Confessions of an Introvert
I am an introvert. Those of you who only know me online or via conferences are thinking, “liar.” I’ve had arguments with friends about whether or not I am an introvert. I am a really big introvert, I promise. While I can be friendly and nice online or at conferences, the truth is, being around people is absolutely draining and exhausting for me. The reason I don’t have a smartphone (other than not wanting to fork over the extra $) is that I LIKE being able to close my laptop, and if I don’t want to deal with anyone online- whether it be Facebook, Twitter, email, work, etc., I don’t have to. I get no notifications, and until I turn on my computer, I have no idea what’s going on with the world, and I LIKE IT THAT WAY! When I go to conferences, I literally plan time in my schedule to go to my room and hide. Or nap. Or read. Or whatever I want, as long as there are no people involved.
The past two weeks have been rough for me. First, I was at the ACFW conference, and while I truly love seeing everyone, I really hit my people limit. And it was hard for me, because I wanted to socialize and catch up with my friends. But I hit the wall- several times. Usually when I come home, I get a day or so to rest. But because of the conference schedule, I came home and worked a major online event. Plus had needy children and husband, plus had needy dog, plus had needy chickens, plus, had two major events for the kiddos.
Which brings us to today. I finally got my introvert recharge day. I’ve been told by a therapist that I’m a strong enough introvert that I really need at least one a month (HA!) for my sanity. I’ve had none in a few months, so today, I took my day. I hid (literally) in my bedroom and ignored my family. I read old journals. I goofed off. I napped. I drank tea. I took my daughter to the library, so I guess I cheated a little, but when we got back, I went and hid in my office and wrote. I hadn’t planned on writing, but I had a new story idea I wanted to play with, so I did. I finally did a little work, mostly because I do have job responsibilities, but I’ve kept my online interactions to a minimum. Oh, and I did weird OCD cleaning stuff. Which is what I do when stressed. Weird, but effective. Plus, if my family sees me cleaning, they avoid me, because they’re afraid that if they engage, I will give them a job.
So… here I am… at the end of my day. My “me” day. I admit, I didn’t even go to church, which is sad, because I’ve really been missing my church. But I honestly couldn’t face speaking to one more human being and being forced to be nice or talk or smile or interact in any way. I woke up this morning feeling dead inside, like every bit of life had been sucked out of me. Now that I’ve indulged my need to be alone, I feel better. Not 100%, maybe 50%, but definitely capable of facing the world, taking care of my family, and doing what needs to be done.
If you’re an introvert, it’s okay to take the time you need to recharge. If you’re an extrovert, please understand that when us introverts are grumpy or hide from you, it’s not that we don’t love you. But sometimes, when we’ve been too long without our own company and the stillness of not having other voices crowd our heads, we just aren’t capable of being what you need.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What helps you recharge?