Don’t Judge Me Because I Did ‘Nothing’ This Weekend

IntrovertDear.com introvert nothing

Some of my happiest and most vivid memories are moments that I spent by myself. A snowy weekend when I reread my favorite book series. The first time I made dinner in my new apartment. A morning where I snuck away from the rest of the group I was vacationing with to watch the sunrise alone. Of course, I have many happy memories with other people in them, but something about the calm of those moments and the peace those things brought me has lodged in my mind with clarity.

With the advent of social media, everyone with a computer has become familiar with FOMO (fear of missing out). This isn’t a term used exclusively by introverts, but the feeling can often be far worse for us when it is accompanied by another feeling—guilt.


Am I Lonely, or Is Society Just Telling Me to Be?

As an introvert, I have often felt guilty for choosing to stay home on a Friday or Saturday night, rather than going out and spending time with other people. This guilt occurs even if the thing I choose to do is something I was looking forward to, like reading a new book or watching one of my favorite movies. It occurs even when the thing that everyone else is doing—like going to a karaoke bar or attending a noisy football game—is something I know I wouldn’t enjoy.


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Yet there’s still that little voice in my head. It whispers to me that it’s abnormal that I like to spend so much time by myself. Yes, I am an introvert, but surely staying in on a Saturday night is crossing some kind of line into unhealthy territory. What would my peers say? What would my coworkers think? Often, I find myself embarrassed and making up excuses to stay in, like I have a lot of work to catch up on or I need to spend time with my family. Sometimes I even straight out lie and say I’m not feeling well.

The thing is, the last one isn’t as much of a lie as I used to think it was. The more I’ve come to understand what it means to be introverted, the more I realize alone time is something I need for my own mental health. This shouldn’t make me feel ashamed or guilty, but for some reason I’m afraid people will think less of me if they know what a loner I am.

I live by myself, and I love living by myself. Yet, I feel the need to constantly convince people that I’m okay with this. I’ve spent so much time fending off questions like “Don’t you get bored?” or “Don’t you get lonely?” that I began to believe there was actually something wrong with me. Maybe I really am lonely and need to change. Maybe I am stuck in my comfort zone and need to shake up my life.

Society tells us that people who willingly spend weekends at home watching TV, reading books, or cuddling their pets are lame. We should all be weeping into our couch cushions and loudly singing “All by Myself,” at the thought of spending Saturday night alone. However, those quiet moments that everyone else seems to fear like the plague are often the best parts of my week. A huge breakthrough came for me when I started to ask myself the question: “Am I really lonely, or is society just telling me to be?”

I began to realize it wasn’t those quiet moments alone in my apartment that I dreaded, it’s that moment on Monday morning when my coworker asks what I did over the weekend—and I have to say “nothing.” It’s the explanation I feel the need to give someone I barely know who invites me to a party, and I need to come up with an excuse that’s not “I don’t want to go.” Those are the moments I hate. But curled up under my favorite blanket with a new book and a cup of tea and a row of candles lit, I’m perfectly at peace.

What Feelings Are Motivating Your Plans?

According to Susan Cain, introverts make up about one-third to one-half of all Americans. However, because we are quieter and often try to pass as extroverts, we are still seen as the minority. We are the “other.” Therefore, we need to be fixed. We need to go out more. We need to feel guilty for every Saturday night we don’t spend surrounded by other people.

No one should tell you how to live your life—not society, not your friends, not your nosy coworkers, not even your family. If you are happy staying in, living alone, and doing your own thing, it’s okay. We don’t have to feel guilty for who we are just because we are different than the extroverted idea of “normal.”

Being introverted is part of who I am, yet I’ve heard people whisper the word as if it were something to be ashamed of. Everyone always wants you to be your own unique self, as long as that self is loud, vibrant, and outgoing. Sometimes I can be those things too, but only if I get enough rest and have enough “me” time in between.

If you feel guilty about not going out enough, it’s time to ask yourself why. If it’s only because you fear what other people think, than that’s not a very good reason. The less you care about what other people think, the more confident you will become.

When you can confidently and happily respond to the question, “What did you do this weekend?” by talking about the book you read or a movie you saw or all the errands you checked off your to-do list, people will realize you are happy and stop feeling the need to ask if you are lonely or bored.

