What You Need to Know about Making Friends as a Shy Person
Carrie Dedrick What topic related to Christianity, faith, and the Bible is trending online and in social media today?
- 2016 Dec 02
No one has ever called me shy. And unless my personality changes drastically, no one probably ever will. But through my job as a dance teacher, I have had the great blessing of watching a variety of personality types interact in a recreational setting.
I’ve watched my bubbly, talkative students laugh and giggle together when they make mistakes. They are quick to ask questions when they don’t understand a step, and I sometimes spend half the class shushing their chatter.
But I watch the quiet ones too, the ones who never voluntarily buddy up with a partner to try a combination across the floor. They are the ones who never ask questions, and whose mistakes could easily go unnoticed because they refuse to draw attention to themselves amongst their peers.
All of my students are dear to me, but these ones catch my teacher’s eye. I give these sweet girls a little extra encouragement, in hopes that my words of affirmation will erase their insecurities.
Grace Covers Me blogger Christine Hoover writes that growing up, she was one of these girls: shy, insecure, and intimidated by talking to adults and peers alike. When her family moved to a new city, she believed that others should initiate friendships, as she was the outsider. But no one did.
Eventually Hoover learned that her silence and isolation sent a message: Don’t come near me.
She realized that her desire for friendship meant stepping outside of her comfort zone, something that would never come easily, but was worth the effort.
Hoover writes, “Waiting for others and hiding away (literally and figuratively) quickly builds a wall between others and ourselves and very few, if any, women will try to scale our walls in search of friendship.”
If you, too, struggle with reaching out to others, know that Christ’s love for you is stronger than any of your insecurities.
“I know that I'm enveloped in the sure love of Christ. I am secure, so secure in his delight and approval, that He's become an anchor for my soul. He has me so securely in His hands that I can go toward others with friendship and not worry if I get the response I hope for. I am hidden in Christ, so I don't have to be afraid to be who He's made me, but I also don't have to self-protect. I can go toward others with confidence, extending an invitation rather than building a wall,” Hoover writes.
You do not need to apologize for your personality. Your shy nature was not a mistake. But you are also not meant to live your life in isolation.
ChristianHeadlines.com editor Veronica Neffinger writes, “God created us with the need to share our lives with others… Especially in a Christian context, God gives us the gift of friendship not only because it brings us joy, but because it edifies us, it builds us up and helps us grow.”
“It can be difficult to seek out and cultivate friendships, especially in our adult lives. It takes time and commitment, but it is worth it because friendship is one of the tools God uses to sanctify us and to allow us to experience more of Him as we share more with each other.”
Carrie Dedrick is an editor of Crosswalk.com. When she is not writing or editing, she can usually be found teaching dance classes, running marathons, or reading with at least one adopted dog on her lap.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: December 2, 2016