Introverts need time alone, but we can also get lonely

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For the many years I didn’t know what an introvert was, I told people close to me that I guessed I was a “loner.” It was the only way I could describe the fact that although I might chitchat and joke around with others when we were all together, when it came time to run errands I enjoyed just taking off alone. It usually did not occur to me to ask someone if they wanted to come and look at [clothes, sofas, books, plants, cat food] with me. After all, I was the one who needed whatever it was, and I can definitely think better and make better decisions when no one is talking to me. As I’ve said before, I have a lot of great friends I’ve made over the years, and I really enjoy their company. But it’s just in my nature to head out on my own when I need to do something. For lack of a better term, I used the term “loner” to label myself quickly when people would express hurt at being left out of all the fun I was having. (Sadly, the news media and people who just don’t know any better often use that term to mean someone who’s actually antisocial: one who hates society and may even do active harm like mass shootings).

Although I need to be alone a certain percent of my time, and I have a blast when reading or doing other things on my own, I’m also capable of being really lonely. Once in a while I have found myself in a situation where I was alone for a weekend and wanted to do something with a friend but for some reason the ones I’d try to contact were unavailable. Maybe it was a holiday weekend or just a coincidence, but I have found myself alone on a weekend with no plans at all and realized I was terribly lonely. By late on a Saturday afternoon of such a weekend, I have actually been the one who’s raking or weeding in the front yard, talking to any and every neighbor who walks by, or walking a few miles, hoping I’ll run into someone I know as I go. When that happened, I wondered – am I not a loner like I thought? What happened to the woman who loves to run out alone to do her own thing? It just didn’t add up! The answer is, it’s not that I want to be alone all the time. I like people and enjoy them very much. I just can’t be with people all of the time. I am an introvert.

As an introvert, my battery has to be charged, just like the battery of a laptop. When the battery is fully charged, a laptop runs great and is quite valuable. No one would say a laptop is weird or bad because it has to be recharged. We simply learn that that is how laptops are designed so we make sure we charge them before we need them. Extroverts are more like basketballs. As long as someone is there doing something with them, basketballs have plenty of energy, which they get by being bounced by a person. When they are left alone, they aren’t bouncing anymore. No one would say that a basketball is useless just because it doesn’t jump off the shelf and bounce by itself. We understand that basketballs need people to give them the energy to go.

If you love to run errands alone or love to eat lunch at your desk at work or anything else like that, don’t let anyone make you feel as if you are “odd” or “aloof” or worse still, “antisocial.” If you recharge your batteries best when you get some time alone, you are most likely an introvert, and just knowing that is so awesome and explains so much. Now you know why you start feeling anxious in a long meeting or when house guests won’t leave. That feeling is totally expected for introverts, and now you’ll know that you need to break away – alone – in order to feel and function at your best. Likewise now you can understand why you may feel lonely today, when it was just yesterday you were craving some time alone. Introverts are normal human beings (despite what you may have heard) 🙂 and of course we need others. In fact we form very strong and deep connections, when we find people we really like and like to be with. Once we understand our needs for companionship vs. solitude, we can come closer to the right balance where we get plenty of blissful and refreshing alone time, yet we never get all the way to lonely.

Photo credit: paulotavio

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194 Comments

  1. I need to know how to go about giving my introvert friend the time he needs, when I myself is an extrovert and can’t stand being alone in most cases… How should I handle giving him the time he needs?

  2. Absolutely, I am an introvert. I found this site after Googling “Alone Time”. My failing marriage is what prompted this search. I am apparently the “Bad Guy” in our 23 year marriage, and I always have been. The true root of our issues is that I Never, Ever, get any “Alone Time”. I make my living in sales (oddly enough) so I am forced to deal with unbelievably difficult people All-Day-Long, only to come home and have my wife in my face and demanding all of my attention. We have two wonderful sons (22 & 15 years of age) and it seems like both of them “Get Me”. They seem perfectly okay to let Dad re-charge and enjoy one another’s company in small doses. My Wife, on the other hand, can’t be alone in a car for 5-minutes without filling the air with mind numbing blabber. I have tried to expain the concept of comfortable silence to her, but it’s like trying to expain Dawinism to a Catholic Priest, or trying to explain Christ’s plan of Salvation to an Atheist, or trying to explain Socialism to a Republican (you get the picture), it ain’t gonna happen. I am so happy that I found this posting. Ahhh, kindred spirits…
    J.C.

    • Marcha de penguins on

      I totally get the “alone time” thing. When I get home, I crave desperately to have no one to talk to and no one to please. I also have a very social job. I need to be patient and listen all day. When I get home, I want to stare blankly at something (a television, a book, a computer)
      Ironically, I feel alone as a loner. I dream of vacations by myself. Not because I like myself so much, but because I don’t like dealing with people. I’m a horrible smoozer, I smooze, but I don’t enjoy it. I can smooze people who are humble, but I abhor smoozing people who think they are all that.
      I can enjoy people, but people who aren’t up tight and pretentious. People who can understand a soulful silence. There are times to talk and there are times to listen. listen to the sounds of a creek or the wind through the aspen. There are times to talk and to listen. Listen to your own mind and hear your own self. Silence isn’t necessarily ignoring—sometimes silence is just observing.

      • Marcha, isn’t it wonderful to just get so alone, away from everyone and sit against the tree and look into the forest, listen to the gentle birds, feel the Sun and the wind gently brush by. At nights, I sit for hours to just listen to all the Birds sing a night time Lollyby until the last bird sings. All of the other birds hush and listen to it and it will sing and sing, almost as tho all of God’s creatures are just listening to him. Silence is the absense of noise and a beaut to it, calm, a place that once we keep going there, it becomes a place of no return. Being in the social life or sales or serving people, etc can be harshly a toll breaker on a person. We are the bad guys or gals it seems when we want that alonement. I finally got it after I dreamed my way to it. After having much socialism in my life, much competition, much what all the world has to offer, I finally decided that my fear of living alone in a remote area that you would never had found me doing when I was younger, is my Paradise now and my need to be ALONE and a Retrovert was greater than my need to be with anyone. With so many homes in disharmony this day and time, I found that the answer to it all is simply Silence. But you can not get them to see it is why they babble and do not listen. I would rather listen for it keeps the you centered, grounded, at least for me. I also believe that Introverts are Empath’s, until they have to take much much time, alone and just breath.

