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being an introvert in community  RSS feed

 
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I agree with so many, many points of view recently shared. Inge's that it can get easier. Julia's that she perhaps reaches a people saturation point and needs less interaction. Leila's that adapting to some things in our society might be less than healthy to begin with. Plus Stacy, Jack, and Raven - yes!

We have moved in to having more folks here again after a busy summer, and I've been holing up in my room a lot, in order to keep my energy up. I think I will actually do better next week when I will be the cook for the group. When I have a purpose, a job, a role within a group, I'm better able to cope with being in a group over longer periods of time. It's a bit counter-intuitive, perhaps, but I think it will help me.

It's interesting to me that I've recently listened to one book, and have started a second book, that both relate to how our health can impact our senses, our psychology, our mental health. I'm not at all implying that anyone needs to be "fixed" because I definitely learned the hard way that, IMHO, some personality traits just ARE. They will be a lifelong thing, despite all efforts to change them. Though I am finding these books interesting, and how, perhaps, in some cases, some extreme, debilitating aspects can be minimized or improved by some rather simple things. I know for me, my mood is lighter and more positive if I avoid all wheat/gluten--really, most everything is much smoother in my world without gluten.

The first is Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life by David Perlmutter, MD (Amazon affiliate link - US)

The second is Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health, by Dr. Ben Lynch (Amazon affiliate link - US)

So, having a role, a job, or a purpose helps me. Avoiding gluten helps me. Getting the right food, supplements and sleep helps me. And...perhaps I'm becoming more of an introvert due to working at home, on a rural homestead, and having a half-year habit of lots of alone time. Though even when I worked in a corporate job, lived in the suburbs, had a family and helped in the kids' schools, I was still more of an introvert than most folks I met. I also remember that back then, too, having a role or a job gave me a much welcome anchor and framework for dealing with other people.



 
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I had depression and extreme social anxiety for a few years in my early twenties.  As I moved closer and closer to a vegan diet my mental health got better and better. I think many people would benefit from tweaking their diets like you are, Jocelyn.

What Inge was saying about levels of introversion changing made me think of my experience with that. I don't think I've actually changed but my life has changed in a way that allows me to function differently. When my husband and I were living in a city while he did his degree, we rented a suite in our landlords house. They had odd hours of work and someone was almost always home. Even though I didn't have to see them, hearing little noises from their area and just knowing someone was home was taxing for me. Combine that with living in a city where you can never go anywhere without having someone else around and a job dealing with the public in an often pretty intense way and I was exhausted all the time.

Now we live in the bush, with our closest neighbours three km away. Right now is a slow time at work so I don't see clients much and do a lot of computer work. I think I'm still just as much an introvert as ever but getting rid of the constant drain on my energy means I can actually enjoy the social interactions I want to have. My inlaws all marvel at how much more talkative I am since we've moved. My relationship with my husband is better than ever because we both (he's introverted too) have more energy to devote to another.

I have no idea how I would be able to function living in a community.  For a start, I think I'd need a little hut somewhere that no one even knew existed.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Jan White wrote:They had odd hours of work and someone was almost always home. Even though I didn't have to see them, hearing little noises from their area and just knowing someone was home was taxing for me.



This.

Thanks for sharing Jan.

It's odd how sharing our home some times affects me, some times doesn't. I'm learning more about it each year, each season, each new group of folks.
 
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:

Jan White wrote:They had odd hours of work and someone was almost always home. Even though I didn't have to see them, hearing little noises from their area and just knowing someone was home was taxing for me.



This.

Thanks for sharing Jan.

It's odd how sharing our home some times affects me, some times doesn't. I'm learning more about it each year, each season, each new group of folks.



Just knowing that someone can see/hear me is taxing. I need to be ALONE. When I lived in the city, I was never alone. If I went outside, someone could see me. Someone could potentially wonder why I was doing what I was doing. I was always thinking about what other people might think, and it was so taxing. There was always a shroud of stress over me. I never wanted to go for walks because there were always people. Even in our house, it was hard, because it was a duplex and someone lived upstairs and so I could never just turn on the music and dance or belt out a hymn without someone potentially thinking about what I was doing. I hadn't realized just how hard it was on me until we moved out to our own 5 acres and I could finally be ALONE.

