Monday, August 18, 2014

On being social when you feel ANTIsocial...

Sometimes I absolutely hate that I was born an introvert.

But that fact is I was and now I have to live with it.

To some of you, it might not sound like a bad thing.  In fact, I'm pretty sure no one other than other extreme introverts will get this post at all.

This past weekend was on of those weekends where I just wanted to shrink into myself and disappear.
You know how when you're a kid and you close your eyes and think that since you can't see them, they can't see you? You're invisible?

Sometimes I really wish that worked.  
In fact, I tried it in Walmart on Saturday.  

It didn't work, by the way.

I had to go shopping for some things we were in dire need of, as well as the ingredients for a freezer meal workshop I have tonight.  I was literally praying the entire time I was out that I wouldn't run into anyone I knew.  There were so many people!

It sounds strange to some of you, right? 
I mean, I know it sounds strange as it comes out of my mouth.

I can't begin to explain it, honestly. I just know that sometimes being around more than one other person {and sometimes, even then} is literally excruciatingly painful. 

And then there's that pesky fear of not being accepted or needing to be someone I'm not. In my life, I have been misunderstood too many times to count.  I've been written off as a snob {or worse}, antisocial, rude, stuck up, unfriendly and so on.

This is absolutely, totally, 100% accurate for me!

We didn't go to church on Sunday and it was my fault.

I had trouble getting out of bed on Sunday morning and when I did, I felt physically ill.  My head hurt, my throat was a little scratchy, and I was absolutely CONVINCED that I could not go to church and/or be around people.

I really felt like I might collapse if I made myself do it.

So instead, I went back to bed, pulled the covers up and slept until almost noon.
I spent the entire day in my pajamas, never showered, and didn't even cook.

I did do some housework and made myself and my family meals but they were all pulled together from leftovers and items in the fridge. I convinced the hubby to go and pick up dinner from the mexican restaurant a few miles away.

The closest I got to leaving the house was watering plants on the front porch and stepping into the garage to talk to my husband.

And it didn't bother me at all.

By Sunday night, I felt recharged and less like hiding.  I felt rested.  I felt whole again.  I felt equipped - that's a funny word, but it's accurate - to DO life again.

Please don't worry about me.
I'm not depressed and I didn't post this to elicit sympathy or get people to check in on me.
I'm not going to be a crazy cat lady someday {I dislike cats; pretty strongly, in fact.  No offense to cat people}.

Honestly, I thought I was just a weirdo for so long and really didn't realize that other people like me existed. 

Recently, I've seen lots of stuff on Pinterest and Facebook about personalities.  Little blurbs like this one...

And it's funny I guess, but "social media" has actually made me feel better about my own social fears and inadequacies.  

And, yes, I've taken all those Facebook quizzes: "Are you really an introvert?" "What's your true personality type," and dozens of others.
I've read articles like "How to be friends with an introvert," "How to fit into a world of extroverts when you're not one {or something like that}."

And today, I found whole Pinterest boards devoted to Introverts.  Some of the pins made me laugh out loud while some evoked a "say what?"  But the truth is, there are lots of introverts in the world and we don't ALL have the same qualities  or phobias.

It makes me feel more "normal" to know there are others who have the same feelings and need for alone time.  

It also plays into my compassionate nature.  I think my "introvert" personality makes me more perceptive about other introverts and more sensitive to their feelings.

Maybe not.  

But I do believe God makes us all different for a reason.  He gives us all gifts and it's our job to discover them and use them for good.

So I suppose I don't always HATE being an introvert after all.

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