      • Oh Yes! “NO ONE TO PLEASE”! That is really at the heart of it. If you have a person in my life that thinks you are their sole source for their own happiness, it really wears you down. You wind up spending every waking moment wondering what you have done wrong and what can you do to fix it, when secretly you just want to get away.

        I have to have my alone time, I just absolutely do. I have found that once I demanded it, the world did not fall apart for my co-depentant family member, things have actually gotten better, and even she is starting to realize this now.

        Thanks for the comments!

        MANJAM

    • Jamman, I applaud you! I too am an Introvert, despite the Locals see me as peculiar, weird, anti sociable, etc. or even a split personality person, if I do choose to go out and mingle, once in a blue moon and can be the life of a party, to resume back home in my solace place, ALONE. I even had questioned my own self until I found this site and saw that what I am, is perfect for me and like minds. You have to deal with neons of personality’s on your job. When you get home, all you want is Quiet or Space. Your zone. Your kids get this for they too have to deal with neons of personality’s and for now it doesn’t bare on them as much. As far as your wife……. in my belief that she is the personalty that does not grasp the need for the Sounds of Silence nor respect it. I get phone calls from people constantly and if I do not answer the phone, they call my landlord and or my family and get in a cycle and I think to myself…..OMG can not you all leave me alone until I call you! People of some natures have a hard time with imagination of Life and boundaries and this is what creates the division. This is my perspective and works for me but may not for others. I am not an exspert, only a happy go lucky Introvert that is thrilled with having pets as my companion and wildlife to heal. Nature teaches alot. For me, Silence is the Medicine of God, good to heal the soul after so much Congestion of Noise. We are appreciators of Less is more and of Life for after all, Silence is Golden. Tranquilty is a must these days! Good Luck! The Mind needs space, else it suffocates and so it is the Introvert will as well. For me, I become frazzeled and withdrawn when suffocated constantly with chatter and compelled to be more alone. I have lost alot of friends due to being a Loner or Introvert, but no one needs friends that are unwilling to accept who you are. Not everyone is a barrier crosser and still has some morals. If the people do not make it too your future, you did not need them. Introverts are very independent minded and need to feel whole and a consistant, kill joy, babbling person sucks the life out of them, how I know. Take Care.

    • Ha ha, I found this because my girlfriend and I just had a fight about how having an hour or two just being alone is apparently “selfish” of me, but I honestly feel as though I’m being strangled to death if I can’t get away and read a book or something.

      I grew up an only child, her with multiple brothers and sisters, so I don’t think she even understands the concept.

    • Dorkalicious on

      So happy I found your post, Jamman. Your comment “can’t be alone in a car for 5-minutes without filling the air with mind numbing blabber” is one of my worst nightmares… being trapped in a car with someone who can’t shut up. It’s happened to me before, but I’m hoping it won’t happen again. :o)

      I’ve been intensely lonely lately, but reading your post gives me renewed hope. You see, I would like to be in a relationship… however, being in one like yours is another of my worst nightmares. No point spending time with someone who doesn’t and/or can’t understand me. I care about people deeply, but I also need a lot of time by myself. And a lot of silence.

      So… until such time as someone comes along who could contribute to a meaningful and mutually respectful relationship, I shall continue on rolling solo, however lonely it may be at times. I do believe the key is not to settle, as I’ll only end up as or more frustrated than you were/are by your situation.

      Anyhow… not to babble on (lol) … I just wanted to say that knowing your story helps me greatly. Thanks for sharing it and yes — kindred spirits, indeed.

      • LOL Dorkalicious!

        Yep, welcome to my nightmare. Alone in a car with a talk-a-holic! It got to the point where I simply refused to go out to eat, or even go to the grocery store with her.

        I tell ya, things have gotten better for me since I posted this. I have taken up long distance trail running and I absolutely love it. It is the ultimate activity, I believe, for us introverts.

        Honestly, not so much the actual events (races), because it can get pretty crowded at the events (although I have met some pretty amazing people at these races), but more so for the training runs.

        I now have an excuse to get outside and enjoy some me time at the spur of the moment. Just lace up my running shoes, fill up my water bottles, and hit the trials.

        I feel so happy and alive while running alone in the woods. It is the one thing, more than any other, that re-carges my batteries, gives me a break from this busy world, and helps me stay sane in an insane world.

        Thanks for the comments!

        MANJAM

    • Jamman….i stumbled upon this site while searching for help.

      i can’t tell when this article and replies were written…so…it may be that this discussion is several years old.

      i have very similar issues to yours….and…i curious… how have things worked out?

      • Hello John,

        I posted this comment about 2-years ago (I had almost forgoten about it until I got your response on my e-mail).

        My wife and I? Well, we have come to an agreement. I get to have a hobby (our rather, I demanded that I have a hobby). I explained to her that I don’t hunt, I don’t fish, I don’t golf, but I have always loved to run.

        Trail running, for me, is the ultimate activity for us introverts. The freedom and re-charge that I get from a long trail run cannot be matched by anything else that I have found. I ran my first full marathon last year and I am currently traning for my fisrt Ultra Marathon (Rockcreek Stump Jump in Chattanooga) this October.

        Can’t say that my wife is very happy about it, but it gives me a reason to get out the door and find some alone time at the drop of a hat.

        I love it and Trail Running has probably saved our marriage.

