I had a month with bambi, a week and a half to myself after he left, then this past weekend, I had four days staying with my sister and niece.
If you aren’t an introvert, this doesn’t sound like anything much.
If you ARE an introvert, you might understand when I say that I am tapped out. Socially and emotionally, I am completely empty.
And this happens even though the people I was spending time with were perfectly lovely. That makes no difference whatsoever.
Right now, I feel like an empty void, and if I have to talk to ONE MORE PERSON, I swear I will tear their head off just for expecting me to make nice and maintain the most basic level of polite interaction.
There is a ‘thing’ that happens when I find a partner who matches me. They come into my ‘inner circle’, and they feed me instead of draining me. It is, I imagine, how extroverts feel about people in general, or about friends, whether they are casual or really close.
For me, I really don’t feel that with anyone except my very closest friends, and my partner (and actually, even with close friends, I sometimes can’t do it). I struggle to not just shut down when I have to keep bringing social energy into a situation. I find it exhausting, trying, and *really* hard work, and I can feel my reserves being sucked dry as time drags on and I have to keep it up. It makes me edgy and cranky and resentful.
It’s not their fault. At all. I recognise that, so I heap a healthy dose of guilt on top of the strong desire to just sneak out of the place and get some solitude.
This is not really a whining post, though it might sound like one. I am really pondering how my introversion gets sidelined when someone is a good fit for me.
When it works with someone, I crave their company, and instead of feeling drained by them, I feel energised in all the right ways: I feel my synapses firing all ‘pow powpow’ on multiple levels. Intellectually, emotionally, physically it feels like I crackle with this wild positive energy, I am excited by them, they inspire me, I am beside myself to see what happens next with them, and I just want to dig deeper and get more and more.
In short, when I am enamoured, I feel like they are ‘inside the bubble’ with me, and everyone else is outside, so with them, I am immunised from all of my normal ways of feeling. And that’s why it works.
I just need to find it, is all…
“If you ARE an introvert, you might understand when I say that I am tapped out. Socially and emotionally, I am completely empty.”
*nods* yes you become completely raw and drained like an empty vessel. At least for me I feel like a ball of tension ready to break at any moment and I have absorbed and given all there is to take. I feel at that moment if I do not escape and recharge as though I might suffocate. Lack of energy emotionally,mentally, and physically.
“I am really pondering how my introversion gets sidelined when someone is a good fit for me.
When it works with someone, I crave their company, and instead of feeling drained by them, I feel energised in all the right ways: I feel my synapses firing all ‘pow powpow’ on multiple levels. Intellectually, emotionally, physically it feels like I crackle with this wild positive energy, I am excited by them, they inspire me, I am beside myself to see what happens next with them, and I just want to dig deeper and get more and more.”
Yes, when I am single my introversion is at its worse with those around me but when I am captivated by someone they become my sole focus. It is like going from being drained from those around you to having tunnel vision to the world around anyone but you and your partner or potential partner. That person instead of being a drain feeds your energy, entices you, captivates you, draws you in wanting more and more.
~smiles~ I can understand. I think you and I manage differently but I can understand the effects
Thank you for explaining your experience. It does sound quite similar.
I find it interesting that your introversion is worse when you are single. So it sounds like your partner then gives you enough energy to make dealing with *other* people less draining? Or have I misunderstood that?
“So it sounds like your partner then gives you enough energy to make dealing with *other* people less draining?”
If my partner has captivated me yes I believe so. Now ask me how long it’s been since I had a partner whos been able to keep me captivated ~laughs~
I know it sounds odd, it does to even me when I say it but it is true. I believe it to me mostly my introversion but also part of my mentality that when I am with a partner who captivates me she feeds into me enough she is my SOLE focus so it makes everything else less draining.
I say this is also my mentality because I have a very analytical mind. When she feeds into me though not only does she give me energy but it gives me focus. I can center better. ~laughs~ sounds weird I KNOW!
Give a quick example of how this works for me in an odd way. I love to give her a massage if she likes them. She gets pleased but also it relaxes me and centers me because….my sole focus in that moment is on her body, my hands and how to please her..nothing else in that moment matters. My mind centers and focuses from her feeding into me her pleasure.
