The Truth About My Life – Online & Off

| August 20, 2018
The Real Me - I am an introvert

I talk to so many women online that I feel like I connect with. We think we would be great friends if we just lived closer together. But can I be real with you for just a moment?

I know there are women right here in my community that are just as real that I haven’t connected with.

Why?

Partly because I am an introvert and struggle to make friends.

I Am An Introvert

I love to reach out online. Comment on your posts. Reply to your tweets. Post fun gifs and emojis. But in real-life I am reserved.

I’m the quiet one that sits at the back of the room simultaneously wishing she had someone to talk to and hoping she doesn’t have to make small talk.

Face-to-face conversations are hard for me.

The longer I know someone, the better friends we become, the easier the conversations become. But there are very few people who I feel like I can really let my guard down with face-to-face. And even fewer people I feel like I can initiate out-of-the-blue conversations with.

Even just writing this blog post thinking about face-to-face conversations my heart is racing and I’m shaking a bit.

I mean, this is a real thing for me.

I love my online friends. And I love my real-life friends. But the chances of me making new connections in my community are small. The chances of me reaching out to the few real-life friends that I have is also slim.

It’s a struggle that I face.

I Crave Real-Life Connections

It’s not that I don’t want to have meaningful real-life relationships, I do.

I really, really do.

Even when we fail, His love remains unchanged

It’s just hard for me to reach out and make those relationships happen.

However, this is something I am praying about.

I think it’s easier to write about struggles we know how to handle than struggles that leave us feeling helpless at the end of the day. Struggles that we know we need to do better at. Be better at.

But ultimately, we just aren’t.

The Love Of Jesus

Which leaves us feeling thankful for the gospel.

Because as much as I want to tell you I will be better at talking to people. As much as I want to tell you I will do better at face-to-face conversations, I know I will fail again and again. But just as sure as I know that, I know that there is grace to be found in Jesus.

That doesn’t mean that I won’t try, it just means that I can rest in the fact that when I fail I can know that Jesus’ love for me will remain unchanged.

He won’t hang His head in shame.

He won’t shake His head and say, “Seriously?! Again??” No, He will hold His arms open wide and welcome me with His amazing grace.

So, here I sit. Thankful for Jesus. Thankful for my online friendships. And wishing I had the courage to reach out and make those same kind of connections in real-life.

What About You?

Are you better at commenting on blog posts and responding to Tweets, or face-to-face conversations? Join the conversation in the comments below!

Candid ConversationsIf you liked this blog post, you’ll love Heather’s new book, Candid Conversations. While each story shares a unique perspective, the prevailing theme is that we all struggle, but there is hope to be found in Jesus. Get your copy from Amazon or click here to learn more.

You Might Also Like

36 Comments

  • Reply Yolanda Belvin August 20, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Greetings Heather,
    I am right there with you. I have more often been an observer in large groups or even at a party. I think part of my hang up is that people lie so much about who they are and I used to like to just sit back and listen to the stories and see how many fabricated stories I would collect for the night. It’s interesting that many bloggers are introverts and I think that’s okay, it’s our platform. But that’s not to say that I don’t like meeting people I do, I just don’t like people wasting my time. Like the meet up group I’ve started here in town with the hope of getting to know more like minded Christians. So to date there are 14 members but only myself and one other have actually shown up. Although individuals say the want to connect, I am learning that they’d rather stay in their comfort zone where they don’t have to be accountable to others so that we all mature. So we’ll see how the meet up works out, it’s been active for 3 months now. Keep me in prayer. I’m just trying to stay on the path before me and honestly connect with other online and in the community. In the Father’s timing, He has a way of gently nudging us out of our comfort zone to grow us. Stay strong, be encouraged, and be the blessing.