Now, of course, I have kids. So it's only maybe once every week or two that I actually get to be alone. My brain, I know, is functioning a whole lot less well than it did when I actually had time alone.
 
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Nicole - interesting, I was just thinking that when my children were little, their noise didn't bother me so much. I always had a houseful of children, my own four and often 4+ more. Children have never bothered me. I think it's largely that I have low expectations from them. They are just being children, they don't know better. Unfortunately, adults don't seem to even try to be considerate. I find them so disappointing.

I do agree, it's horrible here in the city. You just can't get away from them. I don't worry about what they think, don't really care. I just don't like them. So I take my walk at sunrise and only run into a couple of people.

Jocelyn - I'm the same way. I like a role. I like knowing what to do and what's expected of me. So I like hosting and I love cooking. The books sound interesting. I'll look into them, though I could never be gluten free or vegan. I've tried gluten free and honestly decided I would rather be dead, but that's just me. I expect vegan would be the same. We all have our deal breakers.
 
Nicole Alderman
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My kids are definetly a lot less taxing on me than dealing with adults, especially strangers all day. But, I still have to always be thinking of what they're doing, if it's going to turn into a fight, how to help them get ready for bed without a meltdown, that I need to feed them, that they want me to play when I really need to dig up the potatoes or prune the blackberries. They always need me (they'll be 2 and 5 in October), and though I love them and they light up my life, I do wish I had more time to do whatever I feel like doing without having to juggle their needs/wants, too.

But, yeah, kids are a WHOLE lot easier for me to socialize with than adults. Kids are much less complicated, and love to learn and I love to learn and share knowledge and play silly games, just like them. I loved teaching preschool and elementary, though it was socially exhausting. But, I NEVER would have survived working in, say, customer service all day!
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Here's an apt illustration!



 
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I think that I'm somewhere in between introvert and extrovert. If I live alone I crave community and social interaction. I'm talkative and enjoy meeting people, even strangers, and I really enjoy it. But now that I have a husband and kids, they take up all my "social energy". I simply don't feel like I have any energy left for other people. But I try to think that there will be a time in my life when I have energy for other people too. Hopefully I still have some friends left then Luckily my best friend has children too so I think/ hope she understands at least partly.

It is possible that this is not only about introversion but other personal/ interpersonal stuff too. Maybe I need to work some more on my boundaries too.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Nina, I think it's *really* common or normal for mothers to get maxed out on people. The caregiving, even with easy kids, is nonstop; and most of us do not have nannies, housecleaners, cooks, landscape maintenance workers or other support staff! I think even with support staff, it's a different type of tending or managing people, so it's not always easier and probably/ironically not less people interaction either.

It's interesting what drives us to wanting space, or more self time for renewal. And I think you are so right that it's not just introverts!

Though I still want secret passageways to avoid people!
 
pollinator
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The reading nook picture reminded me of my old trick.  I would hide in a closet with a book and flashlight.  The trick was to leave the bedroom door ajar so someone would stick their head in, glance around and think I was gone.  It worked beautifully...and gave incentive to keep closet floor neat so I could fit😀
 
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You may think you're an introvert but how would you like to spend 27 years alone? From age 20 to age 47 Chris Knight did just that in central Maine! The author Michael Finkel fascinates us with the true story of The Stranger in the Woods recently published.He lived in a tent deep in the woods but not far from seasonal cabins.He never lit a fire!
 
pollinator
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Stuart Sparber wrote:You may think you're an introvert but how would you like to spend 27 years alone? From age 20 to age 47 Chris Knight did just that in central Maine! The author Michael Finkel fascinates us with the true story of The Stranger in the Woods recently published.He lived in a tent deep in the woods but not far from seasonal cabins.He never lit a fire!


Someone like that is an 'extreme introvert', I would call him a 'hermit'. My answer to your question is 'No'. I don't like to be all alone all the time, only some time.
 
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