Being an introvert has its ups and downs. Sometimes, it seems quite difficult. There are a great number of issues with which we must grapple: other people, outward signs of affection…other people, etc. The perils of being a Catholic introvert are especially unique. Fellow introverts, to how many of these perils can you relate?
Encountering Extroverts on a Retreat
Whoa, easy there! We just met. You can’t possibly like me as much as you are currently implying you do. Just give me some space. I’ll tell you my life story in due time.
Small Group Discussions During a Retreat
Open up to strangers? How about I just talk one-on-one with a friend?
When the Pre-Mass Announcements Include: “Please Stand and Greet Those Around You”
Why?! WHY?! How about we just sing the opening hymn?
Seeing an Attractive Member of the Opposite Sex, but Knowing Deep Down That You Won’t Actually Talk to Them After Mass
If, by some quirk of fate, you are walking out of the sanctuary at the same time, your brain fails to come up with something clever to say. You could just open with a simple greeting and hope they understand you’re trying to flirt. But, what if they think you’re just saying “Hello” to be polite? Or, you could be direct and blurt out “You’re attractive, and I want to date you!”, but that would probably be awkward. It’s best if you just stay silent.
When Someone Sits in the Same Pew as You at Daily Mass
The church is mostly empty. Try sitting elsewhere. There is no reason we need to be so close. Give me my space!
The Sign of Peace
So many questions flood your mind when the priest begins to say “Lord Jesus Christ who said to your Apostles: ‘Peace I leave you…'”
- Whom do I turn to first?
- What if the person I turn to turns to someone else?
- Is that person too far away for a handshake? Or should I just give them a head nod and a little wave? What if they mistake my hand wave for extending for a handshake?
- Which members of my family do I hug and which ones can I just shake their hand?
- Didn’t that person just sneeze a moment ago?
The moment of truth comes, and for the next 30-60 seconds, you experience every awkwardness you imagined and then some. This awkwardness makes flu season something to look forward to because some parishes eliminate the Sign of Peace during Flu Season.
When You Go to Mass with Someone Else and They Know Everyone There
After Mass, you’re forced to stand there while they “socialize”.
That Pit You Feel in Your Stomach When You Hear, “Go Make Disciples of All Nations”
Evangelize all nations? How about I just evangelize my immediate circle of friends? They’re all devout Catholics? Good. I’ve done my duty.
Yes, it is a struggle, but Jesus never said being a Christian would be easy
Think of it this way: We introverts will endure more redemptive suffering than the extroverts will which will pay off in the long run.