INTROVERTS THREAD ...shhhh, we're over here

(863 Posts)

Hello fellow introverts. I hope the last thread exploded due to time since it was started, and not because it was controversial. grin

I started the original thread after reading the wonderful book quiet and realizing that I was not alone.

Lots of people were kind enough to share their thoughts and experiences, and it was a good support for those of us who like being alone; hate parties, especially hen nights; love reading, crafting, walking, painting, creating; enjoy solitude; need some recovery time after being in a crowd; prefer thought to action.

We are not necessarily shy, we can be confident and even outspoken, but we are at our happiest having a bit of a think on our own, thanks all the same

It's a bit odd to have a group of introverts, but I prefer to think of us as a collective. Separate but together.

As Christmas approaches, I thought we might need a thread to help us through it all

lazurda Wed 10-Dec-14 22:16:36

While I'm on here, on this subject, can I ask some advice? As I said above I've made myself be more outgoing over the years. My DH has worked away a lot and so to alleviate loneliness I've acquired over the years quite a wide circle of female friends - all lovely people. But I've noticed that recently I've just got a bit, well, bored, with coffee dates and meeting for a chat/lunch/bit of shopping. Because I've been a stay at home mum, I've been available a lot of the time to lots of people but now I'm feeling differently and need to rein back on this social contact which I fear has all become a bit shallow and superficial (I guess the friends might even feel the same about me...)
I just want to spend more time alone, on projects at home and with close family, reading, crafting, enjoying my own hobbies.
How do I extricate myself from my round of social events, gently, nicely, but firmly without causing any offence.
Anyone any ideas? Feel a bit silly posting this, it sounds an awfully first-world problem, but I know from the posts I've read on here, I am among kindred spirits. Any words of wisdom appreciated, thank you!

lazurda Wed 10-Dec-14 22:07:51

What a great thread! Warmed my introvert heart to read it. I have always been an introvert but over the years forced myself to be more extrovert. Realised I have definitely been a people-pleaser, having been brought up to do the right thing and never let anyone down, go back on my word etc. But I'm now in my mid 50s and am very much aware of my attitudes changing. I've brought up two kids now both at uni and am relishing time to myself. I like nothing better than immersing myself in a good book, and have lately rediscovered some dormant skills - knitting and sewing - which I find relaxing and stress-busting. Have realised the importance of being true to myself but need to find ways of saying "no" to invitations without the fear of offending people. I've just had an awful few days because I chose to extricate myself from a Christmas lunch with former colleagues...but I did it! And they and I are still alive....

WorldWildWifeFund Sun 07-Dec-14 22:06:18

When I was younger I used to fantasise about being totally deaf, being a nun, a wildlife ranger, or a lighthouse keeper, and thought that solitary confinement would be enjoyable (for me), rather than a punishment. However, never considered myself unduly odd, and do not lack confidence. Can anyone recommend books other than Susan Cain's 'Quiet'?

amicissimma Sun 07-Dec-14 21:30:02

Hermione, does your DCs' school have parents come in and listen to children reading? I find I'm much better at one-to-one than group stuff and this suited me for years. I found that the school day is broken into fairly short intervals, too, so it was natural to go in once a week, listen to a few readers and then leave as a break came up. I gradually got to know the children and some of them were introverts too, relieved to escape the classroom buzz and read quietly.

I also seem to have developed a group of introvert friends, so we can have a brief coffee with a maximum of four people (2 lots of 1-2-1!) and then scuttle away. But, of course, you have to get to know them in the first place. Check out the loners at the school gate.

Southeastdweller Fri 05-Dec-14 17:52:47

My work Christmas party is taking place as I type - just not interested in going but will be in a new job next Christmas and may go to their party, as long as it's small and I've got a good excuse lined up to leave early!

SeagullsAreLikeThat Fri 05-Dec-14 13:26:08

I have the same policy, Norks: "just say no"! I don't get many invitations these days because people know I will probably say no so it's not too hard. I can handle the work Christmas lunch as it's only a small office and most of my friendships are compartmentalised so I don't have to worry about group nights out. Looking forward to finishing work and the DCs finishing school so we can lock ourselves away for Christmas!

Hello my quiet friends.
How are you all coping this party season? I mainly cope by just not going to parties (I explain to host that it's not my sort of thing but have fun anyway or just say 'sorry I can't come')
I can manage a lunchtime meet up or a coffee, but there is something about large groups of drunken people that makes me uncomfortable. I don't mind a bit of tipsy jollity, but in large groups I seem to think I need to stay alert and sober and look after people and wait for catastrophe. Oh dear sad

HermioneSnape02 Tue 11-Nov-14 07:51:44

I totally, totally, agree Seagulls

I am regretting accepting an offer of a night/day out as soon as I've agreed.

But on the other hand I regret saying no, (making excuses), as soon as I've said no.

I really can't win!

Its good to push yourself out of your comfort zone, I've been told, so I try to do this occasionally, but it is only occasionally.

I'm struggling with being in my comfort zone, but also being lonely and bored.

SeagullsAreLikeThat Mon 10-Nov-14 21:06:11

I totally understand the "trying to be something you're not". I put pressure on myself to get out of my comfort zone (i.e. being at home with the family, going to bed early to read, closing the door on the world basically) but when I do push myself to say yes to socialising, I dread it almost from the minute I've agreed to it.

It's as though I have this vision of myself as a sociable, chatty person who can not just breeze through evenings out but can honestly find them fun and I force myself to say yes sometimes, thinking that I can turn myself into that person and yet without fail, I will always wish that I had said no and stayed at home!

That's not to say that I never enjoy myself when I go out, it's just always such an effort to psyche myself up to do it and I always berate myself for agreeing to go!

fredfredsausagehead1 Mon 10-Nov-14 18:31:44

The thing is finding the incentive to do the volunteering etc.
I've done the same really it's my idea of heaven but does get a bit full sometimes.

