Are you really a loner?

30 Nov

Do you fee like a loner? Do you feel drained when you’re in the company of people? Like you’re just not meant for… society?

But what if you wish to mingle and socialise? What if you wish to talk to a woman? You just can’t. It takes too much energy. Wanting to meet someone feels like a contradiction, like going against your own “nature”.

You wonder if meeting women is out of your control, that it’s simply a matter of waiting for things to happen.

Could it be that you’re an introvert?

“I already know I’m an introvert,” you say. ” That’s why I’m in this mess.”

If you think an introvert is a person who has failed to be an extrovert, you need to listen up.

What introversion is

Studies show that society has 25%-30% who can be considered introverts. That’s not exactly a minority. Think about it: this means many people whom we meet every day are introverts, but they’re not what we’d call loners.

Being an introvert or extrovert has nothing to do with whether one likes to be with people or not. Intro-/extroversion is about really energy. An introvert is a person that expends (or is drained) energy when they’re with people, but builds up energy when they’re alone. An extrovert is the opposite: they build up energy in the company of friends and family, but lose energy once they’re alone.

I’m an introvert.

It was a big breakthrough when I first understood this several years ago. I realised that it wasn’t that I wasn’t good with people. It was a simple matter of energy management. I can socialise as well as most other people, provided I have  adequate time alone.

I also learned that it works the other way. I thought for a while that I should spend as much time alone as possible in order to stay in an optimal state. Turned out that it wasn’t the case. I noticed that I felt restless after I had spent too much alone. I needed to go out and meet friends after I had spent the whole day at home. In other words, I also needed to discharge.

Today, I watch my energy levels when I’m with people. I unapologetically make sure I schedule alone-time, even from loved ones. I also make sure I don’t spend too much “recharging”–there’s only so much time I’ll spend with a book or video game before I force myself to step out of the house.

There’s nothing wrong with being on the introvert end of the introvert-extrovert spectrum. It’s all about energy management.

Now, once again: Do you know if you’re an introvert or an extrovert?

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One Response to “Are you really a loner?”

  1. Phoebe December 3, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    Introvert. I used to think I’m weird to have the strongest urge to just leave everything and go overseas on my own. Then I realized, I just need to take a break from people.

    Now I am able to manage quite well, such that I can draw energy from short time alone and be with people for a longer time w/o wanting to run away and be a better company in general.

    I can also draw energy from meeting up or talking to 1 close friend at a time.

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