    • Reply Heather Hart August 20, 2018 at 11:46 am

      Praying with you, Yolanda. Stepping out of our comfort zone is hard. But I actually did reach out to a real-life friend this morning. I have been building up the nerve for almost two weeks, but I am so glad we finally got together.
      Heather Hart recently posted…You Are Not Alone… We All Struggle With Something

  • Reply Yvonne Morgan August 20, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    I really understand this situation as I am also introverted. You provide great encouragement. I think many more people are comfortable texting or blogging or commenting on line than in real life. On-line we have time to craft our words so they don’t sound awkward but that is not the case when we are face to face. I will keep trying because calls us to be in community and occasionally I find that nugget of gold that becomes a great friend.

  • Reply Heather August 20, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you for you’re honesty. This helped me as an extrovert. I always try to meet new people and chat with strangers at social gatherings. The ones sitting off to the side are the ones ill reach out to bc I hate feeling like others are feeling left out. So when they don’t really engage or do well with small talk I always feel maybe I did something wrong or they don’t like me or they’re not in the mood to talk etc. this helped shed the light on introverts!

    • Reply Heather Hart August 20, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      Thanks, Heather! I always hate it when I walk away from an extrovert knowing the exchange didn’t go well and I should have done better. But those conversations are just awkward for me. Just know if we ever meet in real-life, it’s not you, it’s me. I would love to talk, I just don’t really know how or what to say to someone I don’t know.
      Heather Hart recently posted…Faith, Fat, & Fitness

  • Reply Melissa Henderson August 20, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    I enjoy face to face conversations. Also, enjoy online conversations and phone conversations, too. I guess I just plain love to chat. Most of all, I enjoying listening. 🙂

  • Reply Christina Dronen August 20, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    I find that I am becoming more introverted with age. I was an extreme extrovert for along time. But if you talk a lot to a lot of people you end up putting your foot in your mouth fairly often…. extra especially if you are a stand up comedian. And have kids really swung the pendulum. Never did I crave alone time until having kids!

    I think there’s a lot to be said for small talk being part of the equation. My friends who don’t prefer face to face social situations also talk about hating small talk. I wonder if that’s the case for you? Online conversations tend to skip the small talk ;).

    As to which I prefer?? Hmm. I definitely still feel the need for face to face time with people. If I don’t have a few conversations a week my mood drops pretty quickly. Being online allows me to connect with more people who care in the same way about issues I do and have more meaningful discussions at times. This is also helpful and encouraging to me. It’s not by a landslide, but I think I thrive better on face to face time.

    • Reply Heather Hart August 20, 2018 at 6:45 pm

      I love face-to-face conversations when they are meaningful, it’s just the small talk I can’t do. The forced randomness to fill a void. Especially with people I don’t know. I love that online conversations skip that. We skip the small talk and get right to the point. I love it.
      Heather Hart recently posted…It’s Okay To Be Mary In A World Full Of Martha’s

  • Reply Emily | To Unearth August 21, 2018 at 8:52 am

    Loved learning more about you, Heather! I am what I call an introverted extrovert, which my husband thinks is hilarious and ridiculous all at the same time! I LOVE small group interaction and one-on-one depth. I get refueled by being around good friends. But I dislike big groups and having to have that small talk, going from person to person. God has taught me how those types of conversations are necessary to get to the depth I crave, so I’m learning to step out more in big groups!

    • Reply Heather Hart August 24, 2018 at 2:52 pm

      That totally makes sense to me, Emily! When I was in high school my mom thought I was a people person because once I get to know you, really know you, I am a totally different person. Much like you said, I love small group interactions with people I am close with. It’s just that as I have grown into an adult those relationship are few and far between. But I definitly understand what you mean.
      Heather Hart recently posted…You Are Not Alone… We All Struggle With Something

  • Reply Annie Rim August 21, 2018 at 10:24 am

    I love the phrase “social introvert.” I love bringing people together and connecting face-to-face but then need down-time to recover! I’m much better at connecting in real life, though. Online interactions remind me of the awkwardness of high school!! 😉

    • Reply Heather Hart August 21, 2018 at 11:18 am

      I love that God created each of us to interact differently. We need people that thrive on face-to-face conversations, and people who thrive online. I think it makes both situations much more enjoyable for everyone. Thanks for stopping in, Annie!
      Heather Hart recently posted…It’s Okay To Be Mary In A World Full Of Martha’s

  • Reply Sherry Chamblee August 21, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    You described exactly the way I am, as well. I find myself interacting so well online, but face to face, I shut down … the whole time wishing I could connect with people in person. I flounder, even in groups where I know many of the people.

