As a self-proclaimed, occasionally self-exclaimed ("Just leave me alone!") introvert, I have an effective understanding of how the introvert's mind works. I have experienced the utter calm of watching a sunrise over a serene lake all by myself as well as the horror of randomly assigned group projects.

I get how the busyness and interference of others can be overwhelming. I perfectly understand the need to be alone. Likewise, I share the secret pride that all introverts possess in their "condition." As you can tell, I'm proud to be an introvert and haven't the slightest qualm in admitting it. While this seems like a good thing (and I believe it can be,) this is the source of the introvert's biggest temptation.

This temptation occurs when the introvert's pride in him or herself gets to the point where that person places their identity in being an introvert. Let me explain.

There's no problem with being an introvert nor any problem with being happy about that. But when you put too much emphasis on that one part of yourself, to the point that you cease to push yourself in difficult social situations or in your relationships with others, it becomes a major issue.

When asked to share something about yourself, if the first answer that comes to your mind is, "Well, I'm an introvert," you have a problem. Any time you start thinking, "I don't think I should have to welcome that new person, since I'm an introvert" or "As an introvert, I have too many friends already, so I'm not going to invest in that person's life," you are embracing one part of who you are as your identity.

Don't get me wrong, knowing your limits is vital for survival in any circumstance. However, just because you may be an introvert, it doesn't mean you can't be the person reaching out and speaking into the lives of others. This may be a hard concept to understand, but you aren't your Myers-Briggs designation, or your Enneagram number, or any of the things that describe you. You truly are not an introvert. You are you.

As a Christian, I believe that I am not just me, but God's. He made me a certain way but is willing and able to provide the strength I need fully love others the way He calls us to love them, especially when I am worn out and tired of dealing with people. Sometimes this means emerging from my introverted shell, trusting that He will carry me through, and engaging those strange beings called people.