past the initial first step.
God is good though, and really helps us to overcome our fears. And now I’m introducing myself all over town…in fact, someone might need to stop me…