I’ve often had people comment on my talkative, oftentimes loud nature. I do consider myself to be a sociable person. I rarely have too much trouble talking to strangers, whether it be over the phone or in person. I’m not too concerned about speaking in front of a larger group of people (provided I have some idea of what I’m about to say!). It’s something I’ve had to learn to deal with the world around me.
It’s hard finding ways to explain to people that when I say I’m ‘busy’ or that I ‘don’t have time’, I’m not ignoring or avoiding them. I honestly find speaking to people to be exhausting.
Now don’t misunderstand me – I love people. I love making new friends, and I’m someone who actually love hearing someone’s life story. I like to hear the struggles they’ve had, the achievements they’ve made, and the interesting jobs they’ve worked and places they’ve been. It’s the process itself that wears me out. Just like I love my job, it’s nevertheless a tiring experience every time I go to work.
When I say I don’t have the time, or that I’m busy, I’m often at home. Not doing nothing, but rather, recharging. As an introvert I recover my energy with time spent alone, or sometimes hanging with close friends. It’s taken me a long time to decide that it’s okay for me to spend my time this way. It’s okay to practice self-care.
For a large portion of my life, I’ve felt guilty when saying no to invitations, or cancelling plans, or otherwise choosing solitude over socialising. It’s worth noting (and I swear I’ve said this a hundred times on my website) that there is a fine line between self-care and selfishness, of course.
Self-care is in doing what is necessary to ensure one’s health and happiness. It does not, generally speaking, involve spending days on end watching Netflix or playing computer games or otherwise spending all of one’s time unproductively. Such an investiture of time is unhealthy. That said, sometimes an hour or two of gaming can make all the difference for me, and I likewise find myself drawn to spend more time in music practice or writing than at parties and other social engagements.
I get my energy from solitude, and from reflection. I love people, but I can’t be around them forever or, even, for very long. I’m not an extrovert. I don’t get my energy that way. That’s okay. I’ve taken the time to get to know myself, to learn what makes me work best. It’s my opinion that the world might be a little bit of a better place if everyone was a little more honest with themselves in this way. Are you?