        • don’t worry about it….i get that all the time…doesn’t really matter to me how it’s spelled…hahaha.

          and…i’m glad to hear you found some relief. i enjoy hiking…getting away by myself….but it’s not an easy task when you tell loved ones that you want to go alone. i’m a “pleaser” by nature….and my wife is co-dependant, though she is getting better, but…it’s still hard for me to initiate doing something on my own cause i don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. as we all know…this isn’t healthy…nor for me anyway…and i let things go too far. i got the point where i’ll do things i don’t want to do and resent everyone for it. i’m working on it though…i’ve been out a few times on my own and i can see how, slowly, my family will get used to it.

  3. Wow….It’s truly amazing people, in a sad attempt to put a label on themselves, use words incorrectly. First of all, stop with the need to try to make yourself unique or special with labels. Second, if you’re going to ignore the first, at least use words correctly. You are not even close to the true definition of introvert. For that matter, you’re not even unique. Everyone enjoys times alone sometimes. Using your intellect, every person in the world would be an introvert.

    • Robert, That is your perspective and everything has a name, label, or spirit and who is to say it is not the correct definition? Science? Lamens Terms? Dictionary’s? Psychiatrist? Well that is entirely wrong for in everyting, there is No end of an explanation and everything is unique in it’s own way and to be prescise, it is up to every individual to find their Unique way, for we are All Special. Even Psychiatrist, whe they can not find what is wrong, they create a name for it. When Science can not prove something, then it is not Valid to them, but, we as humans are to be very much applauded for searching for Who or where we belong. Encouragement is wonder, discouragement is not. We use our intellects very well, us Introverts. Life is so much more than being a bummer! Life is creating what we want in it and what we do not and what we can live with or without and only a Strong person would use their intellect to Listen, and Knows that we are Love and Love has no end and Real and sure beats a bummer world. An Introvert enjoys alot of Alone time away from the ones that do not understand, and if they want to be a hermit for a while, perhaps they have their reasons, they will come out when ready. What works for one, may not work for the other but we have that one basic thing in come, Oneness, Alone, to collect ourselves, that is why we are Introverts and Unique and Special and again everyone is Unique and Speical in their own way, and I just love it. Whether it is a state of mind or whatever it is, everyone has to have an identity or people of kindred spirits, it is hope, understanding, soothing, in a world that is very Dogmattic on being Politically Correct. However I am certain you will disagree and that is okay, for We Introverts are Okay with ourselves, it is the ones that are not Okay with us that feel the need to say so. Everything begins with Mind and the mind can be infinite as far as it wants to go or finite. Thank God for the immagination! For without it, we would not be here or alive.

      • nononono. yo uare so right. but the difference between science and dicks is that Science Tries. Dicks just… continue being dicks. I am a high-functioning autistic with adhd (an impulse control disorder that affects reticular activation) and a cognitive processing deficit.. and possibly executive difficulties, becuae I have difficulty processign waht i read at times. Now, i totally understand what yo uguys are saying. even though my mother (I am 28 years old and becaues of my issues cannot work sO i still live with teh parents OH GOD GET ME OUT OF HERE UNIVERSE GIVE ME a SIGN) DOES NOT talk constantly, she EDOEs tend to dominate a conversation adn continually expects responses I cannot give her, regardless of how many times I explain, I DO explain, and then she just keeps on after a while, rewording/reverting to old habits. URK. I have no way t oescape my parents at this time, butit oculd be worse. Oh yd, I totally understand.

    • Why are people who are obviously not introverts and don’t have any concept of what it’s all about even on this website?

    • Hello Robert,

      Troll much? LOL! Hey man, I am not an expert, but I do know that you are totally wrong about one thing, not everyone wants alone time. Trust me. It never ceases to amaze me how so many people are not happy unless they are inundated with noise, and talk, and company, and crowds… I am 44 years old and I know many more people like this than not. That, to me, is the difference between introverts and extroverts.

      And hey, more power to the extrovert! God bless’em! I just can’t do it man. I would go completely insane to live like that.

      MANJAM

  4. Thank you. Very interesting and thoughtful analogy … I’ve always loved the fellowship and parties …. After this article I began to doubt and began to notice that sometimes I’m better alone

    • Being alone and recharging our batteries in peace..is good for anyone, introverts, and extroverts alike. But isnt not good nor healthy to close off totally to our loved ones, to not join in life and live. Extroverts can be homebodies, and love the normal and boring, but want to be together.

      People who love you dont want to change you, they accept you for who you are, but its not healthy for anyone to be a hermit. But independence and different interests, shopping alone, or a museum, but sharing your experiences with your partner.

    • actually it’s not. peopel are different; their brains are different. You are just deluding yourself because of some undivulged fear level you ahve yet to admit to yourself. or maybe yo uDO know about it, which is why you chose to use those exact words in such a way. Look at yourself. Always look at yourself first. THAT is the key.

      desire is just another name for -source of stimulation-.

      😉 namaste.

  5. Robert: I’m not sure why you think the writer here used the term “introvert” incorrectly, but from a scientific standpoint she used it just fine. Introversion and extroversion is determined in large part by an area of the brain called the reticular formation. This area controls awareness and energy, for lack of a better word. People with highly active reticular formations are introverts; less external stimulation is required to keep the brain entertained, and too much stimulation can exhaust the person. Too, there is a whole range of introversion and extroversion; many people need alone time, the amount of needed alone time will vary.

  6. JohnPautz@Car Carrier on

    I don’t think there is something wrong with being alone sometimes or lets say often? It does not mean that you do not go out with your friends just for the sake of going out and not having fun is something that you should be really be pained for. I like the fact that I have time for myself and me alone.

  7. Thank you so much for writing this. I honestly thought I was the only one and felt like everyone around me was a lot closer just because they all want people around them all the time. I get uncomfortable when I begin to get close to somebody but when I pass that barrier its not problem when they understand I don’t like staying over, nights in (or out). I feel better, its perhaps sad that this made me cry because I am so relieved to feel understood. Thank you.