I know that probably makes no sense! But it is true with me.
The first part totally made sense. Really interesting.
You lost me on the second-to-last paragraph and how that relates to introversion, though. I assume you mean that after that, you are so full of positive energy that you can take that out into the world like a social butterfly…?
As a fellow introvert, I can really identify with you in this. The “week and a half” you had to yourself, was probably filled with planning, expectations, coordinating, packing, and mentally preparing for the long weekend with family. Then there’s the travel. All of this, happening before you’ve had a chance to assimilate what happened the previous month. I don’t think that the time really counted as proper “alone time”
After a month of entertaining someone (even someone completely lovely) and then traveling off to see family for a few days, I’d be emotionally exhausted too… not to mention tired and cranky.
I often find social interactions to be difficult, baffling things that I am loath to get into. I screw on a plastic smile and hope I can figure out the “right” things to say and do. It’s a tremendous amount of effort for what I often feel is minimal returns. I’ve been told to relax, and just be myself and I think “Oh, you mean just wander off by myself when I get bored or stressed?” That’s kinda what I do now.
Like you, that sort of thing leaves me exhausted, and drained… even with people I know well.
In fact, I am going back home in August, to attend two family weddings in the space of 5 days, and after my parents insisted that I stay with them for the duration, my heart sank, and my bowels loosened… just a little bit… I haven’t even booked my flight yet!
Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and friends, but can only take them in relatively small dosages.
“When it works with someone, I crave their company, and instead of feeling drained by them”
I remember this one too, It’s been a very long while but I can still taste it. I wish you all the best in finding it again.
*laugh* You hit the nail on the head with the ‘week and a half’ in between not even taking the edge off.
Oh, and that feeling of dread in advance… oh yeah. Not good.
I hope the visit in August goes okay.
The relationship the three of us have is about as tight as it gets, but all three of us are still introverts and in order to be healthy we ALL need plenty of quiet time reading or being on the computer by ourselves. FoxC1 is probably the most introverted and most likely to need to disappear for long stretches, and it’s not really an issue – it’s just what he needs to stay healthy and happy, and fully present with us when we do spend time in company.
I wouldn’t necessarily assume that finding the perfect partner would always mean neither of you would need quiet me-time to recharge. We certainly do, even though we think our partners are the most amazingly awesome and compatible ones we could possibly hope to have, and then some!
“I wouldn’t necessarily assume that finding the perfect partner would always mean neither of you would need quiet me-time to recharge. We certainly do, even though we think our partners are the most amazingly awesome and compatible ones we could possibly hope to have, and then some!”
You make a good point, and it’s not really an assumption on my part: so far that has been my experience (of course it’s different for everyone). I still like some time to myself (just because I do), but it’s a very different thing from ‘recovery’ time.
My experience has been that when it works, my partner doesn’t drain me. He has either a net positive, or a neutral impact on me in terms of energy suckage. So it follows that I don’t need to recover from expending that energy on him.
As an aside, with my last long term relationship, I knew we were in trouble when he started to slip outside my ‘inner circle’. That is, I started to find that being around him required a level of personal energy that I found exhausting. Ugh. Really not a good sign!
I’m sort of Ambiverted at this point I guess. I definitely need some social interaction in my life or I get all hermit-y, but lots of social situation are more of a drain on me now than they were when I was (even) younger.
It seems to me that people who I think of as “My sort of people” whether I’m enamoured with them, in a relationship, or we’re friends, or acquaintances who just click, recharge my batteries and make me feel more like myself.
But “other” people, certain friends (and most of my relatives) and most crowds make me want to go hide in my room instead.
“when I was (even) younger.”
*laugh* That was funny. You KNEW I wouldn’t have been able to let it lie if you hadn’t included “(even)” there, didn’t you?
I actually think I am getting more introverted as I get older also. This is in keeping with my ultimate goal to be a crazy cat lady (sans cats), so that seems like a reasonable way to slide into it…
“I’m sort of Ambiverted at this point I guess.”
