Do you have a friend or a family member that always begs off when it comes to social gatherings? Do they duck out early at a party? Do they seem to be “not feeling well” or have a headache again, when they are asked to join in?
Then your loved one might be an introvert.
Most of us fall somewhere between an introvert and an extrovert. We’re not completely one extreme or the other but a mix of both. But if your loved one is more of an introvert, you need to understand just what that means.
Introverts Can Socialize, But We Pay For It
An introvert deals with people differently than an extrovert would. We can socialize with people in small or large crowds, but we pay for it. It’s extremely draining. We prefer the smaller, more intimate settings or quiet evenings at home as opposed to those spent out.
I can put on the perfect smile and don my best dress, and I will be that perfect lady on your arm. I’ll be charming, witty, and entertaining. I can host a family feast during the holidays or attend that lavish event you’ve been looking forward to all year.
If I am to play hostess, the house will be spotless. Every detail will be attended to, because I will have started preparations well in advance. I will probably make you crazy, fussing over every little thing. I will make lists and check them twice, three times, or more. Not every introvert will fuss like I do, but me — I will make sure no detail is overlooked.
It may seem like I’m stressed, but I actually love this. I love to spend time with my friends or family, but it needs to be on my terms in order for it to be comfortable for me. So let me fuss.
An Event cannot be spur-of-the-moment. I need time to prepare, not only physically, but mentally. An Event can be defined as anything from lunch with a couple of friends to a huge party with all the neighbors. I will react to either of them the same way, fussing over every last detail.
Downtime Is the Way Introverts Recharge
Can an introvert go out and party? Sure! But we will probably be one of the first to leave and go home. The crowd of people and the noise — while energizing to some — is draining to us.
After an event with people (and not necessarily a lot of people) is when an introvert needs their downtime the most. I want nothing more than to go home, possibly take a long bubble bath and spend a day at home in my pajamas. Downtime is the way introverts recharge.
If my phone does not ring for several days, this is not uncommon. I would rather text than talk on the phone if I can. If I can write something out rather than express it verbally, that is preferred. This way, I can be sure that everything is expressed just the way I want it to be.
I have spent days of my vacation doing nothing more than staying home and speaking to no one. This is fine with me. In general, being alone does not bother an introvert. In fact, we quite enjoy our alone time and we need it.
One of the nicest vacations I’ve had in years was one where I spent three days in a secluded cabin, overlooking a small lake. There was hardly another soul around. It was blissful. I spent a good deal of my time sitting in a swing under a tree with a book watching the ducks out on the lake.
Introverts Need Their World to Be a Little Quieter
You have to understand that we want to be included. We want to be asked. If we turn down your invitation to dinner or a night out, we might tell you that we’re busy or that we have other plans. Those plans could very well involve spending the day reading, writing, or binge watching TV.
Do introverts get lonely? If I really think about what is involved in interacting with other people, this is deterrent enough to not get involved with anyone.
Yes, sometimes I get lonely. But it doesn’t last long. I have a few close friends, a terrific job, and a family that loves me. I have a lot in my life to be thankful for, and my life is quite full.
If this loved one has turned down your lunch invitation six times, they may accept on the seventh time. But they may not. Don’t give up completely — just give them some space.
So, if your loved one needs a lot of downtime alone, don’t take this to mean they don’t love you. They might be an introvert. An introvert just needs their world to be a little quieter and a little less crowded in order to express that love.
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