In the Company of Myself

Oh, the joys of being an extrovert! Easily blending in with people, the daunting task of starting a conversation slipping eloquently out of your tongue and never having to worry about the blatant restraints of your social life.

But are these superficialities all there is to being an extrovert? Are the jubilant smiles and the cordial gestures merely a façade to adequately disappear into a blanket of self-doubt?

Now, I wouldn’t really know the answers to these questions; I am not what they call an extrovert.

While I like the occasional gatherings where I meet new and interesting people and dwell a little on humanity in general, and I very much appreciate my existing social circle filled with diverse and beautiful people; I still would much rather be binge watching episodes of Friends than going to an overcrowded and overrated party.

I have continually been told by my parents—ever since I hit my pre-teen aloof years—to get out of the safe confines of my house and, “just go to the living room and talk to the guests.” Or maybe to go outside and play under the sun, make some new friends in the process.

They find it a rather gagging site to see me by myself in a room with a laptop seemingly stuck to my thigh—as do some of my friends. They think I am lonely. Au contraire, I am very happily surrounded by me. I am my constant companion and I love being around myself. And no, this is most certainly not an egotistical thought.

This presumption that my parents and my friends create in their head of me being lonely is solely because they have a much stronger taste for people than I do. But what I wonder is, is there something wrong with me? Is my reluctance to go out as much as they do show that I am slowly drowning in an unfathomable ocean of introverts? Or is there something wrong with them?

I know some people who cannot stand to be alone. They get bored, start fidgeting and finally get out of that lonely cloud and go into a denser one with at least one smiling face. Is this over-socialization? Constantly talking to people, being outside your house for most of the time and never actually being in the company of yourself?

I believe that it is.

As much, as being “out there,” with others and living your life, is an important thing to do, we can’t truly do it if we have never been “out there,” with ourselves.

I need time to reflect upon my day, think about what I want, think about who I am as of now and who I was yesterday. These aren’t mere philosophical questions that I only deal with in my Theory of Knowledge classes. These are questions of everyday life that I must answer for myself. And the only way to do this is to listen to myself.

In the next few months, I would like to increase my social activities; I would like to step out my room a little bit more than I do and push a little bit of my comfort zone so that it can expand to a shape I want it to be. But at the same time, I want to enjoy the company of myself.

Life is all about balance, and overdoing anything is just tipping the scales into an inevitable fall.
Photo Credit: kirti Mawale via Compfight cc

  1. I feel you, completely. I spent many hours alone, happily alone, in my room as a young girl — journaling, writing, playing piano (that was venturing out for me), listening to music (to be honest, I was deconstructing the lyrics and studying the liner notes more than anything which I still do today). I did participate in sports: gymnastics (note, a solo sport), and shockingly, cheer (which drew on my gymnastics skills, mostly). Cheer back in the early 80s wasn’t like cheer today.

    I draw strength from quiet, still do.

    As a single mother of a teen girl and pre-teen son, I’m thankful my work allows me to be online primarily (author, book marketer, and book imprint director), but it wasn’t always that way. I moved across the country alone (which was kind of awesome but terrifying), I spent years in sales and marketing and while I did well, I hated it. Facing people every day, putting on my ‘extrovert face’ just about killed me (and I’m serious — I became severely anxious and depressed).

    Baby steps is a great plan for you! Moving and jobs are big steps; travel is a great way to see amazing sights and still come back to your sanctuary. I wish you well, fellow introvert traveler. <3

  2. Donna Raye Hutchison Deverna


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