I realized something today: Interacting with people is very draining!

That’s not to say that interacting with people is a bad thing. Not at all! I mean, it is good to have human interaction sometimes. We all know this.

I’ve read a bunch of stuff about introverts over the past few months and I know that I am an introvert. I may have a few extroverted qualities, but I’m definitely, mostly introverted.

One of the things that I stuck with me was that for introverts, social engagements can be very exhausting and we need time to recharge. I’d known this to be true of myself before, but almost wasn’t entirely aware of it. Weird, I know. For some reason I didn’t really fully grasp it. Until today.

Today was my first real “group” setting since my psychiatrist told me that I have social anxiety, so I was more aware of my thoughts and the moments where I was anxious and wanted to leave or when I was isolating myself because I just didn’t want to interact with people.

That doesn’t mean I handled it any better than usual. I was just more aware of it.

This gathering was mainly with family, and I am generally more comfortable about family, but I still get anxious no matter who it is.

Some reasons I struggle with social interaction:

  1. I constantly worry about what others are thinking about me and and often think that they are thinking negative things about me. This is what, in CBT, they call the “mind reading” cognitive distortion. I know logically that they more than likely are not thinking these things, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it.
  2. Small talk makes me uncomfortable. I’m no good at it. It seems pointless to me. There’s no benefit to it, except that it makes to appear more friendly. I don’t care about appearing friendly.
  3. I have a hard time keeping up with a conversation when there are others happening at the same time. Part of it is, when there is a lot of background noise, I have a difficult time hearing the person next to me speaking. This is part of why I hate bars and restaurants. I am also, generally extremely aware of what is happening around me. Whenever I see people completely oblivious to their surroundings. It completely baffles me. But when there are 6 people sitting together, there is bound to be at least two conversations happening at once, and while everyone else is focussed on the conversation they are contributing to, I am hearing each conversation at equal level, and don’t know how to contribute to either. Sometimes, it’s not so bad and I can follow both, but just won’t contribute. Other times, I’m trying to be a part of one, but am completely unable to contribute due to the fact that I cannot tune out the other conversation.
  4. I often feel I have nothing useful to contribute. People often tell me that I’m smart or bright or whatever, but I don’t feel that I am. I find quite often that people say words that I really don’t know the meaning of, and when I try to say something meaningful, I don’t think I sound all that intelligent because I stick to simple, common words. Also, even when I find a conversation very interesting, I tend not to say anything because even though I may have an opinion or emotional reaction to something, I don’t know how to put my thoughts and feelings into words that can be expressed coherently. Or sometimes, when people encourage (or force) me to contribute to a conversation, I don’t have an opinion either way or any real emotional connection to the conversation, even though I find it interesting, and then I just don’t know what to say and I feel like that makes me look like an idiot. I like listening. Not contributing. Unless it’s something I am passionate about and know a lot about. Then all bets are off.

Today, we had about 13 people (including myself) in the house. All family. And my family is always fun.

The difference this time I think is that it was in my house, rather than someone else’s, which means I didn’t have the drive home to wind down from everything.

Once everyone left, I sat down at my computer with the intention of doing some work, but I couldn’t. I was struggling to focus. My posture was horrific, no matter how many times I tried correcting it.

My whole body just wanted to curl up and go to sleep.

I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I didn’t want to do anything.

I may as well have spent the entire day walking around town, the way my body feels right now.

Even now, trying to write this, I keep getting distracted and tempted to just leave it and go to bed. But I have 9 draft posts sitting in my blog because I have a sudden, random thought I want to write about but can’t focus long enough to finish it. And by the time I remember it’s there, I don’t remember what point I was trying to make, so I don’t even attempt to finish it, and the posts sit there for months. I’ve probably deleted at least 50 posts like that since I started this blog. So I was very determined to get this one out.

So, now that I got all that out, I am going to do go do what my body has been begging for for the past 3 hours: go to bed!

When your mind is scattered full of thoughts, it is very difficult to figure out where the beginning is.

Let’s start with this: I’m struggling.

Wow. That was harder to get out than I’d expected.

I don’t like talking about my innermost feelings. It makes me uncomfortable. Extremely uncomfortable.

