Sometimes you just want to cocoon with your introverted self. Sometimes you don’t want to engage. Sometimes you have nothing to say. Stringing conversational sentences together is an effort because you just don’t want to do it. And really what’s wrong with that?
Personally I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. It is therapeutic. A commitment to yourself. It is an important process for introverts. Unlike extroverts who recharge by being social, introverts need down time. When I was younger, I didn’t understand this and thought I was weird, odd, strange or any other such adjective. They all worked for me.
Then I read a book called: The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World, by Marti Olsen Laney. This book changed my life. After reading it, I finally understood myself. It explained the differences in brain function between introverts and extraverts. It convinced me that there was nothing wrong with me, or my brain. Plus it listed many well-known creative and successful introverts. The book gave me the confidence to be who I was and to stop struggling against my introverted desires.
If you like yourself, it is easy to spend time in your own company. This is what I have been doing for the last few weeks–ninety percent of the time at least. I don’t feel lonely or deprived or like I am missing something. Actually I feel great. I survived February without a hint of those annual blues that sometimes pull me under for a week or two.
I am quite busy right now and often feel as if there are not enough hours in my day. My time has been full with activities like yoga, practicing piano, puzzles and some writing. Toss in meal making, grocery shopping, laundry and all the other things one does during their day and all of a sudden the day is over. In actuality I haven’t spent a whole lot of time doing household stuff. I have been just keeping ahead of the basics. I don’t recommend that you look in my en suite toilet these days. I will get around to cleaning it eventually.
But there are people, friends of mine, extroverts, who still don’t understand me. They still think I’m strange. They occasionally make comments about me not going out very much. And I still say, I’m working on it. What I need to say is: I don’t need to go out all the time, and sometimes I don’t feel like going out. Plus I am quite content. But I don’t, and I don’t know why I don’t… except perhaps that I don’t want to bother with the conversation. I know they will never understand. Their brains just can’t fathom the way my brain works. Their brains just can’t relate to my life choices.
There is something to be said for being content. It is a good state of mind. It is the closest thing to happiness that most people will obtain; because really, can anyone truly say that they are happy all the time. Happiness is a fluid state. When you are content, you are not unhappy. Moments of greater happiness can flow in and out of this state, but the state is your baseline. Moments of unhappiness can also flow in and out, but knowing you have a content baseline makes these moments less severe. It took me a long time to realize this. I am so glad that I finally did.
I can honestly say that some of my friends, those extroverted friends, haven’t appeared happy or even content, to me, for years. I fear they never will. They are never satisfied. I feel for them because I don’t expect their situations to change. I would love to hear them laugh out loud.
With all this in mind and with spring just around the corner, I expect to be even busier because I will be adding kayaking, gardening, more walking and hiking and hopefully some day trips to the mix. Oh I will still go out. I will meet friends for meals or movies, but there may not be time for everything. I may not always feel like stringing together conversational sentences. Sometimes you may find that instead there will be no comment.
Thank you for reading.
Photo: Jenn Stone