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am I too reclusive?

(58 Posts)
MrsMiniver Sat 30-Nov-13 13:41:47

I'm in my mid 50s and after a life of drama relationships-wise, I'm very happy on my own with a teenage daughter, a close relationship with my family, a couple of good friends and a dog. Plus a part-time job that gives me plenty of contact with colleagues and a lovely home which is all my own. I dislike socialising, not because I have social anxiety or am shy, but because my preference is to either spend time alone (reading, pottering, walking) or to have at most a weekly drink or coffee with a friend that doesn't last more than a couple of hours. I prefer deep conversation about a particular subject rather than chit-chat which bores me senseless. I never phone people for a chat (apart from my mum who I speak to everyday) and keep visitors to an absolute minimum. Having said that I really enjoy talking to strangers, maybe because I don't feel trapped

I feel though as if I have to constantly justify my behaviour, both to myself and others, because being extraverted and sociable and having loads of friends seems to be considered essential in today's society. Can anyone relate to this?

bluebirdwsm Mon 02-Dec-13 13:56:22

Mrs Miniver I used to have a jack Russell x dachshund [ginger] and she was the loveliest dog ever, not a bad bone in her body.

So looks like you got lucky first time. This one is another good one, I took a long time waiting until I identified the 'right' one when I saw her.

I see my family of 2 sons, 2 daughters in law, and 3 grandsons regularly, I adore all of them. Without them I would be completely bereft [and not as happy as I am now for certain]. Friends have remarried, moved abroad or died, and one with her mind going I'm afraid......

MrsMiniver Mon 02-Dec-13 12:38:57

bluebird she sounds adorable, what a lovely mix! I too have a small dog that doesn't look ridiculous (Jack Russell cross). Sounds like the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Lazy I too am wary of becoming a total recluse and don't think it's in my nature. I need some connection with close family if nothing else.

bluebirdwsm Mon 02-Dec-13 11:55:39

something The pup is a female, looks like a miniature golden lab but with longer fur coming through. The mum was a blonde soppy Pug x Pomeranian and the dad was a copper Chihuahua x Pomeranian so she is a mongrel! Cobby body and shortish legs. I like small dogs but she isn't going to be stupidly small.

The night was good, just some 'mewing' to start with, a loo break at 4am. and she slept till 9.15am! Not a mess in the house so far! Amazing.

Sorry to go oneveryone....but getting a pup doesn't happen everyday....

Lazysuzanne Mon 02-Dec-13 10:43:16

My feeling is that absolute reclusiveness might be a bad thing, if I allowed myself to slide into it there might be some point of no return past which I'd be unable to reconnect with people should it become necessary.

For those reasons I suspect I'd benefit from a job where I had to interact with people face to face.

It's the prolonged intimacy of cohabiting that really gets to me.

MrsMiniver Mon 02-Dec-13 07:59:36

Thanks for the link Anada will watch later. Lazy your situation sounds great, I would never live with anyone again either and separate homes would be a must. Off to my part-time job, have got it down to three days a week and that's more than enough. Luckily I share my office with a sympathetic colleague. We have a quick chat then it's heads down for the rest of the day.

Lazy I agree, a true recluse would be single with no friends at all and I'm not quite there...lol at not being able to tolerate overnight guests, totally with you on that one.

AnandaTimeIn Mon 02-Dec-13 03:02:51

This is a great thread.

I am also happy as larry staying home alone (SP, DS now 22 and at uni) pottering about, doing exactly what I feel like doing now.

Saw a great video on a Ted talk about introverts

www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4

Lazysuzanne Mon 02-Dec-13 01:44:13

Beagle, I used to live with my partner, I coped by renting an office to work from and spending most of my time there and also going to bed late and getting up late when he did the opposite.

I used to feel very anxious and trapped at the thought of living together when we were older and retired and I had no bolt hole to escape to.

When the children left home I didnt feel the need to keep the family home thing going & I said I wanted to live separately.
We sold up, split the proceeds and bought separate places.
I would have ended the relationship if he hadnt agreed.

That was about 3 years ago I feel so very much calmer and happier, I probably spend about 4 hours a week with him now and we get on alot better.