Even after that, I still don’t even know where to start.

I knew I had to write my thoughts down. While they were happening, there was a lot going through my head. I was having a breakdown in the shower.

Now, I’m sitting here on my bed, in my towel, hair dripping, down my back, picking at a dried up scab from a pimple I tried to pop a hundred times when I knew it wasn’t ready, holding my tablet, staring at the blank white screen of a new post in the Blogger app, trying to ignore the sound of my mom vacuuming upstairs and yelling at the dogs to get out of her way, and I don’t know what to say………….

Just like when I’m forced to talk to a group of people. No matter how much preparation I do, as soon as I go to start, my mind goes blank. Everything is gone.

All eyes are on me, analyzing everything I say and do. Every little detail.

That may not actually be true, and I’m painfully aware of that, but that’s how it feels for me.

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I’ve been feeling extremely unmotivated lately. I just want to spend an entire day curled up in bed and do nothing. Maybe watch some Netflix or something. I just want to feel like I am not required to accomplish anything. At least for a few days. I need some recharge time.

I moved back in with my parents so I could sort some things out and pay off some debt. The problem is, I got very used to having my own space. Now, I feel like I have no time to myself. I work all day (I am also extremely busy with work right now, so that isn’t helping matters) and then my parents come home, and there is chaos with the dogs (they had two dogs, and my dog is super high energy compared to theirs, but when they all get barking at the garage door opening, its more like having 5 dogs) and my entire evening routine is messed up, and by messed up, I mean, it is completely gone, and I feel like I’ve had no time to be alone.

I need my time alone. I am an introvert. I don’t like being around people 24/7. I don’t like small talk, it makes me uncomfortable. I like to watch my TV shows and lose myself in the story, which is impossible to do when there are other people in the room, especially when they don’t know what’s going on, so they insist on asking questions at the worst moments. It drives me nuts!

In fact, I haven’t even been watching all my TV shows, because I no longer have my old PVR, with all my scheduled recordings, and my parents don’t like most of the shows I watch. Plus, they’re usually down in the family room before me, so I have no input on what channel the TV is on. We did get my TV mounted on the wall in the bedroom, but the family room is right outside my door, so having both TVs on at the same time is super annoying. I also don’t have cable hooked up in my room yet, so I’m limited to what is on my Apple TV and Netflix. Or I have to go upstairs and watch stuff on my computer….maybe if I had a couch in my office….

I lived alone, with my dog, for 3 years. Now I live in someone else’s house. Even though they’re my parents and I love them, I need my space! My private time. This is causing me to stay up later than I usually do, because the only time I can properly unwind is after they’ve gone to bed.

I am currently sitting in bed, with the lamp on. The only sounds are the creaks and cracks of the house shifting with the changing temperature, and the fans in my laptop. My dog is sound asleep, legs twitching as he dreams, at the foot of my bed.

It is after 11:30pm. When I lived alone, I was in bed, lights out, and teeth brushed most nights before the clock hit 10:00. Some nights, maybe it was closer to 11, but that’s ok. I enjoy sleeping, but when I can’t properly unwind, it makes sleeping very difficult. I was very tired today, because I was too wound up to sleep last night.

I am stressed about things that are coming up at work. I am still finding myself thinking and getting quite upset about things that have happened in the past few weeks.

I just want to have a few days where I can hang out in bed all day, and do nothing. Course, when I don’t get out of bed, living with my parents, I get in trouble for not doing anything with myself. I’m 27 years old. I can’t handle that. Apparently, there are people older than me who never left their parents house. I don’t know how they can do it! I couldn’t wait to get out. I’ve been back to a month, and I’m ready to leave again. I don’t like how my mom folds my t-shirts. I don’t like her laundry detergent. I don’t like my parents morning routine because it interferes with mine, which really isn’t much of a routine. It is a little different every day, and that’s how I like it. For most things, it doesn’t matter, but the water pressure coming into their house is a little crappier than their last house, so we can’t have two showers going at the same time. The tankless water heater makes the temperature all good. Problem is just the pressure. Someone can turn on the tap in the kitchen, and I’ll notice it in my shower in the opposite corner of the house, on a different floor.

