Here's a really cool Time article about introverts if anyone is interested:
Why Do Introvert Elders Even Bother, What's Their Game?
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT SHYNESS? http://www.gotquestions.org/shyness.html This is a gentle way to look at "Shyness", this article is kind, but bold, there is no room to be self-absorbed as a Christian Pastor, Elder, Servant.
Question: "What does the Bible say about shyness/being shy?"
Answer: Webster's dictionary defines shyness as "the state of being timid, easily frightened, reserved, bashful, and shrinking from contact with others." For the Christian, shyness can be overcome by relying on the Holy Spirit. The Bible explains this in 2 Timothy 1:7 (TLB): "For the Holy Spirit, God's gift, does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them." The Holy Spirit is given by God to those who place their faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as payment for their personal sin. The real key is learning to be filled with, and under the control of, the Holy Spirit. Meditating on Ephesians 5:17-21, Ephesians 4:30, and Colossians 3:16 will be helpful to those who are struggling with shyness.
Oddly enough, shyness can actually be a form of pride. Fear of what people will think about us and being overly concerned for the opinions of men (Ephesians 6:6-7; Proverbs 29:25) can be reflection of obsession with self. But the Bible says we are not be worried about the opinions of men, not to fear what men think about us or even what they say about us if we're doing what we know is right. In fact, if we are striving to live godly lives, we can expect not to be liked (2 Timothy 3:12).
Timidity, shyness and bashfulness are basically fear, and fear is the opposite of faith. We overcome fear through faith from God (Hebrews 11:6) and love from God (1 John 4:18-19). Faith and love from God come from saturating the heart, mind, and life with the Scriptures (Colossians 3:16; Romans 10:17). For sanctifying ourselves (John 17:17) and overcoming fear, doubt and confusion, the power of the Word of God is unequaled (Psalm 19, 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Besides becoming a Christian, learning to live under the control of the Holy Spirit, replacing fear and pride with faith and love from God, and saturating our minds with Scripture, we can add one more ingredient to overcoming shyness. The world calls it "self esteem" and "self-image," but those are not biblical terms. The Bible explains it as living out the identity of who we are in Christ. Meditating through Ephesians 1, we see all that we are in Christ. Shyness is about us, but true Life is about Christ, who is our Life according to Colossians 3:4.
When fear or self-consciousness keeps us from reaching out to other people, that is a reflection of self-centeredness and pride. Starting a conversation and showing interest in others can be an expression of genuine love. When we're filled with God's power and motivated by love, we'll be able to reach out to others in a way that makes them feel appreciated. Then the emphasis is on others instead of on ourselves, and we can begin to live in freedom, self-sacrifice and love for others"
@MrsJones: What kind of advocate are you for your disabled husband? Are you shy when assisting your husband convey his wishes with his doctors, making sure he is getting proper treatment? What would you think of a timid little person whose shyness costed her husband medical treatment he needed, because she was too shy, to speak up for her husband? Would you discount her inablity to "speak up", as reasonable, cool and par for the course, because it costed her emotional capital, to stand up for his rights?
I wonder if anyone in the society ever read Ephesians 4:11
"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,"
And if they did, I wonder if they think CT Russell was the last pastor on Earth?
They didn't call him "Shepherd" Russell.
It seems they just substituted elder/overseers for pastors.
" @MrsJones: What kind of advocate are you for your disabled husband? Are you shy when assisting your husband convey his wishes with his doctors, making sure he is getting proper treatment? What would you think of a timid little person whose shyness costed her husband medical treatment he needed, because she was too shy, to speak up for her husband? Would you discount her inablity to "speak up", as reasonable, cool and par for the course, because it costed her emotional capital, to stand up for his rights? "
LoL, you really don't like introverted people do you? Well let me exert myself and say that how I interact on my husband's behalf is none of your damn business and yeah being the introvert that I am I would gladly say that to your foolish face.
Have a good day and if you dare read the article I posted.
Here's that link again (its clickable)
Funny, the article doesn't say that introverts are the bane of society.
I consider everything in the gotquestions article distorted, fundamentalist tripe. Even Satan quoted scriptures and so do his apostles.
Yeah, let me echo what other posters have pointed out, introversion does not equal shyness. Also, someone who dislikes people is a misanthrope, not necessarily an introvert. An introvert is just someone who gets energy from being alone, versus the extrovert who receives energy from other people.
As far as the elder question, the introvert elders and MSs that I knew were actually good servants. They seemed to actually care about those in the conregation in a genuine way. Some were very intelligent, and seemed to more inquisitive about doctrine rather than just blindly following it. I could imagine many of them wising up and leaving, if given the right circumstances.
Personally speaking, as an introvert myself, being a JW was very draining. I never aspired to be an elder or MS or anything else for that matter. I tried to avoid field service whenever possible, and did not like giving talks. I would be willing to bet that most that leave are introverts, just because the extroverted nature of the religion.
I'm an introvert and a ministerial servant, unfortunately. I don't talk to anyone at the meetings, and I hate shaking hands with people that are not familiar with the germ theory and cough into their hands. The elders know that and I still got appointed. It is not very loving of someone to say hi to you when he/she is sick. When I got the flu a couple of months ago I was still forced to go to the meetings, even though I protested. A lot of brothers were "stumbled" because I did not shake their hand. I've complained to my mom (she's not a born in) about the religion turning everyone into delicate rose petals, easily offended and stumbled.
I was floored, utterly shocked, when they told me I had been appointed elder, many moons ago. I most certainly was NOT "reaching out" for it.
But being the good little JW, I had been raised to "never say no to a new privilege". So against my better judgment I accepted it.
Not only was I raised not to to say no to ANY privilege, but I was repeatedly told by my parents and the elders that "asked" me if it was OK to make the appointment announcement, that it was SINNING against the Holy Spirit to refuse the privilege. No matter how hard I tried to back out, they would not let me. My elder stepdad would've found out, anyway, and I would've been examined under careful scrutiny because NO good dubbie would refuse something like that. I must add that I was appointed while being an apostate. My membership join date here is proof of it. But I'm still a nice person; I would feel bad if I knocked my parents house of cards by telling them that.
I see your point and I cannot imagine that a painfully shy person could even function in the capacity as elder or even on any job where there is the slightest interaction with people. Maybe what you mean is a "reserved" person. But, a reserved person can still be friendly on a one-on-one basis and be effective at their job.
As far as the "outgoing" type elders: I wasn't too impressed by them and saw in many instances they were merely interested in socializing with the most popular people or cliques in the hall. Anybody else was virtually ignored.
Too bad about anybody stumbled because you wouldn't shake their hand! I had a problem with this nonsense as well and felt it was stupid and unnecessary and not to mention unsanitary. Who the hell knows where people's hands were or if they even wash them? Besides, I don't necessarily want physical contact with certain strangers and that is my prerogative!
You are absolutely correct about your statement that the religion has turned people into 'delicate rose petals' that are stumbled and offended by every little thing. If you ask me, I think the religion turns people into mental cripples.
I saw all this for what it was: emotional and spiritual blackmail. This stupid religion thought they were going to keep everybody on edge. I got tired of this crap.
Now, all these years later I am keenly aware of these tactics.