By: Amboo Who (Flickr)

Humbled and Ashamed

I am humbled and ashamed all in one fell swoop by the sweet woman that gifted me with a framed verse. “I’ve been reading your blog and I knew I had to give this to you,” readshe told me. But, her voice trembled and she could barely look me in the
eyes.  Yet, she dutifully handed me the small framed piece.

Within the confines of its four walls was the verse:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”                   Philippians 4:8 (ESV)

“I’ve had it in my office and I’ve been meaning to give it to you but yangstou’re intimidating,” she admitted. And, my heart sunk.

Here was this oh-so-sweet soul gifting me with something laid upon her heart while utterly uncomfortable talking to me because of the intimidation I exude.

She explained that I am intimidating due to the way I use words and teach, and other things that could seem like positives. And though she even tried to express them as positives, I was ashamed that my presence made her uncomfortable. I know how not scary I actually am.

Truth be told, I am a rather stoic person. I don’t smile a lot and I’m not going to randomly walk up and hug you like we’ve been best friends for years. The reality of it all, is that set your mindalthough I can stand up and speak with confidence, I am a nervous wreck while doing it. I am far more comfortable in the back row, watching without speaking.

Recently, I have seen something going around Facebook about being an extroverted introvert and though I haven’t clicked on the link, I imagine I know what that means. Yes, I can appear to be extroverted as I work in the midst of my gifting, namely teaching, but that is only because of His Spirit in me. I am not naturally someone who would choose to stand up in front of people, ever!

I suspect that it is this duplicity of personality that aids in people perceiving me as intimidating. Surely, in some instances, intimidation can serve as an excellent protector. hurtBut, when this woman, who I know to have such a genuine and kind demeanor, tells me that she’s intimidated by me, and I can tell that it took a lot for her to even speak to me, I have to feel ashamed. Certainly I don’t want to make my spiritual siblings uneasy, I want them to know that I am someone they can trust and feel safe with.

Sometimes shame is necessary for us to be truly humbled in the Lord’s presence. I am sorrowful that my facial expressions, and generally withdrawn personality puts people on edge. But, like everyone else on this planet, I have adopted coping mechanisms for personal and emotional safety.

I can only assure you that the need for change is not going manipulated6monthunnoticed, and that I will heed the Scripture she gave me. Surely thinking on those things can only bring more smiles and less reticence towards human interactions. Maybe it will help alleviate her anxiety as well.

 

In case you’re interested, I found an intriguing article about being an intimidating person. You can read it here. The five points seem wholly valid to me, but feel free to start a discussion about it in the comments section.

6 comments

    1. I don’t know if she does, Tony, but I do know she’s reading. So I am hopeful just the same. Miss you and Karen. The smiles you both share are certainly magical.

  1. After meeting you tonight, I didn’t feel you were intimidating. I felt your sweet, genuine spirit & compassion for your message to get out.

    The article above was interesting. I found myself relating to being an extroverted introvert for sure, despite the fact I came right up to you & gave you hug LOL. I will stand in front of people & talk / teach when I feel prompted by God to do so otherwise I’m the one who goes to the back of the room or sits at a table by herself & observes others. I am not one to go up to a complete stranger & start a conversation unless we are in a smaller setting amongst mutal friends & I feel a connection in spirit. My happy place is being alone in my sitting area of my room reading, journaling & studying books that are filled with scripture & relevance to my life.

    So glad God put you in my path. Looking forward to reading your blogs

    Blessings
    Lynn Washington

    1. Thank you so much, Lynn. It was an honor to be able to share with your group and I look forward to getting to know you as a Spiritual sibling on this journey we call life. Glad you got an opportunity to come into the shop today too! I’ll be praying for you and yours. Peace be with you.

  2. I didn’t mean for you to feel ashamed. And it wasn’t wholly intimidation that kept me from giving it to you immediately. It was also dragging my feet just in coming to church. I haven’t been consistent in months. So I feel bad that this is how it seemed. I find social interaction overall intimidating. I’m not very good at it. I, like you, prefer the backrow to the center of attention.

    1. You are not the only one who has voiced a sense of intimidation. So, you don’t have to own this alone, dear one. And, I am aware of the fact you’ve been absent. Those of us who sit on the back row have a tendency to notice when people are missing. 🙂 There is absolutely no reason to feel bad. This was an opportunity for me to not only learn, but teach, a lesson. I love being able to take real life examples and rewrite them in ways that make people think about their own behaviors (mine included). And, I think you do just fine interacting. That smile will win people instantly!

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