5 Ways to Fight Loneliness As An Extrovert

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

I am a person who needs a lot of down-time. I've always been pretty low-energy, and having time to rest and lounge has always been critical to my sanity. However, having said that, I'm still definitely an extrovert overall. I need interaction with humans on a weekly basis (ones with the ability to have a conversation, unlike the infant I care for). When I don't stay connected with people, I become extremely lonely and struggle more with depression. But ever since we moved to Charlotte two and a half years ago, loneliness has been a pretty big part of my life, and something I have had to work hard to fight against.

The hubby and I have completely different work schedules, which means that we are rarely home at the same times. I have struggled to make many friends, which has been sort of a blow to the ego since I am usually a social butterfly. And then even the awesome friends that I have made are super busy too, so I don't really get to see them either. It's not anyone's fault; it's just part of adulting. But honestly, knowing that fact didn't change my outlook.

I've spent more time than I care to admit pouting that I'm lonely and that "no one wants to spend time with me". But that got me nowhere, because I was pouting over something that wasn't even true, and spending more time thinking about my loneliness than I was trying to change my situation.

God has provided me with more opportunities to be surrounded by godly friends lately, and I am very thankful for that. But if I get real with myself, some of the opportunities were already there, and I was just choosing to stay in my funk instead of paying attention to ways to fight the loneliness. Because there are always going to be ways to fight it, and there will also always be opportunities to choose to pout about how our "extroverted needs" aren't being met. We need to choose wisely and make sure we are doing our part in fighting our struggles.
So today, join me as I explore 5 ways that extroverts can fight loneliness.

5 Ways to Fight Loneliness as an Extrovert | #Loneliness #Extrovert #Faith

Be Open to Multiple Friendships

When I meet someone who I feel that I could be really good friends with, I'm pretty good about pursuing community with them. I invite them places, ask them how they are doing, and just stay in contact. But sometimes, I end up pursuing a friendship with that one person, without realizing that I could actually be pursuing several friendships at once.

That one friend can't go to lunch? Then why not see if someone else you'd like to get to know better can go instead. Your closest friend had to cancel plans? Then try asking the new woman at work if she'd like to grab coffee with you. There's no reason to ignore opportunities for friendship (and for encouraging others) simply because your plans with someone else didn't pan out.

Don't Assume It's About You

I've experienced a lot of cancelled plans in the last couple of years. I've had multiple people just forget that we had plans or double-book themselves and have to cancel on me because of it. And truthfully, it makes me feel like a loser, and like I'm easily forgotten. And while it's true that sometimes people just aren't going to like me or jive with me, I also know that I tend to assume the worst when people don't end up hanging out with me.

But guess what: life isn't all about Kristin Cook. Nor is it all about you. People have lots going on in their lives, just like I have plenty going on in mine. Cancelled or forgotten plans could be caused by so many different factors.

So if you are like me, remember that just because someone can't hang out with you doesn't mean they don't like you. They may be struggling emotionally, going through hard family times, not feeling well, or are so tired they can't see straight. Give grace to them and know that they probably had a good reason for cancelling on you. Most of the time, it's probably not about us- we just make it into that with our worrying.

Join a Bible Study (or Two)

The best thing I've done since moving to Charlotte is that I joined a women's Bible study at my husband's seminary. It has been both spiritually and relationally enriching. I have found myself less lonely during the time I've been attending and I have met some genuinely amazing women through it.

Then on top of that, we have also been trying to become a little more involved with our community group from church, and that has been an encouragement too.

Obviously, not all Bible studies are the same, and you do have to be wise in what you choose, since some are far more focused on Jesus than others. However, getting involved in a Bible study has not only been feeding my need for diving into God's word more, but it has also brought me the community and interaction that my extroverted heart has been longing for.

Click here to watch the Hebrews Bible study I attend. It's truly fantastic!

Welcome People Into Your Home

Some people don't really have the ability to invite you over to their home, nor do they have the budget to go out and do something. That means that the only other location is at your house. But most people feel impolite inviting themselves over to someone's home, so they just don't initiate any sort of interaction.

That means that the ball is in your court. Invite people to your home. Let them know that they are welcomed and loved. And don't fall into the trap of believing that your house has to look perfect before someone can come over. Hospitality isn't about your house looking like the picture-perfect Joanna Gaines home. It's about kindness, serving others, welcoming others into your space, and loving them well.

Be Joyful and Patient In Dry Seasons

Sometimes, we need to be lonely. Sometimes, God allows us to feel alone so that we will realize that He knows what it's like to feel lonely AND that HE is enough to break through the loneliness we are feeling. It's very unlikely that the loneliness will last forever, but we do still need to accept that God really is enough- even for the extrovert.

At the end of the day, we have to trust Him and His timing, knowing that He will bring people into our lives that He knows we need. He created us for community, and He will typically provide that for us in his perfect timing. But we were also made for Him, and He is always there. Only He can fill the loneliness in our hearts, and He will do so as we seek Him.

In short, fighting loneliness as an extrovert (or for anyone, really), is about being proactive. Self-pity and pouting don't work. Waiting for everyone to come to you is silly and unrealistic. Trust God and be patient in your dry and lonely seasons, while still looking for opportunities to be proactive.

Have you gone through times of loneliness? How did you shake it off? Or are you still trying to figure out how to fight it? Comment below. And remember, you are loved!

Beat the blues, Fight Loneliness, Extrovert | #faith #loneliness #extrovert

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