I sound appalling I know, I'd just had enough of being a wife, life is so much easier, way less housework, he probably wishes he'd done a bit more cooking and cleaning.
Too late to shut the stable door now, your horse has boltedgrin

(He is pretty solitary too, but not quite as bad as me)

ItsaMissTerri Mon 02-Dec-13 01:33:57

Can completely relate to your post OP and having read the thread am thinking Hallelujah it's not just me that feels like this!! You don't have to justify yourself to anyone...xxx

Dirtybadger Mon 02-Dec-13 01:27:51

I work opposite shifts to my DP which works pretty well, as we cohabit. We have a dog so that's my excuse for not wanting to look for daytime work like him. He works 9-5 ish and I go to work about 4. We are usually both home at weekend plus an hour or so in evening at least. I can see what you mean about being resentful though. It's odd as although he (and others I'm sure) seems a bit offended by not wanting to be around all day, there's nothing specific planned- or talk about. So what's the problem? Maybe I'm missing something.

beaglesaresweet Mon 02-Dec-13 00:59:20

Lazy, yes, a couple of hours is my ideal too, though if I like someone genuinely and we have things in common, I can do more. I could live with a partner but only if they were out for part of the day, as far as I get my own time for at least an hour or two in the eves. Is your P understabding? I find that most men resent that you don't want to see them all hours of an eve (when you aer in seroius or commited r-ship I mean). I still want a Partner, but it's hell to convince then that it's me, nothing personal.

Lazysuzanne Sun 01-Dec-13 23:20:50

yes, I'd struggle to think of anyone who co-habited as reclusive, I also have no desire to get a pet for company!

I'm generally ok with company if it's not for more than a couple of hours but often find that I am humouring people rather actually enjoying spending time with them.
I absolutely cannot tolerate overnight guests.

beaglesaresweet Sun 01-Dec-13 23:14:49

ah hello Lazy - you have as much claim as bluebird grin! living alone and not going to worl just doesn't compare with people who have dc. dh, colleagues, friends!

beaglesaresweet Sun 01-Dec-13 23:13:02

hmm, working full time and having a group of close friends is hardly leading a reclusive life!
bluebird has the only real claim to being a happy recluse on this thread, as far as I can see - she does live alone. I couldn't deal with having people in my space most of the day, that's why I never worked full time (and it was hell when I did for short periods, as sometimes I just don't want to say a word, but you have to), so I work for myself, but on the other hand I don't like not talking to someone all day. It's tricky, because I want interaction, and when I like people I want to chat and talk quite in depth /spend time with them, but I like it in bursts, not too often or for too long.
This really creates issues, as people think I'm rude/not interested, when all I want is to have breaks - and also not to be in larger groups for long! Hard to explain to most people. and I have to say, it's only few people that I really like to have frequent meetings with, so some think I'm fussy or overly sensitive. I just can't waste my time though spending time with those I don't enjoy being with. They also have to like me, of course - it does narrow the options grin. I'm happiest when I have a comptible partner, but now I'm single it's quite tough, as other people do come into it much more and they are not all ready to adapt or understand - well, why should they if I'm new to them?

Lazysuzanne Sun 01-Dec-13 23:00:43

I completely relate, I am if anything even more reclusive, I work alone at home.
I have a partner but we dont live together and I dont spend all that much time with him, I've lost touch with all my friends, no colleagues dont miss company at all.

I dont worry that there's anything wrong with me but I do wonder if I will become somehow cut of from mainstream culture and unwilling to engage with anyone.

Then again there's always internet forums to chat on!

PopiusTartius Sun 01-Dec-13 22:38:12

This thread is something of a revelation.
I somehow always thought I had to work harder at the social thing. But most of the tie it just does my head in! I have a few close friends. I love spending time with them. Other than that I love my family, my home. But small talk does me in.

something2say Sun 01-Dec-13 21:38:26

Beer and guitar!!!!! Hahahaha

something2say Sun 01-Dec-13 21:38:05

That's so sweet blue bird!!! She sounds gorgeous, what sort of dog?

So what are your houses and pottering places like then people?