    • I So perfectly understand and I too was one that was so misunderstood. I was a very out going person once, the life of the Party so to speak, but could not wait to get alone, a sufferer in silence individual was me. Doctor’s, Psychiatrist, Therapist, Priest, Family, Police, all, thought me as a very perculiar one. Of course, that leaves a heavy stigmata on a some people, that they do not even feel comfortable and botch words and sentences and so forth, tongue tied, embarassed, and always having to answer to people as too why they did not answer the door, phone or stop by. Some pushing dates on me, saying a pretty lady should never be alone and so I would listen and found that the company did not want to go home or wanted me to stay with them and so forth and I would feel absolutely pushed at that point, very pushed and could not again wait to be alone. Researching helps, but can lead you to many avenues and tho it seems comparable to fit into certain groups, the gut feeling always say’s Nah, this don’t feel right either. So then I found this web site and a long time I just read and listened and thought of the pro’s and con’s and that I was not on a Pitty party as some would say, but in search of truth, for the greatest journey in life is finding out who you really are, inside, not outside. Often we are people to please everyone until we find we never did make them happy, so we begin to introspect ourselves. I would cry often as I am sure anyone that has been at this point did, get angry, even a bit nuts at times. Things we enjoyed did not feel the spot either once as it did but we find other things beyond ourselves and then think Wow, I am still strange and aloof and so sad. I lost contact with friends for they always wanted me to go out, lost contact with family for they always wanted to fuss, lost contact with all that was discouraging for as in Introvert, all things are possible and there are solutions to all answers, but for some there is never an answer it seems and I begin to stear clear of that kind of person, to help myself, or else the blind lead the blind into the ditch. I am an author of several books and enjoyed taking the time, delving into mysteries and what if’s and that was priceless for me to be a publisher, yet I love to be aloof and hand out Novela’s to a total stranger for fun and then run! I love people, but I love being Alone, it is a uniqueness to finding like minds. Who is to say that we can not have our own language, imperfect and not politically correct? Or to create or add to who we are as individuals. I do not speak fluent, nor spell great, nor always on track and way off key but isn’t it time for those of us that relish Silence of the Minds as a totem, a natural gift for everything changes and this is a grand opportunity to give ourselves a chance to explore the FACT that until Who Ever you believe in or if One believes in God, or not, that one thing is for sure, we are co creators of our Story and until whatever we believe in to be surpreme comes down and tells us we are wrong, then we keep on keeping on, not when society say’s we are wrong. My heart goes out and encouragement to you and anyone in search of themselves, the Reality of a Real meanning in life, beyond this labrynth of so much doubt in the world to awaken a sound in the silence that steadily can calm us, where there is so much dismal, so much doubt, so much misunderstanding and lack of compassion, a sound of silence that can awaken the sleeping butterfly’s within us all, the true nature of ourselves, rather than the ordinary. After all in the end, only kindness matters, my kindred spirit friend!

  8. I’m an introvert. 100%. Going out has never ever appealed to me-I’m perfectly content to sit alone somewhere with my iPod and a book and my journal and I can sit alone for hours and be content. I love being alone and I just don’t get enough alone time. 😐 Alone time is essential to my well being and health. If I don’t get it I get cranky and go off on people. I’m one of those introverts that never ever gets lonely.

  9. Dude i’m like so glad i found this page. For awhile i always thought that something was wrong with me. I really don’t like going out much or talking to people, always considered by my friends as “anti-social” or “a coyote” i just didn’t get it. when i’m alone i feel like i could do anything..give me a project it’s done as long as i’m working alone. I find myself thinking to myself internally also watching and observing people lol ontop of it all i’m a virgo so i’m so introverted haha. I get easily tired i could be doing nothing and find that i’ve tired myself out mentally with all the thoughts i’ve thought all day. I hate that people won’t just let me be I always feel like i’m being strange because I rarely come out of my comfort zone, people always think i’m so sercretive or aloof. My friends think i don’t like them because, I don’t like expressing myself..I tell them it’s just that I deal with my problems a different way..they still don’t understand me. Sometimes not being so social does have it’s down fall, like whenever I’m talking to people I tend to not “feel” a connection I like i’m being fake and just laughing just to fit it. I love music mostly toro y moi or nujabes type vibes really get to me i feel music is my only connection to this world speaking of the world I adore her. i hate littering. On days when the weathers just right i find myself wishing i could just fly ya know? go live on a cloud and bum it out to some really groovy tunes. My girlfriend is Extroverted so sagittarius (sigh) she’s such a lady but i find myself worried that my “anti-socialism” is getting to her. She’s all lets go do this, that, and the other all at the same time. Always up for meeting new people, in conversations with other people i find it’s usually her that’s saying things and if something does come out of my mouth i feel that much awkward. I find myself getting stuck and having to understand why and she just flows right on. I’m still learning who i am and this page helped alot ya know..i am who i am and that’s alright with me.

    • I can relate to that – I sometimes feel like I’m having a “fake” conversation too, as thought I don’t really want to make random chitchat. I prefer not to say something unless I feel it.

    • I would like to clear up something that a lot of people here don’t seem to understand– the word “anti-social”. I have a very clear, awful memory of a group of girls who used to harrass me in high school calling me “anti-social” because, in their eyes, I didn’t “socialize” enough or properly. The term “anti-social” is a term used to describe a person who is against society, often who wishes harm upon society, people like Timothy McVey and the Unabomber. These people have an actual mental illness. That does not describe me or most other introverted people. It is a very VERY different beast altogether. Please don’t use the word if you don’t know what it means. (just saying this in general, not to anyone here)

  10. good,

    I like your saying that introverts are just like laptops, extroverts are like basketballs. 🙂

    it means extrovert relies on people to have some energy, introverts relies only on their own resources.
    I am an intorvert and i am satisfied with my life by spending my life with family and avoiding mess of people..

    your post is really nice.
    Ali´s last post ..Study in Karachi

  11. I ‘m glad I found this site too. On the rare occasions when my wonderful boyfriend goes home, and the kids go out, I am alone without the TV on, in my head I’m saying YES YES YES!!!
    I have always been uncomfortable around people who chatter with the words just falling naturally out of their mouths so easily. Sometimes I can do that with a certain person, usually one on one who I can connect with. I avoid parties and group events, even tho I wish I could go and be comfortable. Luckily, now that I’m older and aware of how I am, I can allow myself to embrace the introvert in me!
    I wish I could have changed all those years of feeling inadequate…
    I work alone as a a designer / draftsman, I have a wonderful, creative career and still, I must muster up enough courage to present and sell my ideas to clients. My dog rides with me (she is an introvert too! ) and after a meeting, we stop at a trailhead and go for a hike … Yes, to recharge!! Then I can carry on.
    Thanks for reading!

