People drain me. Physically, emotionally, figuratively… they suck.
I’ve read in several articles about people with introverted characteristics that this phenomenon isn’t unusual. Introverts can be socially outgoing, but we are inwardly super self conscious. For example, I LOVE to share or answer questions in my grad classes. I dont shy away from that. However, it may take me several minutes to formulate thoughts, to feel out the room, to make sure that raising my hand wont be construed as me being “pushy” or “dumb.” At parties, I’ll be fine (if not a bit of a background character), but I’m often full of dread in the car ride over or I will spend days in advance thinking of talking points and reviewing my friends.
It’s all soooo much to do and take in.
That’s why introverts lose energy from other people.
It doesn’t help when you are in a serious relationship with someone who is so clearly an extrovert. B, a great guy and all, is a bit clueless on my little introverted quirks. He doesn’t understand my need for space, privacy, warmth, and time outs from the world.
Most of all, he doesn’t understand that I process the world in solitude. I dont share, partially because I am terrified of being a burden. The other reason is because I know how much my own problems can overwhelm me, so why would I want to share these experiences and emotions with someone who is not actively involved?
When there is an issue to be dealt with, I go through stages: 1.) Outwardly emotional. 2.) Inwardly emotional 3.) Inner reflection 4.) Conclusion 5.) Resolution. If there is no answer to a question or problem, then I skip over conclusion and get to resolution. And from there, there is nothing left to be said. It’s done. The problem is that all but one of these steps is accomplished internally. So I often cannot address the reflections or resolutions I have made.
And it’s a communications break down from there.
I worry. A lot. I worry that I am unable to verbalize what emotions I have and when I have them. But I am even more worried that because I have built up this wall where people know I process emotions internally instead of externally, when I do verbalize what I feel… well, it’s not trusted or understood. Does that make sense? Probably not.
Here’s another analogy: You’re the popular girl at high school and you’ve made wearing pink the “it” thing to do. Everyone expects you to come to school in pink. One day, you decide to wear black and while friends see that you are wearing black, they think you are still wearing pink socks under your black pants or that you are wearing black as some joke on the goth kids. The point of you wearing black (to show that you are diverse in your choices or to get a point across) is lost because you chose to wear pink every single day since freshman year of high school.
Poor B has to deal with me flip-flopping on how I address my emotions. One day, I am sharing every bit of my day with him. The next, I am locking myself in my bedroom or sitting in my closet so I could have a moment alone.
(And this is when I tell you the horrible story about how I once laid under my bed for six hours straight after a particularly long day at work. Nothing was inherently wrong. I just wanted to lay under the bed and soak in the quiet and dark.)
But, the truth is that interactions drain me. Right now, if someone was asking, I’d say my stress level was at an 8 out of 10.
Why so high? I HAVE NO IDEA. All I can say is that my time around people has increased. And while none (except for a few dim moments) have been negative experiences, being around people for an extended period has turned me in to a complete crab-person. I’m emotional and uneven tempered, and I really just want to sit in my shell and listen to dance music (yes, I know…) till I feel better.
So, fellow introverts, how do you deal with your extroverted love ones? Are they soul-sucking hell beasts, too? Or are they understanding, lovers of crab people?