"Your softness is your strength"

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I am an introvert, rather soft-spoken. Not shy and not a pushover, just quieter. I love my friends and family, but I have a great need for alone time, to think and reflect and process. I'd rather read a book than go to a party; I'd rather have a good heart-to-heart with one good friend than make small talk at a party, a particularly exhausting task.

Because of this, I have often felt overwhelmed by people who are loud and aggressive and opinionated. At times, I've felt completely steamrolled by these personalities.

Just to keep my head above water around them, I've felt I should push myself to be more out there, stronger, more aggressive, louder, more vocal in expressing my opinions . . . just more something . . .

But, not too long ago, someone told me, "your softness is your strength."

It was something of a watershed moment, and I have thought of it often since.

It's a relief to know I don't have to "compete" with stronger personalities. That they aren't going to swallow me up. That there is a dignity and strength in quietness and rest.

A quiet answer, a listening ear, a well-considered, thoughtful opinion is just as important, maybe more important, than the loud, attention-grabbing headlines that make the news.

It doesn't mean I'm a doormat.

And knowing this has helped me to better quietly, and without the drama I've felt I needed to "compete," express an unpopular opinion or belief, without apology.

Softness is strength, too.


22 comments :

  1. How beautiful and very true Deborah.
    I am quiet too and feel the same way you do.
    A lovely word today that my heart needed to hear.
    Bless you!

    All my heart,
    Deborah xo

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  2. Love this post - we are kindred spirits in this respect :-)

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  3. Always enjoy reading your post. Extra nice today!

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  4. I could have written this post. Have you read the book Quiet, by Susan Cain? I read it a few years ago and was helped immensely. Quietness is less valued in our modern society than it once was. I, too, am learning to see my quietness as a strength, not a liability. Lovely words, Deborah.

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  5. Such lovely thoughts, Deborah - you have described what it is like to be an introvert so well! I just read 'The Introvert Advantage', by Marti Olsen Laney and I think there are more of us than we realize. I feel exactly the same as you - hate large gatherings and 'small talk', would rather a 'one on one' conversation style, need to have lots of time alone to process things. I love what your friend said to you, 'Softness is your strength'! So beautiful. xo Karen

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  6. What a lovely and inspiring post for those of us who are quieter by nature.

    Thank you ~ FlowerLady

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  7. My thoughts exactly Deborah, and so beautifully written! That was a wise person who told you that. I have a list somewhere of verses that speak to this, such as Be still and know that I am God, and In confidence and quietness shall be your strength. I find much affirmation in those verses.

    I don't do well with aggressive women. I even fired a really good cleaning lady after 2 times because she was so bossy with me. I shrivel up under that treatment. I probably wouldn't climb very far up the corporate ladder, would I?

    Beautiful soft pictures to illustrate your thoughts!

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  8. Some years ago my done have me the book 'Quiet', saying 'this is you, Mum'. I read it -and it is me. It was such a relief to recognise myself and understand that there are others like me out there!

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  9. Ahhh...that was a word fitly spoken. I am glad that it helped you to think differently.

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  10. Yes, there are more of us out there, Deborah, and you wrote the words so well. I always enjoy my alone time and I much prefer smaller groups than large gatherings, where I feel swallowed up. Thanks for sharing your wise words with us, my friend.

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  11. Dearest Deborah,
    Yes, we all know that way of feeling steamrolled! If one is softer, that also means we never can become just like those that steamroll... So I love that phrase: 'Softness is your strength!'
    Sending you hugs,
    Mariette

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  12. So true!
    Great book by Susan Cain.
    Thanks for saying what is really true.
    Irene

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  13. Reminds me of the proverb 'a soft word turns away wrath' :)

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  14. Well said! I'm glad you're not changing who you are already to compete with others. Maybe their loudness is covering up their own shortfalls.
    Wendy

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  15. This is so beautiful Deborah...I love how your photos have demonstrated the differences too. I sometimes wish I had inherited more of my mom's quietness and less of my dad's opinionatedness (is that a word??). I am somewhere in between. Although I don't consider myself quiet, there is definitely a part of me that craves the quietness and time alone to reflect. When I feel really comfortable around certain people, I am way more demonstrative and crazy but I can also feel somewhat insecure at other times and keep to myself. The most important thing is to just be who God made us to be! Great, heartfelt post!

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  16. Softness goes hand in hand with gentleness and kindness, the sweet fruit of the Spirit. I enjoyed reading this with my morning devotional today, Deborah.

    Thank you for your kind wishes on our daughter's graduation.
    Have a beautiful weekend,
    xoxo

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  17. Beautiful thought. I am a louder person, who wishes to be quieter. As I have aged, I have grown quieter, with more introspect. Sometimes loud people don't know how to fit in and become misunderstood. You are envied your quiet confidence. God bless you, be thankful for who and what you are.

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  18. Hello, What a wise word!! I love quiet... I never just have music or the TV on just for background noise. Thank you for sharing this with us, as we all can be overwhelmed by someone who is a bit over the top!
    I just love the name of your blog and I find it always so pleasing and peaceful.
    Hugs, Roxy

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  19. Not only is this post beautifully written, so much of it describes me!
    I am so glad I found your lovely blog this morning.
    The biggest epiphany for me several years ago was understanding that introverts are not doormats,wallflowers, or any of those other terrible terms.
    I am off to read more,

    Laura

    Iam a new follower-

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  20. Mme Mère was never shy about expressing her opinion about any subject, whereas I would do a lot of pondering before expressing myself. I was, indeed, painfully shy into my late teens; however, those were the gathering years, when, instead of speaking, I learned to listen. I think we have a lot in common, Deborah.

    Cheers, M-T

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