    • Sounds just like me; introverted with a desire to be creative, don’t like big parties , need to recharge. Funny it never occurred to me until well into my adulthood that there’s a class of people like that; before the internet they seemed invisible. You’d only hear the talkative people’s point of view 🙂

  12. Thank-You for sharing your great comments. It wasn’t until just recently that I realized I am an introvert, which explains partly the “weirdness”. In American culture, people are expected to be extroverted. In fact, extroversion is such a social norm in the U.S. that introverts are quite often dubbed as strange, aloof, too quiet, anti-social, backed into a shell, observing from a perch, and what else have I heard??? Yes, I enjoy being alone, but I also love to be around people that I trust. My friends are few at the moment, but they are close and carefully chosen. Over the years, I have known many great people and had wonderful friends, but the energy only rebounds during those precious alone times. Real friends, great friends, understand this! Have a blessed day.

  13. Most people saying being alone is a bad thing are probably extroverts. Just because it doesnt make sense or seem foreign to you doesnt mean it seems completely normal to an inrovert.. Everyones mind is slightly different.. Everyone thinks what they do makes sense to them.. I dont understand why ppl feel the need to argue over things.. Thats a reason I like to be alone. Cant ppl understand that everyone they meet is not going to be like them.. For christ sake we aee minisculw compaeed to the rest of the universe

    • that’s one of life’s mysteries – why some people seem to think everyone is (or should be ) just like themselves. Same values, same thoughts, same judgements.

  14. I am a introverted person first of all, sorry if my English is sucks or some of my grammar is wrong i just want to express myself.
    I am a introverted person I hate crowds, i hate people that are noisy, I hate people who are not letting me alone, I hate people who always letting me ashamed, i hate people who always forced me to express myself, i hate people who always forced me to be a extravert or friendly person sometimes i am nervous when i talking to somebody, at home i am a little bit extravert but in school and in my friends i am a introverted some of my classmates always encouraged me to be friendly at school, i am very quiet some of my classmates will sarcastic jokingly talk to me and give me a pet name of “hey noisy girl” but it is fine when some times our teacher ask us to make a bookmark to our friend sometimes i received one or two bookmark not so many while my other classmates received many bookmarks i am the only one who received two bookmarks sometimes in my classroom majority of my classmates are extraverts they are noisy and easily bored when nobody talks to them and in my society too majority are extraverts because in my country the majority of people are friendly by the way i am from Philippines sometimes my classmates look down on me because i am a introvert person sometimes I experience discrimination but it is fine to me but I like to express myself in drawings sometimes if I am lonely I draw weird pictures and when I am happy i draw lonely people I don’t know why but that is the way how I express myself often I express myself in making a short story about me but in a different character but same personality and I finish my novel I spend my time alone in making some novels, drawings, and sometimes imaginary character. and I am not trying to be a arrogant here but i am a kind person and I am so very polite that’s why some other people always think I am weird because i am very polite but being a very polite here is weird for majority i don’t know why i enjoy my time for being alone, i feel more comfortable, i speak up only if they need me to speak up or when recitation and when i find this sites i am totally comfortable because when i am with some introverts like me i feel comfortable he-he that’s all thanks for your time
    patricia´s last post ..How can introverts excel at job interviews?

  15. I’ve read many of the postings from people stating they’ve discovered they are introverts based on the story. I agree with much of the article, but don’t consider myself an introvert or extrovert. So then where do I fit in? I love my alone time, and most people exasperate (sp) me. Mostly, I don’t want the hassle of being “on” around other people. But I also love having parties, having friends around and game nights, sometimes. My problem is that most relationships I’m in are very superficial. That’s great for a game night with friends, but it doesn’t work well in my home life. I’ve been married 27 years and I’ve always fought an internal battle. I’d like my closest relationships (my husband and kids) to be substantial. But I don’t think introverted people can have the same definition of a substantial relationship. Whereas I think my family is too distant, my family thinks I’m too clingy. How do we make a compromise that works under those circumstances?

  16. Thank you so much for this article; for so long I have been struggling with myself, trying to understand who and what I am. I googled simple terms, and the Introvertism came to light.

    Honestly, now that there is an explanation to everything I have always wondered, I feel, somewhat special 🙂

  17. HAVE MANY FRIND THEY NOT TO INTREST TALK WITH ME THEY ARE SAYING IN FACE YOU ARE BORING AND BRAIN EATER . GIRLS ALSO THOUGHT
    I’M WASTE CANDECT ALL ARE SAYING I WAS THE ASS HOLE OF THE COLLEGE

  18. So this is what I am? I didn’t really know how to describe myself until I found this site. I thought I was antisocial or something because I deleted my facebook and I hardly want to hang out with people (even if sometimes I do feel the need of sharing time with others), and I hardly respond to text-messages or phone calls. Two friends that were really close to me in elementary through high school have tried talking to me and want to hang out, and I don’t respond because I don’t feel like I have anything in common with them now. Like it bothers me how they cuss and go out and have sex with someone they hardly know and things like that, am I a bad person because I don’t respond to their calls? I’m also afraid to hurt their feelings, but I just don’t know what to do. I don’t think I’m better than they are so what should I do? I also want to be a nurse and I love children, but I have noticed I get very anxious and nervous when there’s a lot of people around like in stores or at school. I hope I can be patient with people in a hospital setting.

