To be introverted means that I prefer solitude and derive energy from quiet time, alone. I don’t completely hate socializing, but I prefer not to. I would not ever favor a social or group activity over something with another person or two, or by myself. I am depleted by interactions, even with my most favorite people. I neither love nor hate this about myself. I accept it, mostly without judgment, which allows me to honor my boundaries around self-care and sanity.
Extroverts are energized by group activity, social engagement, and talking– while I am left drained. I require time and space to shake out the messages, thoughts, needs, vibes, and sensory impacts of proximity and involvement. I do not experience loneliness or FOMO. I can miss a person and still not be lonely. The most lonesome times in my life were all family occasions from my earliest days, holidays, birthdays… and most days in my unfortunate marriage. Also, I endured an unwanted, if not humiliating sense of aloneness before the age of 40, as I had not yet experienced nor learned emotionally honest, healthy, safe and sustainable connection.
I often worry for my Sweet Greg, as he enjoys talking and also is shy with most others and rightfully expecting to socialize with me. I have guilt about my overt disinterest in non-essential and non-(mutually)interesting matters. He shows no signs of duress or resentment, but I still wish I had more willingness or resilience for everyday chit chat(this term seems harsh-but I don’t know what else to call it. I judge only myself, here) or even pleasantries.
Talking and listening tire me more than they make me feel connected or close. Though, having come from an environment in which shunning and silent treatment were common, I was confused about the value and meaning of silence and SO, for much of my life, I could and would not shut TF up. Weird fast anxious non-stop talking. Because— When THE talking (to or with me) halted, it typically indicated unspeakable trouble. Only in recovery have I discovered the magic of wholesome and peaceful silence and solitude.
What I now understand, only as a result of adulthood and recovery, is that I am intensely introverted – mentally and physically compromised by overexposure to (most all) others. And that I am worthy and capable of peace and authentic connection. Some might argue that I am not introverted, since I am not shy and can be quite social.
Learning about myself, my children, others, and relationships– is never-ending. We are each unique in how we experience people and the world, not just emotionally, but how our actual nervous systems receive and process information. What a trip.Much Love,
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