Even our dogs have entirely different morning routines. Although, mine doesn’t seem to care much, as long as he pees, poops, and eats, he doesn’t care what order they happen in, as long as they all happen. And that’s one of the things I love about him. When it was just us, I could completely mess up my morning routine. Do everything in the wrong order, and he wouldn’t care. He would get confused and go to his kennel and wait for his treat too early, but he didn’t phased by it. He’s pretty easy going and happy-go-lucky. My parents dogs, on the other hand, have to get their breakfast right away and then go for their walk immediately. No questions. They bark annoyingly at you if you until you get the next thing done.

All that being said, I know there is a long weekend, only a few days away, but this has been going on for weeks.

Anyways, this is totally unorganized. I needed to rant. Now I’m sleepy…..ish. Probably enough to go to attempt to sleep. That, and my legs are starting to hurt from the way I’m sitting on my bed.

I saw an article in my Facebook feed today, and I found it rather interesting: 15 Things that Introverts Would Never Tell You

I had never considered myself to be an introvert, although I am definitely not an extrovert. I kind of just thought that I was a bit of both. However, after reading this article, I’ve come to realize that I am definitely an introvert.

As I was reading each point, I reflected on how each of these are true to me.

1. Small talk sucks.

I don’t enjoy it. Its very hard for me. It makes me uncomfortable.

2. Being alone is fine.

I need my time alone. When I need that time, I don’t want to be forced to be around other people.

3. We aren’t rude or uptight.

Not intentionally anyway. Social situations make me uncomfortable, so if I don’t say anything or very little, its not because I’m trying to be rude, I just don’t know how to interact with you or just don’t have anything that I want to say.

4. Sometimes, we swing both ways.

I do have days where I will be more outgoing than most days. That doesn’t mean I want to do it all the time.

5. We have friends. And they like us! Probably.

I like hanging out with friends, but I’d rather be with one or two, where we can have personal conversations than with a bunch of people talking about all kinds of things. When I’m with a smaller group, I will talk more, but put me with 10 people all talking, I will probably say almost nothing.

6. When with the right people, we feel safe.

I have a very small number of friends who I feel like I can share anything with. Although I have several other friends who I really like being around, I don’t always feel like I can share everything with them. If I feel like they will judge me for things, I will tend not to open up to them.

7. We like to write things out.

Definitely!! When I have a conversation with someone, I always feel like I’m being put on the spot. If we’re discussing something that is very in-depth and detailed, I often won’t be able to think about it as much until afterwards, when I’m alone with my thoughts.

Its that reason that I also suck at improv. I loved doing drama in high school, and the improv games were always fun to watch, but when I had to participate in them, I always had a really hard time coming up with stuff. Afterwards, I would come up with all kinds of things I could have said or done.

Same when I’m in an argument or heated discussion with people.

8. We’re super productive.

Most of the time. I work better alone on stuff that doesn’t require a lot of input or feedback from others while I’m working on it. This is probably why I like being a front-end web developer. I don’t have to collaborate too much with others while I’m doing my thing. I just get it done. Its not a job that really requires other people to contribute. That actually makes things messy.

9. If we don’t like you, you won’t know it.

If you’re paying attention, you might notice my body language or something, but for the most part, this is true. I won’t ever come out and tell someone I don’t like them. In many cases, I won’t even tell other people that I don’t like a specific person, unless I know they feel the same way.

10. Networking events suck.

Just like small talk. I hate this kind of stuff. As much as I want to do it, it makes me super uncomfortable to be put in these situations.

11. We don’t like crowds.

I think this one kind of speaks for itself and is related to several other points in this list.

12. Sorry, we probably weren’t listening to your story.

This really depends on the situation and who you are.

13. Don’t make a fuss out of our birthdays.

When I was a kid, I loved birthday parties! At least my own. I didn’t always like going to other’s parties.

Now, I don’t want to do anything. Just get me a cake and I’m happy. Don’t sing. That makes me super uncomfortable.

14. We don’t want to make a fuss out of your birthday.

Pretty much the same as number 13.

15. If we’ve chosen to be friends with you, appreciate it.

This speaks for itself.

Anyways, I hope this helps other people understand me a little better.