  19. I disagree that introverts “need help to be brought out of their shells” as some people have suggested here. I’m perfectly happy as an introvert, thank you very much. It’s not a disease or a mental illness. I am not suffering because I don’t fit the expectations of extroverts and the perpetually sociable about how I “should” be.
    I am lucky enough to be surrounded by family and friends who have known for years that I am an introvert and recognise that not needing to interact with them all the time is not disapproval of them.
    One of my friends put it best when I heard him say at a party: “Neil’s in screensaver mode again.”
    I liked that.

    • Well said Neil. I am also perfectly content (after finally figuring out who I am) to be “within” myself. Nothing wrong with that! Nothing wrong with us!

  20. I feel like when I come home I just want to relax and be quiet. I want alone time and then I go into my room and do something but then I miss being with my wife after like 5 minutes..then I spend time with her and when she leaves I realize that I haven’t spent enough time to recharge my batteries….it’s frustrating 🙁

  21. I ran across this just at work after whimsically Googling the phrase “I just want to be friendly” – a momentary thought cast into the virtual universe.

    It took me several years to figure out that I needed time alone more than other around me. Time to recharge, renew, think, rest, and be ‘centered’. I spent the majority of my school days feeling on the one hand that I enjoyed a lot of my time alone working on my own creative projects, but also feeling lonely at times because I wanted to connect.

    Having just found this blog, I can echo many of sentiments expressed. I’d have loved to have had the ‘net when I was growing up; it might have been a great resource for connection and self understanding.

    Even now I sometimes feel awkward at simply making conversation for the sake of it, or chatting on the phone – the phone is a medium where things feel odd if you’re not constantly talking – and my battery dies at some point as well. I find the battery metaphor fairly apt in describing myself. I do need charging, and then connection to a circuit to let some electricity flow. But the times I really feel great is with my own inspirations – creating, or just “being”.

    It’s as though introverts have a discovery to make, i.e. that it’s mainly the extroverts who do most of the talking and they naturally tend to define the world as they see it. So the main points of view you hear ‘out there’ in the world, the media, etc. are extrovert-centric, group-centric conventional wisdoms expressed mainly by extroverts. It can be a lonely feeling because by the very nature of introversion you don’t get to hear from others like you that often. Moreover, some will put up a ‘front’ in order to go with the flow or try to fit in. It took me a while to realize that if introversion is good enough for Albert Einstein, it’s natural and meant to be. Everyone has their own path, and challenges along the way.

    I used to say my ideal world was like a playground full of individual sandboxes .. .each of us were kids playing around, building something in our own sandbox. When a friend nearby needed help, I’d get out of our own box and come over to lend a hand. We’d talk for a while about the great sandcastle he or she was building, maybe help make the moat deeper, then I’d return to my own sandbox to continue my inspiration. I think that’s why I like working with my laptop at a cafe 🙂

    Happy sandcastles!

  22. @Chris C.
    Thank you for such a wonderful description of how you view things! It is so very refreshing too see such a Positive approach in dealing. Often times, I have heard remarks of being Anti Socialable, Mental Illness, awkward, too bi polar, you name it, I have heard it about myself or others that are Introverts. I use to believe that as well or that Something was totally wrong with me and they did not Get me, for the longest time until I found others like myself and on this site. Giving the horrid nature of Today’s Dogmatic World, that can be cruel, it is a kind and peaceful thing to read utmost thoughts of Other’s that are genuine. We are not crazy, nor are we mental, we are a league of our own, Peculiar in deed. As we chase down our demon’s, accept them or find the good, bad and ugly to be a blessing in disguise, we are who we are. At finding many Psychic Vampires that never endingly seem to exhaust our energy, or are more takers than givers, makes it easy to understand the Introvert lifestyle as too why we hate to answer the phone, or the door, or go out or even go out for long periods, for to be honest, there is so much Drama that is so needless in the So Called Real World that we have to deal and live in. That to me is not Life, it is an exscuse for the way People blame it on Life, for we see Life differently and not so problematic and find solutions that seem to not fit in the Real World’s Agenda. We tend to be very Empathetic to other’s that are not Introverts and very Dramatic or Problematic, and We feel their emotions, pain, etc and it can be draining. They never change it seems and the one solution that still can be draining for me is that I just listen to them, and comfort rather than destain or give any adivice for sometimes my advice is in vain any how. So I seek out other’s like me, that still love too share, but I can see when they need to alone time and they can see when I need mine. At times, I am great with words and at times, I can totally sound so way out there on Pluto, so then I refrain from even talking, LOL. We need time to collect ourselves, in order to create but the World see’s it as Selfish but that is the World’s bad, not ours. All of my life, I spent it, going with the flow to fit in and then one day, I stood on that edge, being pushed, torn, laughed at, scorned, blamed, and I stopped running, and turned around and looked at each individual, how Lonely they must be and without a Life to chase me down, point fingers, compare how great they were to Me and then I laughed…….and none could figure out why I was laughing! And I challenged them all to even dare to be brave enough to go it alone, and none could, but I could. It is a second nature to Us, another way of life, a great stregnth in our own ways. If the world could only accept that No two snowflakes are alike and accept the differences in each, it would be at Peace. I love my Alonement, sometimes I get lonely and go out, and so relieved to get back home to My place, with my animals and the wilds of the wilderness, Nature. We are naturalist really and nature is very calming in a competetive and negative world. When I do go out, I by pass the negativity and smile and if I am comfronted with Psychic Vampires which are many, I try hard to keep my witts as to not lose charge of my battery. Love makes us Sound. Namaste

  23. you’re right, it *can* be draining listening to extroverts keep talking , especially about their issues – it’s gpod to be supportive, but we must learn to keep the battery from running on empty.

