I consider myself an introvert for a variety of reasons, but as I’m discovering being a single mother of two, being an introvert has its drawbacks.
An article I came across by Jonathan Rauch titled “Caring for Your Introvert”, is a must read for everyone. It’s a well written piece pertaining to generalities of introverted people, and also debunks stereotypes associated with people of these personality types, such as myself.
For awhile, I thought of myself as not being fond of humans in general, but it turns out, I just can’t stand the amount of time and energy that’s expected for me to devote myself to them, even those that are close to me. It’s a recycled task that I’m not always willing to do. If people wonder why I’m more active on social media than I am in person, it’s because with social media, I can easily step away, and I don’t feel the need to hold constant conversations in person. The same goes with texting. There are lots of times when I just want to be ALONE with my thoughts, to bask in solitude, using that solitude to read, write, draw, or play Words With Friends…whatever it is that doesn’t involve having to deal with the attention of another person right then and there. I appreciate having company on occasion.
My mom is always telling me that I need to get out more, and I agree, but I know “getting out more” involves being in some sort of social situation, usually. If I go out, I prefer to go with a friend or two, since the energy of people I adore gets me going. When I’m with friends, I become ambivert; the excitement of having a good time together gets me pumped, and since I don’t go out much, I want to make sure I’m making the best out of that time!
I believe children should have at least one activity outside of school to participate in, whether it be a sport, dancing, art, or music lessons. I practice this in my household as well, so that means having to deal with other people, and being thrust among large groups of people. I don’t like being in or around crowds. I’m very grateful though, that my children are now taking art classes, something that doesn’t involve me having to be in the presence of strangers for more than four minutes. I drop them off, and pick them up–simple! When my daughter was into dance, and my son into soccer, I had to force myself out of my comfort zone constantly.
Having kids, especially elementary school age children, is tiring, especially when one of them has an extrovert personality. Party invites are always coming our way, and I dread seeing them every time, because I know this means I may be forced into an uncomfortable situation. Aside from that, having small children requires giving those children lots of attention, something I’m not always up for. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my children, and would accept a burning at the stake for either one of them in an instant, but I do wish someone trustworthy would take them off my hands periodically so that I can enjoy some true peace and quiet!
Dating is a drag too, since this requires meeting new people, and spending time with them. Being that I enjoy my alone time, perhaps more than the average person, the idea of making time for someone is a hurdle I have to learn to jump again. It’s hard enough meeting and dating someone offline, since this requires being at the right place at the right time. As I mentioned before, I don’t go out much, so I’ve done a lot of online dating. That’s how I met my ex-husband.
I do want to get married again, but I fear not finding someone who will totally understand and respect my personality. Whoever I end up with must know that I’ll enjoy spending time with them, and won’t mind, as long as I have time to myself as well. I can be moody and unreasonable when I don’t get time to unwind.
I want you to know, that I’m not a weirdo (depending on who you ask), that I’m not depressed, or hate people. I’m just someone who prefers being with themselves more than I prefer being with others, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.