HermioneSnape02 Mon 10-Nov-14 13:00:56

Fred Arh, Its hard isn't it?

I really don't know what to say or to do for myself tbh, people are suggesting a job or volunteering.
I'm lucky that I don't need to work and to do so would change the dynamics of our family, and if I'm honest I don't really want to.

I really don't know the answer. today I've been shopping and baked a cake, trying to keep myself busy, then there's just enough time for an hour of me time before I pick up the DC from school.

I hope you feel better soon x

fredfredsausagehead1 Mon 10-Nov-14 11:41:15

Are you me? I'm struggling too having to carve a life and wAnting to hide under a big hood and finding people draining. Every moment with other people who I'm not close to zaps me. Then when I'm alone I start to feel lonely arghhhh

HermioneSnape02 Mon 10-Nov-14 08:34:11

Thanks Seagulls I am a SAHM, who's lost her identity a lot!

I had a thread in relationships, on which I had some good advice, but I'm finding it hard to carve a new place in the world after looking after children when I am an introvert.

I find I am acting falsely, I am trying to be what I'm not.

I'm damned if I do, I'm damned if I don't.

How can you make friends and have a social life, if all you want to do is be on your own, but in being on your own your becoming more and more down, lonely and isolated?

SeagullsAreLikeThat Sat 08-Nov-14 08:12:14

Espii, this is one thread that will never be a scary place!

Hermione, do you want to elaborate?

HermioneSnape02 Sat 08-Nov-14 06:51:13

Can I join in please.

I'm having a bit of an identity crisis at the moment.

I want to be alone, but its not good for me at the moment.

Espii Fri 07-Nov-14 10:25:40

Lurked on here when I first joined, never said anything though, guess thats MN for you, scary place!
I second the christmas do at work. I quit drinking a few weeks back... I honestly don't want to go! I can't very well get out of it, but I would rather stay at home watching true christmas movies!!!

SeagullsAreLikeThat Fri 07-Nov-14 07:16:41

I love the fact this thread is still going. It keeps disappearing for me though so I have to go and search for it every time I want to catch up.

I'm having issues at work (people-related not job-related) but had one blissful day this week where I was the only one in the office apart from my boss and it's amazing how much happier I was. Even my boss said "you love being here on your own, don't you?" That's how obvious it must have been. I'm just so much more productive when not dealing with the silliness and playground bullying that normally goes on with the others around. Just a shame it's so rare that I'm in on my own.

Luckily I have a day to myself this weekend too as DH is taking the DCs to the in-laws so I have a day of pottering / cleaning / tip runs which will no doubt be very therapeutic. Have just read an excellent book on de-cluttering by Sheila Chandra which has really motivated me to get the house organised but it's much easier when there's no one around. The house isn't too bad really, it's actually my head that needs decluttering but I'm finding as I organise the house more efficiently, it seems to be organising my brain more efficiently too, if that makes sense. By Sunday evening, I expect to be a vision of calm and tranquility. (Until Monday morning when I'm back in the lion's den at work smile)

QuiteQuietly Wed 05-Nov-14 09:31:50

I have loved this thread from afar for a long time.

Norks I am very tempted to get a dog, just for the excuse to get out and have a walk alone. At the moment I pretend to be very disorganised and constantly needing to pop to the shop for something. I also work from home, so occasionally retreat into office to listen to R4 on telephone headset.

Next August we have a Big Family Wedding. An all-weekend affair with gregarious people. MIL (also an introvert) has already announced she will sharing a room with my DC so she can go up during the party and keep an eye on them. I am beyond outraged that she has stolen my escape! I may take up smoking so I can leave the building for breaks.

MissRueful Sun 02-Nov-14 11:54:52

Every time my family get together someone will mention all going on holiday together, sharing a house or cottage or to me even worse going abroad to do it! It was enough for me all going to a show in London once' waiting for everyone to use the loo etc, trooping around the underground, the nightmare of getting drinks. Arrrrgh. ;)

Hello all. I have finally got my real NN back and am delighted to find that this thread is still going, still helping people and still getting "yes me too!" responses.
lightson that sounds like the seventh circle of hell, you have my deepest sympathy.
We have four extra people staying over Christmas. Luckily three are of the 'afternoon nap required' type, and the other one belongs to DD, so not my problem.
I think the dogs will get quite a few extra walks over Christmas smile

LightsOnNotIn Thu 30-Oct-14 08:15:27

It's horrible. One day left. No connectivity here, so difficult to post. I will not do this again sad . You are right - they are HIS relatives. We've gone out on days out, all bloody 9 of us, TOGETHER, every single day. Today I am determined to get time to myself. It's the last day.

DH (also introvert) says you have to lay the groundwork for a sickie. Mention in passing how odd it is that you have started getting migraines, often when you have been busy, or there has been too much excitement.

This plants the seeds of a tactical retreat later in the holiday if needed.

You have his sympathy too. grin

Earphones and a vacant expression.

A sudden hankering for a 3 hour bath.

A reminder to your DH that these are his relatives and therefore not your sole responsibility for entertainment purposes.

If truly desperate then a strategically placed 'sudden headache' gets you some hiding in the bedroom time.

My sympathy, lights. Be strong wink

Smilesandpiles Sat 25-Oct-14 20:47:55

Oh lights, that is hell on earth.

Good luck.

Southeastdweller Fri 24-Oct-14 21:51:15

Oh, Lights, sympathies from me! I'm hoping for your sake they're outdoorsy types so you can have decompression time in the cottage by yourself...or/and do you think you can get away by yourself for some walks or something? I can recommend reading this whole thread next week if you can, for some comfort.

Welcome, btw smile

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