I'm too introverted

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Brown
Posts: 344
Joined: 28 Feb 2011, 01:23

I'm too introverted

Post by Brown » 03 Jul 2013, 20:40

I feel like nobody in my ward knows me and I've been here almost 4 years. I have a really hard time, well it is impossible for me to just start talking to people I don't know. Very few people talk to me, probably thinking I am jerk, but honestly I want them to talk to me. I'm just not sure what to do. I just kind of sit there by myself. I'm honestly pretty friendly to those I know, but my personality type requires others to make the first effort. I know this must sound ridiculous to some. I went to a little neighborhood dinner not too long ago and honestly there was this big group of guys talking and I just stood there for two hours hoping someone would include me. I guess I don't really care when I am not at church since I am pretty introverted, but when I am kind of stuck in what should be a social situation, I feel ashamed I can't participate. I feel like this is 1/2 my problem with not wanting to attend church functions. My last ward, I had some people really make an effort to "fellowship" me and I liked it quite a bit.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: I'm too introverted

Post by Curt Sunshine » 03 Jul 2013, 20:43

Is there anyone whom you can talk about this and ask that they help you get to know people better, in a non-obvious way?
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

rich
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Joined: 01 Feb 2013, 12:25
Location: UK

Re: I'm too introverted

Post by rich » 03 Jul 2013, 23:18

I have a similar personality type and struggle with big groups of people I don't know. I find it hard to talk to people I don't know at unstructured activities.
Where I find it best to get to know people is when I'm on task at something like a service project where you work alongside someone or especially when playing team sports. We have a lot of student investigators in our ward and I find it difficult to make the first approach on a Sunday but I find it much easier and more natural with those who have come along and played basketball with us.
Try getting an assignment in the ward to help organise something that will force you to go around and get people to sign up for something (sports team,food list, that sort of thing). I find it much easier to talk to people if I have a clear reason to do so.

But I share your pain. I've been there.

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SilentDawning
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Re: I'm too introverted

Post by SilentDawning » 04 Jul 2013, 10:02

I used to be that way. Then my mission president put me with talkers. I picked up their conversation openers and started adapting them to my own style. Now, I've been told that I have the gift of gab with people I don't know.
Try a few things to pen conversations yourself. First, smile when you make an opening comment. It puts people at ease. Even a half smile or just a pleasant expression that comes naturally to you.
Also, approach people who look like they aren’t fitting in. It will help them feel more comfortable
Second, here are a few other conversation openers:
1. Comment on something they are wearing like a button, a pin, or a t-shirt that has a slogan on it. Just if it's something that sticks out. I only do it when its reasonably clear the person has an interest in the feature they are wearing.
And I leave myself an exit in case the button, pin or t-shirt has nothing to do with their interests. A comment such as "did you have fun at the international community service day, or do you just wear the t-shirt?". whatever they say I will have and answer. If they liked the community service day on the t-shirt, I’ll ask more about it. If they just wear the t-shirt, I’ll comment on a t-shirt I used to wear and everyone thought I was into the organization but it was just a wearable.
2. I make positive comments about appearance -- never negative ones. With the array of colorful glasses available now, I often give sincere complements on glasses people are wearing and ask them where they got them. Or about their shoes, tie, or other distincitive thing I sincerely like.
3. I have to prepare before I start half the conversations I start. For example, I run social events for music lovers. I am welcoming new people all the time. I have a few standard phrases that I use when I can't think of anything like "Did you have to drive very far to get here?". Or "how easy was it to find the place?". Usually the people in attendance have something in common. I will often hold out my hand and introduce myself with the expectation people will talk to me. Then follow up with "have you attended this Ward for long?", "how did you become a member of the church?".
4. Good topics to talk about are things that affect everyone such as holidays, big news items that everyone knows about. One lady asked – so are you taking any holidays this year? What are your plans?
5. One of my companions would share a random detail about our life that was sensational "So, I was driving down such and such street and a kid comes out of nowhere and throws a rock at our car!". Comments that prompt people to ask questions are good.
6. Also, ask a question that the answer is yes to. It’s always a conversation killer when the question you ask elicits a simple ‘no”.
I often prepare myself with conversation exit clauses that are gracious but allow me to jet out of the conversation if it doesn’t go well.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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AngryMormon
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Joined: 04 Oct 2012, 18:54
Location: Seattle

Re: I'm too introverted

Post by AngryMormon » 04 Jul 2013, 12:52

Brown, don't be too hard yourself! Socializing can be difficult sometimes.

In many ways I can really relate to how you feel interacting with people at church. As a convert, I feel like people at church are so different than I am.
What works for me is that I keep a smile on my face, introduce myself to people, give a firm handshake, look people in the eyes and ask them questions. Don't get discouraged if some people are not too friendly, just move on to the next group. Best of luck to you!
Last edited by AngryMormon on 04 Jul 2013, 13:17, edited 1 time in total.

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SilentDawning
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Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: I'm too introverted

Post by SilentDawning » 04 Jul 2013, 13:05

Some people don't talk very well either -- that's why I have exit clauses ready in case the conversation tanks Half the time its because THEY are not comfortable.

I have also noticed that sometimes you have to make several hit and run attempts to talk to people before they trust you enough to talk. So don't take it personally the first couple times if the conversation stalls.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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AngryMormon
Posts: 156
Joined: 04 Oct 2012, 18:54
Location: Seattle

Re: I'm too introverted

Post by AngryMormon » 04 Jul 2013, 13:17

SilentDawning wrote:Some people don't talk very well either -- that's why I have exit clauses ready in case the conversation tanks Half the time its because THEY are not comfortable.

I have also noticed that sometimes you have to make several hit and run attempts to talk to people before they trust you enough to talk. So don't take it personally the first couple times if the conversation stalls.
Great advice!

Brown
Posts: 344
Joined: 28 Feb 2011, 01:23

Re: I'm too introverted

Post by Brown » 04 Jul 2013, 23:42

Some good advice, thank you.

I think part of my problem is large groups. I do much better in small groups or 1 on 1. When I am in a class at church an there are a ton of people, I kind of just shut off. Reading about my personality type (INTP), it kind of just sounds normal for people like me.

Maybe I need to make an effort to talk to people in the halls when the opportunity arises, rather than at large gatherings or class.

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wuwei
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Re: I'm too introverted

Post by wuwei » 05 Jul 2013, 00:56

You had to drag mbti into this. :)

I am also intp(and infp... was almost split exactly.). I find, however, that my intp side makes me happier when I'm not talking with people. Especially the small talk stuff.... I would enjoy discussions on deeper things--but intps like logic, which is also rare in church discussions. So I'm perfectly happy being left alone. In fact I need to be left alone with my thoughts or books or wikipedia or staylds.com for significant periods of time or I get frazzled and very irritable.

My infp side wants to be in harmony with everyone. Once again this is most often accomplished by keeping my opinions to myself at church. Only occasionally, when someone says something outrageous and offensive to my sense of universal morality do I feel compelled to correct it.

So I don't know. I envy your situation, personally. I can't go to church without being mobbed with people trying to fellowship me. :)

Grass is always greener I suppose...

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SilentDawning
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Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: I'm too introverted

Post by SilentDawning » 05 Jul 2013, 04:43

I took a test similar to Myers-Briggs. I came out strong in intellection, which means I like philosophical discussions. I realized that half of my flubbed conversations were because I was engaging people in topics that were way above their heads. For me, they were fun, to them, they seemed like work. In fact, the tips in my personality assessment told me to be really judicious about who I engaged in philosophical discussions because most people would not relate to them....another thing to consider as people who hit this site tend to be intellectuals.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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