I think that *most* people are right there with you, somewhere in the middle, and I think fluctuations in how it works are to be expected.
I think that’s why I like online exchanges. They fulfil a need for interaction, but they are exempt from energy suckage because I can deal with them as (and if) I feel like it.
I feel tired just reading about being that social for that long. For me, when I’ve been too social for too long, I start feeling like a cable that’s been pulled too tight – just a little more pressure and I’ll snap and take somebody’s eye out.
On a less gruesome note, one of my favourite things about the ridiculously adorable boyfriend is that he’s so gloriously easy to be around. Because we’re both introverts we’re also very much on the same page when it comes to hiding in the house and recovering from too much social time.
“…just a little more pressure and I’ll snap and take somebody’s eye out.”
“On a less gruesome note, one of my favourite things about the ridiculously adorable boyfriend is that he’s so gloriously easy to be around.”
*smile* YES! So lovely! It’s like some kind of magic super power!
“Because we’re both introverts we’re also very much on the same page when it comes to hiding in the house and recovering from too much social time.”
I actually do okay with extroverted partners as long as they understand that I will say ‘no’ to any number of invitations and they will have to go on their own (and can accept that it’s not a rejection of THEM when I do that). Unfortunately that’s a pretty big call for most.
Wow, I know exactly how that feels. I’m glad it’s not just me. I hope that you get the chance to recover though it can be exhausting. I can’t even imagine doing that a whole month. But you are the great and powerful Ferns so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
It’s definitely not just you!
And thanks: I have plenty of recovery time coming up with no social commitments on my calendar for a while (though I just remembered a lunch date on Saturday, but it’s with my ex, and he’s (mostly!) in the inner circle so it’s okay).
“But you are the great and powerful Ferns so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.”
*laugh* Just don’t look behind the curtain…
i so get this … i am an only child who is married to a big old extroverted dom, from a larger than life family where absolutely nothing is low key.
while he ‘feeds me’ and ‘inpsires me’, it’s taken me years to find my space and solitude amid the social chaos where i used to find myself getting quite resentful. and i guess they’ve learned me too.
enjoy your restorative peace, quiet and introspection.
“it’s taken me years to find my space and solitude amid the social chaos where i used to find myself getting quite resentful”
I can relate! I think it can be *really* difficult for extroverts to understand introverts and that can make it difficult. Both sides can get resentful over it.
My first long term partner REALLY struggled with my ‘no, you go out without me, really, I *want* you to’ thing. He just couldn’t fathom that I wasn’t doing some passive aggressive thing where if he went, I’d then be all “FINE GO WITHOUT ME WHY DON’T YOU?!”
I also think that extroverts can really find it difficult to ‘get’ that it can be *work*, and not pleasure, to do stuff that ‘should’ (by all accounts) be fun. “A party! Yay! Let’s goooo!!!”
I’m glad you have found your balance.
I can’t even imagine being sociable for that long, I need a lot of recharging.
I do love spending time with people who energize me but it’s so rare. Mostly I’m happiest on my own.
I can relate.
I have this almost impossible requirement for a partner in that he has to make my life significantly better/happier, and that’s not about anything except how I FEEL with him. Given that I am pretty happy on my own, that’s a pretty big call!
“Given that I am pretty happy on my own, that’s a pretty big call!”
The right partner for you would be one who likes to be kept on his toes then I would say.
“you are so full of positive energy that you can take that out into the world like a social butterfly?”
~laughs~ I would not say social butterfly anything for me but yes that is kind of what I was saying. More like if she is right for me, a fit, then she becomes my focus so much that she feeds into me and kind of creates a barrier. I can be social without it really draining me.
I never said I wasn’t complicated.
I empathize with this so much! There are 2, maybe 3 people in the world that I can be with endlessly (or nearly so) because they have melded and become one with me so it doesn’t feel like I’m with another person, hence, no big drain. Take care of yourself. Have some alone time!
*nod* I’m the same with the ‘2 or 3 people’ thing, and this:
‘they have melded and become one with me so it doesn’t feel like I’m with another person’
… is a perfect description.