The thing about being an introvert is that you feel misunderstood more than anything.
Like when I’d rather spend a weekend at home reading new books, catching up on Big Brother or making my way through The West Wing. Going for a few runs, trying new recipes, and falling asleep before 11pm.
Some people say it’s “antisocial” and that makes me sad.
That’s when I feel misunderstood.
For some reason our society has decided that it’s not “appropriate” or “healthy” to want to spend time by yourself. We are encouraged to surround ourselves with people at work and then told we’re “boring” or “anti-social” if we don’t go to happy hour after.
But the thing is, I don’t consider myself antisocial at all. I love people. In fact, I spend 40 hours a week surrounded by people, listening to their stories. It’s one of my favorite things to do. Hearing where someone comes from, what they’ve experienced, and what they hope for in the future. When I feel that connection, my heart reflecting back their heart, I know that moment is real and I feel alive.
But when you spend your days listening, there are bound to be stories full of pain. Those are the moments where I feel broken. And when you have multiple painful moments, you begin to feel worn down and exhausted. So, when I have two days to myself, I need that time to recharge. I need to build up my energy. I need that time to let the stress from the previous week slip away so I’m ready to face it again.
It doesn’t mean that I’m depressed or that I need help. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with me. It just means that I’m an introvert.
Being an introvert means that my formula is one that requires more input than output. And that may be different from yours, but that’s okay.
Next time you find yourself spending time with an introvert, remember that it may not be easy for them. Remember that they may not have a huge social energy supply and that they may need time to recharge.
But it doesn’t mean they don’t like you, I promise.