  • Reply Nancy E. Head August 21, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    People are often surprised to learn that I am an introvert. I love my solitude. And I need more of it than some others do. I like to be with others, but I’m most comfortable when I’m with my extroverted husband. It takes the stress off the social requirements for me.

  • Reply Marcie Cramsey August 21, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    I can go either way, I like the online connection but I also enjoy face to face. It depends on how much face to face I have had all day. Typically four to five meaningful conversations is all I can do. I think introverts (which I am) feel more in control of their interactions when behind a screen. We can determine when to spread (write) and/or when not to. We tend to have more freedom online. Just my thoughts.

  • Reply Edna Davidsen August 22, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Hi Heather!

    Thank you for sharing with honesty here. I believe that kinds of sharing has the potential to help readers. What I’ve found is that reaching out and making those relations is extremely important for Christian bloggers. I see so many bloggers in their initial phase thinking that they can do this on their own, but in my opinion, that is not possible.

    I think a am lucky regarding this. I don’t find it difficult to talk with people on- or offline, but I understand people who do.

    Thanks!
    Edna Davidsen

  • Reply Karen Friday August 22, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Much needed post, Heather. It is easy for introverts to feel safe and comfortable behind a screen. And I agree with Edna, the online community is also important to connect with people we will never meet in person and we can interact with on the other side of the world. As with anything, the enemy always uses things that are good for evil and harm (porn, stalkers, and not interacting with people in the room with us). But I believe both online communities and face-to-face interactions are important. We should never consistently hide behind screens. Because people admit that while connecting is never more doable, loneliness is also the highest ever! Since I’m an extrovert at heart, I love interacting with people in person. Thanks for your vulnerability and for tackling an issue needing a voice.

    • Reply Heather Hart August 22, 2018 at 11:37 am

      Thanks, Karen. We all have areas where we struggle, and it can be tempting to let the online world be enough, but I know it’s not. As much as I love my online friends, they just aren’t the same as face-to-face connections.
      Heather Hart recently posted…Praying Together

  • Reply Julie August 22, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    I get this! So many similar feelings and I’ve been beating myself up for it.
    I mean I need to get better, I tell myself I will make strides and then I freeze.

    I often how God could ever use me beyond the screen because I’m just not comfortable in the social scene! Loved this real, transparent post!

    • Reply Heather Hart August 22, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      Thanks, Julie. This past week was especially hard for me because Satan was whispering in my ear that I was a fraud. That if people knew that I couldn’t hold a face-to-face conversation in real-life they would think I was a phoney. I had to write this post to free myself from that lie. To take that foothold away from him. But it was so hard! But it’s also so good to know I am not alone.
      Heather Hart recently posted…You Are Not Alone… We All Struggle With Something

  • Reply Lureta August 23, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    I have just met my twin. I’m right there with you Sister. I so respect and admire your willingness to be so vulnerable. I applaud your courage. I know the answer to my dilemma is for me to become confident in who I am…more so in WHOSE I am.
    I was asked to speak at a women’s conference and I’m like are you kidding me. I cant do that. But guess what! For me to move forward, I have to push pass fear, pass my feelings of inadequacy and do it in and through Christ. I have to or else what I wrote on my blog makes me a fraud. I want to be real.
    This is who I want to be…
    journeyingbyfaith.com/2018/01/16/becoming-fearless-woman-god
    Blessings dear Sister.