    Namaste.

  24. I think that the biggest thing that helps me is humor, altho it is after the fact that everyone has finally went home, finally stopped calling and finally stopped complaining, and I finally escape to many days alone to centre myself, I resemble the Lady Madusa!! Rather than lil Cindrella that is merely happy with her Fairy God Mother and a few Church mice, LOL. I love people and believe in them which are my friends, family and enemies, but for the life of Me, I can not see why they do not believe in themselves for they are very predictable with the same unsolved issues each time we meet, and so I just rewind the recorder in my head for certainly it is inbedded from their previous conversations over and over and while they are complaining or insulting or both, I am saying mere words such as Wow, naw, oh you didn’t or OMG, for after all, it is their Story, they do not want to hear Mine because my lifestyle is so obsolete in their world, I am the loser and they are the winner’s so they say…. for as I mentioned earlier, it is totally in vain to give any Solutions, for after all, I am the Odd one with No life, They Think! We may as well have a Photographic Memory for We know each time basically the outcome that they do not even hear themselves and it is us that hear and listen and yep it can run the battery down, and then is when I am of the kindred spirit of Linda Blair and the crowning Epic screen Line on the Exorsist….my head is spinning round and round, tongue out, ranting and wanting so badly to say….”Get Out”…and a few more choice words that I won’t say on the Movie, LOL…..but, I end up suffering in silence as most of us do, to get any Peace….but the advantage of it is that I already know the forecast of it all when the phone rings, or door bell tings. So humor is my best defence in a very offensive world. I am very thankful for this Post and being able to give and receive feedback and we are not Alone, altho we love our alonement more and more and are an encouraging people. Namaste!

  25. It is a remarkably thin line, isn’t it? We need more space, time and, well, space than others do but that needs to be finely balanced so as we don’t find ourselves alone more often than not. I struggle to articulate just how much I value my own time – I’ve been very fortunate to launch my site which has granted me time alone when things get too hectic and I need some peace, but at the same time, introverted or not, I need to know that those I love are still available to me.

    Introverts can certainly get lonely. We’re introverts, not cold monsters who don’t need love, right!?

    Anita x

  26. The basic need of every human being is not to just EXIST, but socialize as well. We all need some time for yourselves, but turning your back on people and society is never good. I used to be a loner, but managed to get over that with the help of my wife.

  27. I am very greatful to have found this page . I feel so fake around 99% of people. I need so much time to prepare going to socialize ,like an actor preparing to become someone else. Its so emotionaly draining. It hurts me and breaks my heart to have to be so violently unreal in order to “fit in” and please others.

    • totally understand. social gatherings give me the jitters man. i think as we get older it gets easier to withdraw and recharge ourselves (as most friends have their own agenda as well anyway) but the hard part is not having the understanding of families that you don’t want to meet them more often. and when i do go, don’t like to talk excessively or answer awkward qns.sighs.it’s hard when ppl don’t understand y we act the way we do. maybe the extroverts are the ones who should read this article.

  28. As an extrovert (mostly), this site and all of your thoughts are so helpful to me.
    I love an introvert and what I need is to understand how to love him. As so many of you have mentioned, and as I am learning, he needs a lot of “alone time” and “space.” What I am learning to wrap my mind around is that this has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with him and that’s fine. I also know that he will always be who he is and will never, ever “become” an extrovert, and that is cool too. I have no desire to change anyone, I accept him for who he is and how he is.

    So all this to say “thanks” to each of you for sharing your thoughts here, I look forward to learning much more from you all.

    My biggest challenge though, quite honestly, is trying to get him to allow me to be closer to him. This may be a combination of how hurt he’s been from previous relationships (women have left him) and his introversion. I think he keeps me at arms length because he fears that if I get too close I’ll hurt him because I’ll eventually leave – which I promise I won’t because I love him and understand who he is and accept him the way he is.

  29. Well THAT previous post somehow got messed up in cyberspace. The middle paragraph should be at the end, but I don’t see any way of editing…nonetheless.

  30. For an introvert time alone is a must. The time alone doesn’t literally mean ‘you must be alone’. I have found working out at the gym or shopping alone is just as effective. Other people maybe around but essentially I am by myself and have the time and space to think, reflect and ponder. However, in a busy day it can often seem impossible to find this time. Since I am an introvert and have been busy lately I wanted to share some ways I found to ensure I still had my much needed time alone each day.
    Rita from [http://morehealth.ws Healthy Living]´s last post ..Green exercising improved mental health

  31. Well, before I read all these comments I was convinced that I am abnormal for thinking that I should just take the day off and spend it at a lonely place away from the mundane things. I always thought myself an introvert and I have serious problems when people try to invade in my personal space. My job too, as many of others here, demands many social skills such as talking with people you had never met (I think that is what journalism is, :D) and listening to their stories all the time. At the end of the day I feel like I am shouldering the weight of the world and just need to sit and brood. My doc even suggested me to go see a shrink. I was frightened when i realised that I cannot stand my family after certain time and I felt guilty for feeling this. I am not an alone child and I grew up in a house full of energetic humans.
    Now I understand that I am not the only one who face these things and need some time alone. But I still cannot resist the pull of a serene place with not a single human being around and sit there for the rest of my life. Is it wrong to feel this?

  32. I don’t know when this post originated – but I just found this site and am soooo happy! I feel as if I’ve found some kindred spirits.

    My husband and I are both introverts but he loves connecting with people on forums. I have always hated that, I guess because I didn’t feel as if I fit in. That’s why I’m so glad to have found this group. I love that in this group there are different levels of introversion and different levels of acceptance of being an introvert. Reading your posts has helped me feel accepted and not so alone. You all have my sincere gratitude for your openness and willingness to be vulnerable here. Cheers!

