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Confessions of an Introvert

 

Maybe you’ve seen someone get nuked by something difficult, or perhaps you’ve experienced a life-altering hardship lately.

 

I’m truly sorry.

 

No matter what the cause or where it came from, suffering sucks.

 

Recently, I have had friends who:

 

  • Lost a loved one.

 

  • Have been diagnosed with cancer.

 

  • Found out something heartbreaking about an adult child.

 

Over many years of seeing people go through hundreds (probably thousands) of such tragedies, I know the value of weeping with those who weep.

 

Sadly, however, I’ve also noticed a troubling trend nowadays that never ends well. When someone suffers, they withdraw rather than reach out to a person who loves them.

 

I get it. I’m an introvert who, by nature, tends to retreat when I’m hurting. However, what I want and what I need are often very different. I need others.

 

 

Here’s an all too familiar five-step pattern which you might recognize:

 

  1. Isolation (i.e., they go deep into a dark hole).

 

  1. Insulation (i.e., they shut out people).

 

  1. Inundation (i.e., they go from bad to worse).

 

  1. Infuriation (i.e., they eventually get mad at God, others, or everyone).

 

  1. Incapacitation (i.e., they come to a dead-end in life and often in their relationship with God).

 

I’m sure you noticed how each of those words starts with the letter I. That’s not by accident, and I’m not trying to be cute.

 

I is a problem.

 

Our culture has taught us that it’s best to be independent (hmmm, another I word). People like me use the excuse, “I’m an introvert who needs his space; please leave me alone.”

 

But if you are a Christ-follower, you need to remember something: Christlikeness in the community of faith (aka the Church) and a DIY attitude are incompatible.

 

Never, and I do mean never, does Jesus tell you that it’s okay to isolate because you can survive on your own.

 

 

The reality is you can’t keep your head above water without others.

 

You were made to live in a supportive and encouraging network of relationships.

 

Over fifty times in the New Testament, the phrase “one another” is used.

 

Why?

 

Because we need one another.

 

In his book, After Doubt, A.J. Swoboda says, “Humans have an incredible capacity to avoid looking reality in the face.” Sad and true.

 

Please look at and accept this reality…

 

When you are hurting.

 

When you feel abused.

 

When you are angry.

 

When you are confused.

 

When you are suffering.

 

Then, more than ever, you need others who will, at the very least, sit with you and cry.

 

So, please make it DIT (do it together) rather than DIY (do it yourself).

 

One last thing. When you intentionally press into relational support with another human, your problems don’t magically disappear, but life is always better together.

 

Always.

 

“It is not good that the man should be alone.…”

Genesis 2:18 (ESV)

 

 

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Kurt Bubna

Kurt W. Bubna has published seven books, is an internationally recognized blogger, conference and retreat speaker, as well as an experienced life and leadership coach. Bubna has over forty years of experience working with individuals, teams, and a wide variety of business and non-profit organizations.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Lee Larsen

    Do PACK in your community. A pre-planned simple act of kindness shown to everyone while out for maybe an hour at a busy pre-selected place. Everyone that receives your kindness (you accept nothing in return) also receives a Connect Card that gives all the credit to Jesus, the true source of this unusually refreshing moment and the reason for our joy, peace & hope! A little taste of His grace if you will as neither can be earned or bought at any price. Witness the power of the Holy Spirit as you love on all people no matter what you think based on outward appearances. You will be shocked what people are carrying in their hearts while walking around with smiles on their faces. These moments will take place with precision timing leaving you with no doubt as to His divine presence. On the back of your cards provide them with an invite, list what you have to offer them at your church/school where they can learn more about Jesus. Care-Share-Connect! We have been doing monthly PACK (Planned Acts of Christian Kindness) for over 25 years. PACK is now at work in 114 countries around the world and like God’s love you cannot buy or donate to get it. Please go to http://www.acts18.org and download the free program. We want nothing, but for believers everywhere to get out and bring Jesus to life in their communities. God bless!

  2. Mary Sayler

    Important word, Kurt, and blessed.

    1. KurtBubna

      Blessings to you too, Mary.

  3. Don Grau

    So true. As a man who grew up in a loving family, depression is the culprit in my life. Depression runs in my family. My mom suffered and my sister died while in deep depression, just giving up on life. I am so blessed to have my wife, Darlene for support. Thanks Kurt for such a fantastic post. Love.

  4. Teresa

    I so needed this!!!! I’m an introvert in pain!!! Love you!

    1. KurtBubna

      Me too… Praying for you…

  5. Ajay Shandilya

    VERY ENCOURAGING……..
    ALWAYS BE BLESSED……..

    1. KurtBubna

      Thank you for the kind words.

  6. Linda Denning-Blehm

    So wonderfully written and so true.

  7. Kay Anderson

    Thanks for the reminder. It is easier than ever to isolate one’s self in the midst of this pandemic. I know I need to reach out not only for my good but for other’s too. We are called to let them know that, as you always repeat, and it can’t be said too much: You are loved.
    I have several people I will check in on today!

    1. KurtBubna

      Thanks, Kay, you are amazing.

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