Some people look forward to going out and spending time with friends all week long. Others look forward to those quiet moments they spend unwinding and recharging for the upcoming week. You aren’t missing out if you prefer the latter, any more than the extrovert who does the former is missing out. Both are equally legitimate ways to spend a weekend.

You don’t have to spend every Saturday night alone to identify as an introvert. Introverts enjoy spending time with friends too. However, before I postpone my plans with my favorite book for a walk on the wild side, I always ask myself: “What feelings are motivating my plans?” If the answer is guilt or embarrassment over someone else’s expectations, you will find me curled up on the couch building my own memorable Saturday night.  retina_favicon1

Read this: I Wasn’t Living My Life Until I Learned to Stay Home



    10 Comments

    • Ana Roth says:

      Thanks.
      Seriously, i couldnt need this more…
      I NEEDED TO READ THIS cause I feel that guilt and I desesperatly want to change that. Deeply I know that it isnt nothing wrong with having time for myself …so Thanks, a lot of Thanks 😍😭

    • Traci says:

      It’s amazing how long the guilt can keep its talons in you.

      Most of our friends know that we don’t go out much and we’re especially unlikely to accept a social invitation if it involves a) travel out of town, even if it’s just an hour, and b) a group of strangers.

      But, oh, the guilt. It’s still there. Almost worse now that they mostly seem to accept that this is who/how we are.

      And that feeling of abnormality doesn’t help.

      Thanks for including those stats. I had no idea that we’re in better company that I had ever imagined!

    • I have been shamed on numerous occasions for being quiet, not being social enough, for this or for that etc etc. I do have my social times but it’s not being part of large groups, not going to parties where it’s non-stop loud noise and chaotic activity, surrounded by drunk getting -in-my-face people. How anyone finds this ‘fun’ is beyond comprehension!
      I do belong to a book club, a tea & poetry club, attend writers workshops. And I participate in these groups, adding my comments to the mix. What is different about this type of social interaction is that I have something in common with the participants: they’re very similar in nature and share my interests. However by the time the event is over, I am ready for alone time!
      What is really frustrating is when certain people take it upon themselves to ‘get me out of my shell’ by implementing strategies that end up humiliating and shaming me. This just drives me further into my so-called shell. Such people believe its their job to fix me as in their minds every quiet person is broken, socially awkward, shy, and lonely. None of it is true but there is no convincing them as they know what’s best for me. They don’t however.

    • Londiwe says:

      I have taken time off work and everyone is expecting me to go travelling and keep in touch with my adventures.The adventures that I have planned are internal and I feel ashamed that I am not going to a far off land.I won’t have pictures to post on social media.No one wants to see my insides!!

      I want to be sad, to be happy , to cry and to grieve for all the losses that I’ve had over the years.i want to spend time by myself

    • Alice says:

      It’s like you were inside of my head, you have no idea how I appreciated reading this article, thank you!

    • Heather Hunter says:

      One of the best and biggest lessons in life is to learn to not care what others think. (Especially for us introverts who have been told all our lives that we need to change, we are not good enough, etc).

      Pleasing yourself and doing what you love and what gives you joy is the key. And if/when others ask what you did on the weekend, I just say (with a smile) “nothing much, had a quiet one, which is what I really love to do”. And what about you?

      I would never in a million years now feel like I had to have something “acceptable” to say, or apologise for spending my weekends how I choose.

    • So happy I’m pst the stage of *having to explain myself* whenever I needed to spend a Saturday night at home!

      I don’t even mention how service is usually sub-standard & venues are over-crowded on Saturdays –where’s the fun in all that? (Let’s make it next Tuesday, or the Tuesday after, shall we?)

    • Tricia says:

      Thankfully, I work with two other introverts, so when we talk about our weekends, it’s more along the lines of, “It was a GREAT weekend! I didn’t even have to leave the house!” and the others respond, “Awesome!”

    • Wendy Love says:

      Never exchanged thoughts with another introvert before! This is quite refreshing. Some of my favorite memories, like you, are times alone although I do love the people I love. When you combine depression with introversion there is a fine line. Am I retreating because of depression or introversion. No matter, quiet feeds me, noise and people do not. Lovely to see someone taking a personal stand.

    • Vincent says:

      Wow, after living a life time of trying to figure out what’s wrong with me and why I am so different, I am now trying to fix what I broke about myself. Thanks for the inspiring article to let me be me and to everyone who shared their comments. May you go to the window, feel the warm sun and cherish that perfect moment.

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