As a self-confessed introvert, Ron Edmondson shares his tips for performing as an extrovert.
I am frequently confused for an extrovert. On Sundays and other important days of ministry, I can perform as an extrovert. I assure you, it’s not the real me!
I’m an introvert.
I love people. I love connecting. I genuinely want to engage with others. It simply doesn’t come naturally to me.
As a result of my ability to appear extroverted, a question I receive frequently is: How do you do it? How do I appear so extroverted when I am so introverted? (I almost max out that preference on the Myers Briggs.) How do I perform on Sundays…and other days of the week?
Recently, I went through a week of interviews for my new ministry assignment. I was expected to meet and engage at several affairs each day. I was exhausted, but I kept going. I’ve never been so extroverted for a week. How did I do that?
Here are 5 ways I break away from my introversion to perform as an extrovert:
- Prepare mentally – I have to prep myself before Sunday, for example, that I have a job to do, people are expecting me to engage with them, that it’s not going to be easy, but that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. It’s a mental exercise before any event where I need to be outgoing.
- Act purposeful – I remind myself that there is a reason to be extroverted in some occasions. Often people are waiting on me to engage them. To be a Kingdom builder, I have to converse with others; even when it’s uncomfortable. The reason I am willing to act outside my comfort zone is that I love people more than I love my individual preference or comfort. I have to be purposeful.
- Discipline myself – At some point, I just do it. I simply have to make myself do what I may not want to do. Work the room. Make the initial approach for a new relationship. Talk! Engage! Connect! Do it!
- Practice – It gets easier with time. It really does.
- Reward myself – After an extremely extroverted occasion…I crash heartily. Sunday afternoon naps are the deepest sleeping I ever have. Plus, my family understands if I’m quieter than normal at Sunday lunch.