May 13, 2016

It’s Not You, It’s Me: The Real Life of a Social Introvert.


We live in a fast-paced world of increasing technology, with all types of gadgets, busy plans and boozy brunching on the weekends.

Our work-life balance usually does not meet our needs to take care of ourselves.

I work as an Occupational Therapist with children with disabilities in a school, and after that ends for the day, visit adult clients in their homes to make sure they are independent and safe after an injury or illness. It is important to be “on” all the time in order to interact with clients, families, and other therapists on the team. There is daily excitement in my work. But sometimes—being the [social] introvert that I am—I just need to turn off.

I want to explain to my friends and family that not seeing them as often as I’d like is not because I don’t love them.

The older I have gotten, the more “me” time I have found myself needing. I now understand my self, daily needs, and patterns much better. I crave my me time to reflect and recharge. Whether that means staying in with a cup of tea…or wine…and writing, or curling up with a good book, I know it’s vital to get back to my state of balance. This state is important for me so that I can be there for my friends and family and perform my day to day job.

I play each day by ear. Because there are so many variable factors with my workload, it is hard to predict energy levels. For this reason, it is difficult to be a planner and stick to a schedule. There have been times when I have last minute cancelled on trips or outings, knowing my friends have been frustrated enough to question my actions.

To them I say, “it’s not you, it’s me.”

I understand that plans are essential but work best when we find a balance between making plans and going with the flow.

Sometimes even just having the TV on can be too much. Technology can be over stimulating. Notification sounds on my phone can be the one thing that puts me over the top, triggering my sensory overload. I don’t answer my phone all the time because I literally don’t have energy to talk.

It has nothing to do with you personally.

I adore having you in my life, and support and cherish our friendship. I will always get back in touch, whether it’s the next day or the next week.

But the time lapse is not personal.

I’m proud of my Scorpio traits. When you’re in my life, I will be loyal until the end. I am passionate about the people in my life and interested in connecting on a deeper level. But please understand, if you feel I don’t reach out as often as you like, I still love and want you in my life.

However, I might come to you on my own time. I prefer the one-on-one hangouts when I’m fully charged so that I can be there to listen and support you as best I can.

I can see your confusion, though—you catch pictures of my travels, social outings with friends, and witness some of my crazy adventures. I can hold a conversation and enjoy meeting new people—so how is it, you ask, that I can be an introvert?

Why do you still feel singled out and sometimes not an important part of my universe?

I may revel in being social…maybe even occasionally hold the title of life of the party. But beware—I may become a recluse for the next few days. As much as I enjoy being out and about, it can be taxing both mentally and energetically. Grounding myself usually occurs by shutting down. A strong part of me enjoys being alone, with my own thoughts, working at my own pace to calm my system and reach a place of peace.

Please accept me for me—my moods, my ups and downs, my heart…me from within. I will accept you for you. I promise to love you deeply in my own way. I’ll be loyal ’til the end.

These are not excuses and I know the other social introverts can understand.


Relephant read:

The Introverted Yogi.


Author: Asha Surti

Apprentice Editor: Lois Person/Editor: Renée Picard

Image: HartwigHD/Flickr

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