Being Alone. (More Thoughts on Being an Introvert)

“Why do all you introverts always post stuff about being introverts?”

My co-worker said to me while unloading a sheet pan full of almond bostock.

She had a point.
We do.

Considering what I’m about to write, will only perpetuate the fact. And I’m okay with that.
I should also just go ahead and get this out of the way.

When I read things about being introverted, I get all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Like I’ve found my tribe. Like there are other people out there who hope their Friday night plans get cancelled.

But not all the time. That’s a misconception of our breed. We do love you. We love your company and your conversation. But we also love when you give us the space to collect ourselves. What we need from you is to be okay with our aloneness. Because we are. I can understand why that can be hard to grasp.

Also, there has been a lot of studies and books and articles in the past few years that have really taken off. Susan Cain, is an example. Introverts, look her up and read her book while you’re sipping tea early on a Saturday evening with Downton Abbey playing in the background.

I do love personality tests. I loved that aspect of Psychology. Something I could have spent ten-minutes online doing, rather than spending $700 learning in three months.

But it is what it is. And we all know I’m kidding, sort of.

I think it also helps people diagnose themselves. Instead of that alienating feeling of being by yourself, you embrace it. You own it. That time is yours and your time has immense value. Sometimes you do look at it as a gift to others. Like, hey, I’m paying attention to you and talking to you for a large chunk of time. That’s a big deal for me. And when others begin to value that in you, being best good friends is in order.

And you are correct in assuming that no one person falls into extremes. There are levels and shades of grey. Maybe even 50, if you’re into that kind of thing.

For me, this is how it goes:

When I come home from work, I have to decompress somewhere quiet for at least an hour. I need to gather myself. I can make it going from one hectic thing to another. But it will drain me much faster and I won’t be able to process things nearly as well. (‘Hectic’ being up for debate, depending on which side you fall under. Sometimes hectic is answering the phone.)

And yes, the phone! I hardly ever pick up the phone unless I’m waiting for something business related, someone prescheduled calling me at a certain time, or a close family member.
Don’t take it personally.

I’m just not ready.

Which is why texting is brilliant. It gives us time to respond. It also gives us the space to give you options.

“If you don’t want to eat there, that’s fine. Is there something else you want to do?”
So on and so forth.

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I know this seems tedious. But it’s really not. It’s just how our brains work. Less spontaneity. More thought out plan of action.

Surprises…are hit and miss. I’m usually not a fan of being surprised. But it depends who’s surprising. Someone who I’m close to might understand what may or may not overwhelm me. Even if it does, I won’t show it. But it’ll take a toll.

Writing it all out, sometimes makes me feel like a huge bummer. But it’s not the case. I find joy in quiet and noise. With company and in solitude. It all comes down to your health. How do you feel healthy? How do you feel energized and able to give to others? And how do you find yourself giving to others?

This is a reason cooking has been great for me. I get to spend time doing my job, taking care of others while not directly interacting all the time. I’m not rude to anyone or dismiss them, but I can work twice as long doing my own thing, than if I have to consistently be in communication with other people.

If you can take away something from this, it would be me telling you that being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely.

Sure, there are always times where being alone can make you feel lonely. And that’s okay. Listen to that. And if it’s something that’s hurting you, then by all means, don’t let it get the best of you. Because there’s nothing wrong with you. Okay?

But also, to many introverts, being alone is how we function best. But it’s not the only way we function.

So there, here’s another article you can post to your Facebook about how being an introvert is normal and that you are a proper functioning human being.

Extroverts, we got nothin’ but love for ya. We are glad you exist in this world.

After all, who else would we be attracted to?

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11 responses

  1. Really enjoyed this post. It spoke to my introvertedness and made me laugh when thinking about what I normally do. I also enjoy my aloneness and find spending time to reflect my solitude. Though there are time that conversations and interaction is missed there is something to be said for reflection and collection of ones thoughts

  2. You totally nailed it. And what a great insight into this introverted way of life! I especially loved how you explained why we have this need to discuss our introversion. I know I do it all the time, and I think you’re right: we want to be known. I love being an introvert. Don’t you?

  3. Reblogged this on Such Is Life. and commented:
    “When I read things about being introverted, I get all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Like I’ve found my tribe. Like there are other people out there who hope their Friday night plans get cancelled.”
    So happy to know I’m not the only one.

  4. Beautifully written. I knew I was going to love this article within the first line. Many introverts struggle with feeling understood so meeting other introverts make them FINALLY feel it after so long of trying to explain themselves to others that may not had gotten it. Yes introverts need to know that there are other introverts out there that feel the same as we do.

    It’s almost like how excited dogs are to see another dog. On Family Guy there’s this bit about Brian shouting in the middle of the night at another dog “Hey are you dog?!” “Yea!” “Really?! I’m a dog too!” “Really?! me too!” “Yea?!” “YEA!!”

    So it’s just something about from all the times that you’ve had extroverts make you feel like something was wrong with you because you weren’t like them, that meeting other introverts make you think, hey, I’m just as normal as any other person!

    In fact I made my blog for that reason. I think so many introverts get so involved in trying to “fix themselves” that they can’t even embrace themselves so they can focus on bigger things such as finding their niche in the world. They end up in a world of depression from the failure of never being able to “change” themselves to be an extrovert.

    I can go on and on about this, so let me stop taking up your comment space lol introverts are rather quiet until they find something that interests them. Then they can go on forever! But anyway love the article! Keep spreading the word, “Yes you’re an introvert and that’s normal!”
    lovethyintrovert.com

  5. Currently reading Susan Cain’s book, which is how I stumbled across your post. I see myself in much of your writing (sometimes I love when plans get cancelled, other times it really hurts my feelings because an extroverted friend thought they were “tentative” while I thought they were “definitive” and was really looking forward to them. If I’m making the time for you, that means you’re someone I value). It feels so nice to know I have a tribe out there!

  6. I enjoyed this post because I’m an extrovert and your insights help me to better understand my many introverted friends (and 1 husband). 🙂 As an aside, I adore the many colors in your banner. I have come to so appreciate the various colors of food – good food should look good. Thanks for continuing to feed bodies and souls.

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