The art of self-presevation

For an introvert, our environment can be a like a landmine. I am learning how to control it, so that it works for me, not against me.  Friendships can be tough for people like me, because sooner or later we are adopted by extroverts who think to themselves, “Oh! what a fun project.

Sure of themselves, they try to mold me into the bubbly ball of energy they just know I can be. Do I like it? No. Never have, and never will. I used to think that something was wrong with me. Why didn’t I like raves and concerts as much as everyone else seemed to? Why did I feel like going home so soon after the parties begun? Why did I need so much time alone between outings?

Back then, I let the zealots try to do their magic. But I hated every moment of it. I dreaded answering the phone or even text messages, knowing it would be just one more invitation to be out. Out, out, out …  all the damn time!

I got so tired of trying to keep up with people who can draw infinite amounts of energy from the world around them. For them, the more the merrier. For me, I just wanted to go home and recharge.

Something had to be wrong with me, right?

Wrong.

The day I discovered the truth about me, I was so happy.

I draw my energy from inside. I need to be alone to process my day.

Home for me is like a healing pod. Any damage to my spirit is slowly repaired in my time alone with myself. It’s not something I can do on demand, and that doesn’t mean that I’m slow or indecisive, it just means that I process differently from someone who does their best thinking in a group.

However, no extrovert in my world would listen long enough to understand that, so I have had to learn to preserve myself from their attacks on who I am.

Learning to say no was one of the hardest lessons, but a necessary one.  Saying no to things I didn’t want to attend, and setting boundaries for the ones I did agree to helped so much to preserve that precious energy that I can lose so easily.

Developing the strength to deal with the pouty, angry reactions I received was hard, but it had to be done. These people in my life choose to see everything I say that isn’t a “yes” as a “rejection” of them, and I’ve learned to let them go ahead and wallow in that self-absorption.

A big part of this world’s problems is that we can’t seem to step in each other’s shoes.

Extroverts are amazing people in their own way, and are probably the best activists and figureheads as their charisma and ability to draw huge amounts of energy from external sources make them the best people to draw crowds, promote ideas, generate leads and more.

That isn’t to say an introvert couldn’t do these things, but we tend to meditate and mull over things for a much longer time. That’s no fun when we’re in a situation demanding a string of fast decisions.

However, for long term planning, studying trends, and generally tending to the nitty-gritty details, we’re your people. But how can we do our best work if you’re constantly dragging us about trying to turn us into you?

Not gonna end well.

 

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. I don’t think I’m as far on the spectrum as you are, but I do enjoy solitude (not too much of it) and spending time inside my own head. I’ve also looked longingly toward the door at certain social gatherings…

    Like

    1. Kim-Lee Patterson says:

      Hey Robert. Yeah I feel you — I don’t think too many people are as crowd-averse as I am these days (perhaps it depends on the crowd, lol). Being inside one’s own head is fun though–do you find that it’s just so much neater in there? Everything makes sense in my head. Doesn’t outside.

      And, lol. Sometimes I like the outings I’m at (rarely) but YES I’m usually looking longingly at the door too, and I find a way to go through it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In response to your question, I do like inside my head as long as I open the windows and doors and let in a little fresh air…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim-Lee Patterson says:

    Lol. Always a good thing!

    Like

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