Alone Time


Alone Time

I’m an introvert by nature. I always have been. So, being around large amounts of people for extended periods of time is really draining for me. Don’t get me wrong, I like people. I’ve even had amazing conversations that lasted for hours with complete strangers that I knew that I would never see again in my life where. It’s just that too much human interaction can end up being a bit much for me. It’s always been like this, but when I was younger I thought there was something wrong with me. This was particularly the case during my teenage years.

When you’re a teenager, life can be a bit awkward regardless of whether you’re more introverted or if you’re more extroverted. My problems just seemed to stem from the fact that I was on the introverted side. When I was in high school, everyone liked going out on the weekends to parties at people’s houses and at schools around the neighborhood, but it’s something that I never liked to do that often. And now that I know that I’m an introvert it makes complete sense. I didn’t just spend my time around people during school, but I also had a lot of activities after school and on the weekends that required me to socialize with others. Sports and clubs kept me busy, but it was definitely the socializing aspect of it that I found to be the most tiresome. That’s why going to a dance or a party that would be chalk full of even more socialization with people that I didn’t even know did not sound very appealing to me. I did it every once in awhile to appease my friends, but most times when I was out I was wishing that I was at home. This pattern of behavior changed when I became an adult.

Once I left high school, I discovered that there was a name for people like me and that I wasn’t alone in feeling drained whenever I had to be around too many people for an extended period of time. After learning this, I had less of a problem with turning down social engagements. In college, if I reached my people quota for a given week then I would turn down an invitation to go out without feeling guilty about it. There were many times when I stayed at home in my dorm watching TV in lieu of going out to a party. The same thing goes for me today. If I look at my social calendar and I’m busy for most of the month, for example, then I’ll make sure that I have one weekend where I don’t have to leave my house. I’ll take the time to recharge and recuperate so that maybe I’ll be able to accept the next invite. Being able to do this is important for introverts, but we’re not the only ones who can use it.

Everyone needs “me time” every now and again. So, if you feel like your social calendar is too full then it’s okay to take some time for yourself. Cancel plans if you need to because you’re well being should always come first. So often, we’re made to feel guilty if we choose to renege on a prior engagement. We think that the person that we’re cancelling on will get angry or will think less of us because of what we’ve decided to do. But the thing is, if they really care about you, then they should want you to take some time for yourself if you’re not feeling up to hanging out, and if they can’t accept that then they probably aren’t the best people to keep in your life. You want people who are going to keep your best interest at heart, and people who aren’t allowing you to have “me time” when you need it don’t have your best interest at heart.

Positive thinker, make sure that you’re surrounding yourself with people who value your need to recharge. Keeping yourself healthy physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally is so important that you should never feel guilty for doing what you have to do to maintain your peace of mind. Take a break when you have to, and cherish those people in your life who support you when you need to take a rest.