  • Reply Theresa Boedeker August 24, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Yes I am shaking my head in agreement with you. I love connecting with my friends in person, but it is hard for me to get to that friend stage. I know friends are important and therefore have made these friendships in person more of a priority in the last few years, and that has helped.

    • Reply Heather Hart August 24, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      Yes, friends are so important, but you are right, getting to that friend stage is hard. Especially for us introverts.
      Heather Hart recently posted…Faith, Fat, & Fitness

  • Reply Victoria Grace August 25, 2018 at 7:45 am

    Reading this post again along with all of the comments is so encouraging for me. I’m really not crazy or alone. for the first time in over 40 years, I realize that this struggle doesn’t mean there is something inherently fundamentally wrong with me.

    • Reply Heather Hart August 26, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      As hard as this post was to write, it has been such a blessing to share this with both my online and offline sisters in Christ. It is good to know we aren’t alone. And it’s good to hear from the women on the other side that they have seen these traits in us and wondered. It’s just good to connect. Being vulnerable is so worth it.
      Heather Hart recently posted…You Are Not Alone… We All Struggle With Something

  • Reply Ashley Rowland | HISsparrowBlog August 27, 2018 at 10:18 am

    YES! I know exactly what you’re talking about. Face-to-face conversation has gotten so hard for me in the last year or two. It never was easy, but now it seems almost impossible. It leaves me feeling like a failure, selfish, and wondering how to fix it.

    • Reply Heather Hart August 28, 2018 at 8:52 am

      It’s amazing how many women can relate to this. I knew I wasn’t the only one who struggled with this, but it’s one of those things where you just never realized how many people are affected because it’s an invisable struggle. We struggle internally and beat ourselves up for our failures. I have definitly replayed many conversations over and over again in my head and thought about how I could have done better.
      Heather Hart recently posted…You Are Not Alone… We All Struggle With Something

  • Reply Holly December 13, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    Heather, I absolutely love this post. It does my heart good to see that the conversation of being introverted is being brought to the forefront. Introverted personalities have been frowned upon for so long and it’s breaking people’s hearts. Everyone needs to know that God does not make mistakes and you are who you are for a reason.

    Sure, our environments growing up and other factors influence our personalities. But the majority of who we are is by the design of God and we are perfect in His image. There are no apologies for that. Could we become stronger in some areas? Of course! Who couldn’t? But that doesn’t mean there is anything inherently wrong with being who God made us to be 🙂

    There has been so much shaming going on in the church to be “out there” and that’s just not for everyone. I believe our Lord gifted us with the exact qualities we need in EVERY sense to accomplish that which He has purposed us to do. We can embrace our differences because they’re beautiful!

    God bless you, sweet sis. So thankful to hear from another introvert! Looking forward to reading more from you.
    Holly recently posted…How To Overcome Limiting Beliefs

    • Reply Heather Hart December 14, 2018 at 7:55 am

      I so agree! Thank you so much for taking the time to weigh in. I love connecting with new readers, and meeting other introverts (online).
      Heather Hart recently posted…My Biggest Mom Fail Yet

    Candidly Christian is designed to be a safe place to where Christian women can get candid. We won’t be publishing any harsh comments directed at other commenters or our bloggers. We retain the right to moderate our comments as we see fit. By submitting a comment below, you hereby grant us the irrevocable, non-exclusive right to edit, delete, copy, adapt, modify, publish, broadcast, and/or distribute the submitted content on this website and/or other material created by us.

    Remember: From our side of the computer screen, we can’t see your tears. We can’t see your beautiful smile. We can’t hear the emotion behind your words or the tone of your voice. All we get are your words. Write them with love.

    Leave a Reply

    Link to your most recent blog post

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Read previous post:
    Candid Conversations On Air
    Candid Conversations On Air

    Earlier this week I had the pleasure of getting candid on air with Parker J. Cole on WPJC 104.5. It...

    Close