I have an upstairs flat with no garden, oh how I wish! But I have wooden furniture, a, glossing the wood, a few nice things. Two guitars. Lots of music. I like sitting on the floor playing my guitar. Have a beautiful soft grey British blue short hair cat who is gorg. Love beautiful heavy bath scents, open windows, trees in the woods nearby, lovely long walks in the sun and woods or the canal, take a bear and duster into the clearing, meet all the dog walkers. Deer in the woods.

X lovely x

bluebirdwsm Sun 01-Dec-13 20:10:46

MrsMinver: I have picked up my pup [been planning this for a long time] and she is on my lap now! Such a good girl - so far. Not a peep in the car [for 35minutes], a wee outside, a little play and relaxed now.

Happy days to come I hope.....there are compensations being happy with just a small dog to talk to!

akawisey Sun 01-Dec-13 19:31:32

Another introvert here MrsMiniver. Same age, too. Only this week I have been thinking exactly what you've said. I have a small but good group of friends who understand me and great work colleagues - but I really like my life the way it is.

I'd love a dog but can't have one because I'm not at home enough. So I have two soppy cats instead grin.

Really pleased you started this thread.

bigbrick Sun 01-Dec-13 14:18:28

I understand you - I like my own company & also the opinions of others rather than chats

MrsMiniver Sun 01-Dec-13 14:10:17

bluebird, yes we are very similar. I can't recommend having a dog enough; I got mine a little over a year ago (my first) and he's changed my life. Two walks a day and social interaction just how I like it, with a selection of dog walkers who I see often. One of them asked me today if I'd like to meet up for coffee and although I was flattered I did think to myself that I'd rather it didn't become a habit.

The key seems to be waking up to the fact that us introverts don't need to justify ourselves and that brings with it freedom from feeling different and/or anxious. I wish I'd learnt this years ago but it seems all the sweeter now that I'm finally starting to accept myself for who I am.

Yes Mrs M it's amazing how we no longer need meds to deal with life once we stop trying to be what others deem normal grin

bluebirdwsm Sun 01-Dec-13 13:16:30

MrsMiniver, you sound like my double, although I am now 64. And you sound just fine to me, with a well balanced life and attitude. I've had it with relationships now and more than happy in my own company, seeing my sons and grandsons. I like pottering around my house, doing DIY and gardening, growing veg, reading, walking, being on the laptop and selected tv progs.

I was also worried by the fact I didn't seem to 'fit' with most people, used to smoke when I was in company [given up now] as I was anxious and hate small talk/gossip. [I like meaningful conversation and discussion on a 1 to1 basis usually]. But I gradually realised I'm ok and don't have to justify myself. Now comfortable with my life and living alone which suits me down to the ground. However I am lucky in that my health is ok, and I'm pretty fit.

Being different once made me feel dependent, constantly questioning myself and needy for approval in a world which is/was too busy for me... but now realise being an introvert means I can rely on myself and be very independent. It's who I am and I embrace it not fight it or try to change. It took a long period of learning about myself and adjustments though.

I see less people than you do, and am about to get a dog for walks and company then I will be made up. I have also read 'Quiet' and books about different personality types. There is definitely a place in the world for us, the thinkers who can use our own resources to feel fulfilled and not want constant babble and people in our space 24/7.

It's good there are no dramas and there is peace [apart from the ups and downs of life] in living like I do. I'm at the age where I couldn't care less what people think of me and that's liberating.

MillyRules Sun 01-Dec-13 12:29:40

Mrs I used to drink a lot more when I was younger. I had to because I was out partying and clubbing every night cause it was what you did. Once I met DH it all changed. He is very extrovert but anti social so we just enjoy our home and each other. I don't drink nowadays......too many bad headaches with alcohol. That was all many years ago now. Wish I had known its ok to be introvert in my youth though instead of feeling that there was something wrong with " me"!!

MrsMiniver Sun 01-Dec-13 11:29:40

Katie I've been on meds for anxiety for years too, thinking that I had some underlying disorder, but since I've accepted who I am and have started to embrace my "inner introvert", the anxiety has diminished. I used to drink in order to cope with social situations but since I hardly go out anymore, my alcohol consumption has really gone down. And that's good too.

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