Social expectation and standard can be a pressure to us. We all know that we differ. We read in the pages of books and we are even taught in school that each of us is unique. But it is also these differences that make us compare each other unceasingly. When one could not meet a certain social expectation, we label them. Sometimes we tend to forget that we are different and it is possible that how we perceived a certain behavior of another person can only be a natural characteristic of that person and not necessarily because the person has weakness. Take for example, my being an introvert. When I was growing up, I was struggling with this feeling of being unable to fully enjoy constant chatters in a group of friends or immediate warm up to an acquaintance. I just could not do it. People around me tells me it is inappropriate. That gave me the feeling that I am inadequate and I am doing something wrong or that there is something wrong with me. It became so uncomfortable with persistent pressure from parents and friends. I felt that I cannot be accepted if I will not change and be like other people who are outgoing, very social, and friendly. The problem is, I could not shake off that feeling of contentment and happiness when I am alone. Although, I could be with friends, but there has to be an alone time or the “me-time” where I could think, ponder, read, or write. It is how introverts are. Just as extroverts enjoy social contacts and going out in parties, camps, hikes, and adventures, we introverts enjoy the solace of self. Both are not bad. We all have something we enjoy and are comfortable with. We introverts really do not mind your loud chatters and boisterous conversations as long as we do not stay long at it. No pressure and no judgement. However, if we could not do the same, it is not fair to brand us as snobbish. We are not. We just prefer quietness. We are by nature timid and reticent. Long conversations and social contacts for us can be quite exhausting or draining.
Because we have differences, we should bear each other in love. The Bible says that love is patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13:4). Love motivates us to be patient with others who are different from us. We should accept them with kindness and understanding. No matter how much we differ, it is best that we help each other in areas where we fall short. Extroverts can assist the introverts to adjust in a social setting. Introverts can also help the extroverts in adjusting to people like us. “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” – Romans 15:1-2. And whether the difference is in introverts and extroverts, or in any other ways, we follow the Law of Christ. Regard each other with the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us be reminded by the words of Paul, “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”. – Romans 12:3.