Thursday, 20 March 2014

Being alone doesn't mean I'm lonely

When I go to a nice little pub, with a book or newspaper under my arm, people often feel the need to come over to join me or invite me to their table. I'm sure they have the best of intentions at heart, but isn't my chosen reading material a clue that I'd like to be left alone? Apparently not.

My dad and I often meet for a pint and a crossword or some kind of mathematical brain teaser. We also have a lovely chat, where we muse at other people's need to be with a group of people, a need we don't possess. I think it's lovely that there are so many people that regularly try to inject some social 'fun' into our lives, but it often feels like we're the only ones who just like some quiet time alone.

Then I read this article...
... and it all made sense.

Here are some points it makes:

> You find small talk incredibly cumbersome.
Yes! Don't get me wrong, it's not that I dislike people, not at all. It's just that it feels like a bit of a waste of both of our time.

> You go to parties -– but not to meet people.
I guess you could say "Why go to a place as social as a party (or in my case, a pub) if you want to be left alone?" and I suppose my answer to that would be "It's not that I need to be completely alone, I just sometimes find idle chit chat a bit draining and I'd rather spend time with 1 or 2 quality friends than a large group of acquaintances."

And here's a point that I truly believed only I 'suffer' from.. in fact I never admitted it to others until I read it here (realizing others do it somehow made it acceptable):

> You screen all your calls -- even from friends.
I can relate to Dembling, who says: "To me, a ringing phone is like having somebody jump out of a closet and go 'BOO!'... I do like having a long, nice phone call with a friend -- as long as it's not jumping out of the sky at me." Now this may sound a little pathetic, but, like the article says, it is like I need to mentally prepare myself and gather the energy for the conversation.

Where am I going with all this? Well, I put myself in the extrovert's shoes;

I see a lonely person who is obviously craving a group of people to sit with. I go over to invite them to our big table. They say 'No thank you.'. They would rather be lonely than sit with me?

I wonder if they feel a sense of rejection every time an introvert turns down their invitation? So, on behalf on all of us oddball introverts, I apologize for snubbing your offer, dear extrovert, but please don't take any offense... It's not you, it's me.

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  1. I think to some degree I'm definitely more an introvert. I like my own company. I also find addressing a crowd easier than talking to someone one to one, unless that person is a good friend. This tendency to be an introvert has led problems with a handful of people, who happen to be extremely extrovert, thinking I'm "odd".

  2. I think introverts get labelled as odd as it seems there aren't many of us, but there are, we're just minding our own business in a quiet corner :-)

  3. I must say I always thought introvrets were those who didn't speak their minds, and kept themselves to themselves. I am a lot more open and speak my mind more than a lot of people I know, however I do enjoy my own company and hobbies a LOT! And there's nothing better than sitting in a cafe with my crochet or a book and a late or a lovely pot of jasmine tea! x I think the more hectic life gets the more I love these 'retreats' - bliss :)