I Connect Better With People Because I Spend Time Alone
I didn’t fully know this about myself until recently—I’m a textbook introvert. I feel most comfortable by myself, tinkering with a book or a toy or singing a tune/dancing for no one.
That doesn't mean I'm not also a lover and a performer at heart.
That doesn’t mean I don’t love your company…
But I am at my best when I’ve taken just a little bit of time for Loosh.
I was vaguely familiar with the introvert/extrovert concept… until I read Amy Schumer’s book: The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo. She is a funny girl with a funny book title but the subject matter actually tackled a lot of unfunny sh*t: gun violence in a movie theatre playing her film (Trainwreck), physical abuse in her long term relationship, the slow decline of her father’s health by multiple schlerosis, her torrid relationship with her mother, her depression and anxiety as an up-and-coming successful comic, and the fact that she’s an introvert by nature.
The term ‘introvert’ is casually thrown around. It might conjure images of video game nerds or the painfully shy… but Schumer was the first author, for me, to describe ‘introverts’ as those who are more energized by being alone than being in groups.
Huh, I thought loudly, as all my experiences and memories swirled into an inner tornado…
I discovered my introvert tendencies in bits and pieces from then on. I looked forward to meditations. I relished my time alone in the car in sprawling traffic for hours on end. I felt most at home in quiet corners or sweaty, focused, yoga classes when I could shed my need to appear acceptable to other people and just relax into the comfort of my true self. I found a beautiful exhale in the time spent without my phone, in my warm bedroom or empty apartment, or in some grassy, untouched park/beach where the sounds of other people were muffled by distance and wind.
If it sounds depressing to you, I must clarify, it’s not sad or gloomy at all to me. Alone time is freeing and fulfilling in my corner of the world, and has been since I was the tiniest Loosh. My Mom has told me since the beginning—I gladly busied myself with tasks and stories of my own making, for hours at a time. I was shy at times, and outgoing/chatty at other times, but my time alone was hallowed. It has never felt like self-obsession or fear of the community outside me, just a necessary percentage of time spent honoring my inner world. I don’t think there’s anything actually better or worse about this. It’s just one of my core operations.
I like spending time with other people. I obviously value loving, communicative relationships. I like being near loved ones and connecting with strangers. And I’m good at connecting, I believe, because I make time for just me. Because that downtime is exquisitely meandering and un-judged, I’m less judgmental and presumptuous with my peers. I respect their inner worlds, because I do the work to respect my own. I empathize with the people around me even when our stories are vastly incomparable…because I take the time to give my own story an appropriate amount of care and value, no matter how boring it might seem to the media or society at large.
In short, I think no matter what type of person you are, you might benefit from a little self-care, and a little non-opinionated, easygoing time with your true self. And I also think the introverts of the world could benefit from voicing their need for occasional tinker-time by themselves.