I self-isolate a lot. I'd usually rather be by myself than with a group.

For years I blamed it on being an only-child and appreciating my "me" time. And that's still true.

In recent years I learned more about my personality style so I blamed it on being an introvert. While I can and often do have fun with big groups, while I can and often do find myself the center of attention and not freak out, and while I can and often do find myself talking to large groups of people, that's not where I go when I need to re-energize. I re-energize from being alone and being with myself. All that is still true.

However I also find some folks draining. And it's becoming clear to me that I attract the type of people who can be somewhat self-centered. I value having people in my life who are also genuinely interested in what's happening to me so I really notice when I have folks around me who aren't interested and maybe even a bit disgusted.

I spend my days being very empathetic and taking on folks problems. Part of what makes me a good counselor is being able to sense how a person is feeling even when they can't explain it. That is hard work and it is emotionally draining.

And I'm learning that simply saying that doesn't explain anything to anyone. That when you're already talking to someone who is only thinking about themselves, they have no room to consider how you feel. So since it feels like I can't educate the masses, I self-isolate. I avoid being in positions to have to accept yet another invitation, I don't pick up the phone, I wait to return phone calls and text messages and even emails.

I don't feel like I know anyone in my situation. Someone who values their alone time as much but who also has so many people who want their time and energy. I'm certainly not complaining that I have people who want to spend time with me (even if for many it's for personal gain) but that doesn't mean I have to always want to reciprocate.

NYE is coming up and I'm dreading it. I want to be at home by myself, but I already have so many folks who want me with them and the stress of figuring out how to not be stressed is too much...

1 comment:

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