How much time could you spend alone? What’s your limit until you start to feel like you’re mentally or emotionally affected? I thought about these questions a lot lately. As an introvert who likes alone time, I realized that sometimes there is a limit. Nothing is good in excess. I spend a lot of time alone, like A LOT! Sometimes I love it, I really do, but after all of this time I realize that it does affect you in a negative way. Over the last few years, I realized that the more I am away from people the more awkward I am (if that’s even possible). I communicate differently. My anxiety is even higher now. I get very uncomfortable when I’m around a large group of people. All of my issues that came with being an introvert has magnified over the last few years. At times I felt okay being tucked away, but now it’s different. The more you isolate from everyone, the more people get used to not having you around. All of a sudden, it’s just you and your thoughts. You start to feel lonely and forgotten. Now I’m realizing that you need people. You need to be around loved ones. You need social interactions, or you’ll end up having a random panic attack in a crowded place wondering why (or maybe that’s just me). In the long run it can really affect your mind. I just know that we all need that love, affection and to feel like we matter to keep us going. We don’t need to share every waking moment with people, but we can’t separate from people too much.
Remember that movie Passengers with Chris Pratt? I remember watching that movie and thinking how awesome it would be to actually have that huge spaceship all to myself. Maybe not with just me, but with one other person. The both of them had everything right there and I just thought, wow, that’s the life. Now I look back and I realize that it’s not enough. Going through life with one person is not enough. We need more interactions. Not all the time or every day, but it can’t just be you, by yourself all of the time. Even if it’s once a week or every other week, we need to be in social settings. I never knew how much being alone changes you. Maybe that’s why my enneagram number is 4. Maybe that’s why I’m an individualist. I spend majority of my time by myself, which is why I’m so self-aware. I’m mainly around myself. I’ve become my own best friend (Just kidding, but I do enjoy my own company). My advice to all the introverts who might have an at home job (or you might be a stay-at-home wife whose husband works during most waking hours) make sure you find the time to get out. I know we’re still in a pandemic, but there are safe ways to go about it. Have a girls (or guys) night in. Spend more time with family. If you don’t have family or friends, maybe get involved with a community activity. I’m still currently looking into taking a class (like painting, ceramics & etc). There are also many organizations in most cities/towns. In college becoming a part of organizations played a major role in getting me out of my dorm room. It forced me to interact and form relationships.
I don’t want to come off too premature when I say this, but I really want to challenge myself to not be such a hermit. I want to be able to come out of my shell sometimes. I don’t want to go to a social event and think about how much I want to go home after 5 minutes. People drain me, but I also see the benefits of being an extrovert. Growing up I used to wish I was an extrovert, because everything felt challenging, and I thought life would be easier if I was more extroverted. A few years ago, I tried to accept and embrace being an introvert. I tried to look at it as a positive, and during quarantine it felt like it was finally our time. For once we weren’t inconvenienced. Extroverts were going stir crazy and felt like they were losing it having to stay home month after month, but introverts were in their element. It didn’t bother us. We finally got to stay home without people making us feel bad about it. We weren’t expected to be in social settings. Now things are shifting, and our old problems are starting to resurface. Even though I saw the benefit of being an introvert for a split second I know that I have to push myself for my best interests. In the long run, becoming more social will help me in EVERY area of my life. My husband and I were both heavily introverted and then suddenly he started to become more social. He now wants to be out more during the little free time he has, and it has been a struggle because I am still as introverted as before if not more. It’s time for me to find a happy medium. I don’t have to change completely, but I have to find a way to adjust and become a little more sociable.