This post is for the woman who walks silently into a crowded room and stands alone hoping that someone will notice her.
This post is for the woman who sits quietly with her lips curved into a polite smile as she listens to small talk, but seldom joins the conversation.
This post is for the woman who walks up to a group of co-workers or moms at a PTO meeting and suddenly feels as though she’s been transported back to high school. Although the other women are courteous and do not ignore her presence or respond with icy stares, she still feels out of place.
This post is for the woman who feels intimidated by her polar opposite…the woman who smiles eagerly, jumps readily into conversations with strangers, makes new friends with ease, and seems capable of swapping recipes with a door knob.
I’m writing this post for you because I understand how you may be feeling in new situations. In fact, the examples above are from a time in my life that existed before moving to seven very different cities in a ten year time span morphed me into that second type of woman I mentioned…the one who strikes up conversations with strangers in elevators.
Last month when I entered a meeting filled with faces unfamiliar to me, I smiled big, initiated friendly handshakes, and shared some stories and ideas.
If you were there, you may not have noticed the tell tale signs hinting that proverbial butterflies danced in my stomach, but rest assured, they were fluttering. Furiously fast. Self doubt is a comonality shared by everyone on this planet…the degrees vary but the verdict is the same.
Sometimes I leave social outings asking myself frantic questions like:
Did I dominate the conversation?
Could anyone really make sense of what I was saying?
Did I come across as petty, or too serious, or rude?
Did anyone else notice my wrinkled pants?
There are also days when I feel as though no one really likes me. Days when insecurities hover like heavy gray storm clouds. Sometimes, the confidence I exude is as phony as the Kate Spade purses sold on Canal Street.
It isn’t that my perky persona is an act, or that I don’t really enjoy engaging in conversations or mingling with friends. All that is true.
But at the same time I need to refill my mind with God’s truth before I can possess the mettle needed to be whom I was created to be.
When we replace our desire to believe in ourselves with the desire to become more like Jesus we take another step toward loving each other (and ourselves) a little more like He does.Leave a Comment
Fiona@ A little bit of honesty says
You’re talking about ME here!! What is it about being the ‘new kid on the block’ that makes you all of a sudden second guess yourself, and self-analyze over everything you do and say….
BUT – like you, am learning to love myself a little more like He does….
Kristen - Moms Sharpening Moms says
Angela…this post blew me away! How right you are. As a military wife, I have been “the new girl” in an array of situations more times than I can count. Placing my eyes on Him is the only way to leave the proverbial women’s activity and not play 20 questions about my looks, words, and behavior!
Well done, girl!
Great post!!! You were describing me!!
I so relate! I love being in the company of my Sisters in Christ and some other women gatherings, however, I am usually the one who is quiet with a plastered smile on my face in between stuffing food into mouth hoping that no one asks me anything. But I kinda really do want to be talked to, but I worry about saying the wrong thing or saying too much or not even saying enough.
I tell ya! 🙂
You described me to a T.
Thank you for posting this, it really speaks to me this morning!
Thank you. I needed this.
You’re right, Angela!
For some of us, LIFE is one big series of social situations in which to feel awkward.
Discovering who Christ is and who we are IN Him is the best starting place.
Social skills can be acquired, but don’t dismiss who you are while acquiring. If you are quiet or contemplative by nature, you don’t need to become someone else. Your inherent personality is a gift, not something to be ashamed of.
Watch the people you admire. What are they doing that is unlocking doors? Anything there you can pick up from them? God does not leave us without mentors and examples. Look around. Don’t try to BE them, but see what tip you can pick up, what God is showing you.
In our own discomfort we often miss that someone else is just as uncomfortable or awkward feeling or in need….maybe even that confident-looking outgoing person. You just never know.
Sorry for the little lecture. I’m a wallflower by nature, but have learned to navigate the social waters.
I really enjoy your posts…. You speak to so many of us who have felt the exact way.
I include InCourage on my daily jaunt around the internet!!!
We serve such an awesome God who always ‘has our backs ‘ in any situation.
Blessings to you and yours!
Sarah Mae says
Oh my goodness, I am such a social butterfly, but I still get so self-conscious around other social butterflies – I am much more comfortable around the quiet, warm, calm women…I am so easily intimidated! When around very outgoing women, I tend to shut down, get real quiet, and feel so out of place – even though I am naturally very outgoing. Weird. Anyway, I hope to meet you someday. I have a feeling you are just the warm cup of coffee person I would love to sit down with, one on one, and chat for hours.
I SO used to be all of those women,except the 2nd one. About 2 years ago I was able to move beyond my insecurity and am now woman #2. It feels great! Sometimes I still ask the questions mentioned, but get over it pretty quickly. If I was being true to myself and having Christ like character, then I give the glory to God.
Sweet post 🙂
I moved around a lot as a kid….so like you….I learned to mingle and be social. But often times not without butterflies 🙂
Remembering that God loves me whether I have on wrinkled pants or not..helps 🙂
Thank you! Just what I needed to hear today! May God richly bless you!
Thank you for this post. We need to remember this when we have vistors at our churches. Let’s meet people where they are.
My Mother-in-law was once asked to lead the group in prayer on her visit to a new church. (I think I would have turned and walked out!)
I once left a service at a church (that was clearly not my cup of tea) in a new city only to have a man in a suit literally run after me and grab me by the arm! I am a shy person and had recently been mugged so this REALLY shook me up. No doubt he thought he was being friendly.