  33. I am an introvert and just like in the article, I never heard of the word introvert, let alone know what an introvert is. I like to be around people who positively charge me, not people who make me feel low or that something is always wrong with me. I used to be around people in a church group who did feed negative energy, who always felt the need to criticize everything that was “wrong” instead of focusing on positives or finding out what I really like. I know that organized groups can be a good source of people with assumed common interests, but it doesn’t always give that impression when the people in the group are extroverts or have a different outlook. I think with peer or organized groups, for them to really work for people, barriers and excessive expectations need to be lifted, and boundaries should be allowed.

    There have been many times when I would feel lonely because there would be nothing to do with anyone on some weekends. But lots of times I use that time to either read or do something that is meant for one person. Alone time is vital to an introvert, it clears the mind and allows time to recharge.

    One of the drawbacks of being an introvert is when someone takes it the wrong way when you don’t want to do something that would be socially exhausting. If you don’t want to do something that is a six-hour event, then you must not like going out to eat lunch or play mini-golf with people, as an example. That is NOT true. I like doing things that don’t take up a large block of time, I like to do things of real interest.

    I do get tired of people who over generalize because they do not understand what an introvert is. In spite of myths, introverts are not necessarily shy, anti-social or loners.

    I am glad that I am finding groups that address being an introvert. I don’t feel that I am the only one, plus I am able to put greater perspective by reading others’ posts.

  34. I agree Ellen with much of what you said. I have a guy I have been dating, but he consistantly has to talk, even when it is so peaceful and quiet out, he has to talk, talk, talk, and during television, or when we are not together, he contantly rings my phone’s. If he can not reach me on one, he calls the other, then my land lord or his family and goes on and on about why I will not answer the phone right then and there. During any conversation with him, he consistantly is going to die any moment, unless a busty boobed babe walks by then he forgets he ever was ill, so obviously he is not that Ill, he wants attention and pity constantly, He never has anyone that loves him he says, mostly for the reason listed above and due that he is so darn critical and wants to dog every one and his kids and when you mention something like “Oh I want to show the picture of this Bear that I took the other day in my field”, then he is freaking out demanding that I call the Game Wardon to come and remove the Bear, altho I live in Black Bear Heaven and over populated with Bears, he is a kill joy indeed. I understand his concern but he does not understand that I do not see things the way he does and to demand on me all the time, well, I am very rebellious, I love to live and let live so he then, Wonder’s why I do not wish to be in his company anymore and loving my Peace. Only to get text messages that he got bit by a spider and has red streaks up his arm, but no one cares, he may as well die, when I try to treat his wound, until I want to take that tape and tape his mouth shut! So I send him home, alone, for he needs to be Alone and away from happy go lucky individuals and get a life, or at least the act like the Man that I met rather than the Man he hid from me up till now, but those kind never show who they are, they keep it hid but demand you to be who they want. Many times, I have addressed him on this kindly and other people that seem to have the same behavior as his, with no good results of course! Unfortunately, My Mother was the same way, if she could not get me at home, she called the job and embarassed the likens out of me, daily or would even speak to my Boss about it, anyone and it tended to get the whole family into Chaos! Even Social Services or the Sheriff’s dept to get contact with me and talk to me, to see why I was Neglecting my Mother of whom I had just seen the day before, but I had to work: and all because she did not want to be alone and wanted my Soul undivded attention and she had people around her constantly and never neglected by all means. Then of course the Church always has their certain groups that are Higher Up’s and know so much and groups that are the sinners that keep their heads down and I think to myself, that the highway to heaven is for both, not just the Higher Up’s, that can not understand that they are really more the sinner than the sinner holding their poor head’s down in my opinion. So I do not go to church for that reason for I am imperfect and stay away from the perfect people!! God know’s where I am at and I am busy working on myself and always ready to help someone if they need it, now you can not beat that! Then you have your wonderful neighbors and some are great and some are always so critical, so there are critics everywhere that think everyone should be like them, in my opinion again. So there you have it, a big World of family all around you, so where do you go? It is not the fact that people that love to have time Alone do not deal with society properly, we have done all that we can think of! For me, being Lonely means that you have to have someone all the time, Alone means that you do not. I feel whole when I am Alone and I think most people here can agree on that one big time. It does not mean I turned my back on society, it means, I do not have to be in the Society to be completed! Ya’ll have a great day and enjoy your time Alone.

  35. I’m so glad I’ve found this post. I have recently started University and it is coming to the end of Freshers Wee (aka. get drunk every night with every body and go to every bar and every nightclub). But I just hate it. I’ve been on my own for almost a week and loved every minute of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve become friends with two of my flatmates, met up with some people from home and enjoy- in fact – love meeting new people. But the time I get to myself is perfect; I can do what I want, when I want. Before I moved, I spend about 4 hours a day at my best friend’s flat and loved it. And I think that’s all I need with people whom I feel comfortable around; just a few hours a day. If these conditions are not met, it’s not the end of the world. To be honest, it can sometimes be a relief just staying in my room all day long! I’ve been described as sociable, friendly and funny, but this contradicts my nature and desires; to just be alone, read, play video games, surf the net and even (I know this sounds bad, but trust me it’s under control!) get drunk on my own- I love it. I do need company, reliance and friendship- nearly every single human being does; but it is comforting to find a form like this where I can express my circumstance and to not be met with “Oh, but that’s just weird” or “OH MY GOD!!! WHY?!”
    I’m 20 years old, I know myself quite well and appreciate the fact everyone is different. I just wish the population could open their minds slightly to the slight deviation of “normal” life, to sail away from the politically correct conversations and to more considerate to the individual.

  36. Yes, I have the same story as you are. I spent so much time observing myself and especially this issues. I need time for myself but too much of it and I am stuck. It is important to have people, friend and family, that understand this and don’t get offended when you tell them that you need to be alone.
    Emma@Lucid Dreaming´s last post ..Dreams about teeth falling out

  37. This site’s great, now i know why i love skateboarding on a nice mini ramp on my own late at night after work/uni, chuck in some Emancipator to listen to, and i’m in my happy place where i can recharge. 🙂

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