Social Skills

Written by: Christianne Williams

I am an introvert.  I’ve always felt awkward and out of place in large groups of people.  I’ve heard it said the most lonely place on the planet is in the middle of a group when you’re an introvert, and I can relate. My early years I thoroughly enjoyed spending the entire weekend reading, alone in my room.  And when I reached my teenage years I was happier with a friend or two, any more than that and I struggled to fit in.  I have been know to turn bright red when someone looked at me and I had to answer a question.

If you’ve ever watched a movie that involved teenagers at a dance, that’s what my life has felt like.  While everyone else is dancing and laughing and having a good time, I was sitting by the wall.  I’m sure I’m not alone in this.  There are those of you reading this who have struggled to feel like you fit in, like you’re accepted, like you belong.  You feel like meeting new people is a recipe for anxiety where someone else looks at it as an exciting opportunity.  You’d rather spend the evening at home with family and a book and not out and about.

My husband is a pastor, and I’ve often said that God has a sense of humor.  Being a part of a pastors family has required us to move around, to attend social functions, and to do many other things that require social skills.  And yet, here I am.  Growth has been constant and second guessing myself and walking away feeling like I’ve said something wrong, even though I hadn’t, or that I should’ve said or done this or that, and not something else, has happened often.

I believe it all stems from feeling that you fall short in some way.  Everyone else is smarter, wittier, more interesting, maybe even fitter, has better skin, more fashionable, and many other insecurities that crop up.  It leaves you believing that you aren’t worthy.   I know, that sounds harsh, but isn’t that really the issue?  We sometimes don’t believe that we are deserving of relationships, of love, of being accepted for who we are.

In church a few weeks ago I was asking God about this.  I was inquiring of Him as to why I never feel like I fit in.  I still feel at times like the awkward teenager sitting by the wall at the dance, just waiting for it to be over.  He spoke to me about it.  You know what He said?  There are no wall flowers in His kingdom.  All who are His children are loved and accepted by Him, even when we feel alone in the world.  We are not alone by the wall, we are dancing with Him, enjoying the life He has prepared for us. Romans 8:17 says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” We are heirs, and that means royalty.

So while you may naturally be an introvert, you are surely not a wall flower.  You are not inadequate, you are a child of God.