I make no apologies for being on the introverted side of the personality spectrum. Not to say that sometimes I don’t wish I was more extroverted. That I could walk into a room of people like I own it, say hello to everyone, have endless conversations and be the life of the party, the simple fact is, I find it draining.
In the last few weeks, I’ve noticed a cycle. Not that it hasn’t been there before but this time I have actually taken note. My housemate (and good friend) always wanted us to take the same two days off a week together. In her mind I think she thought this was a fantastic idea. We could hang out, do activities (which there are plenty of), spend the “weekend” together….. for her this sounded amazing. For me, I couldn’t find enough excuses to NOT have the same days off. 1 day fine but 2! Nuh-uh….. couldn’t do it. Why? Because I always need at least one day or most of it to myself. A little bit of ME time to relax, recharge, not talk to anyone and generally put the “Do Not Disturb” sign up. Sometimes it’s not even about alone time, it’s simply about being able to do what you want without having to answer to anyone. No commitment (but that’s a whole separate conversation).
Now after this little bit of what most extroverts would say is selfish me time, I am awesome! Ready to take on the world, bubbly, happy, open to conversation and quite frankly hilarious! All after my morning coffee of course! Day 2 I’m still going strong, still open to conversation, and still happy to be distracted and interrupted from my work. Wednesday (day 3) is where the tipping of the scale starts to occur. If on Wednesday I get a little bit of time away from the bustling world, then all is peachy and we keep travelling through the week but if I haven’t had a second to myself or a moment to breathe then the downward spiral begins.
As the days go on, I feel myself starting to get more grumpy, less interactive, and small interruptions start to bug me. Slowly the urge to slap people rises, the monosyllabic answers start flowing and if you’re not careful you’ll get a head shake, an eye roll and a sigh. Keep pushing me and while I’m not a “yell-er” I will potentially turn in to the most sarcastic person you’ve ever met and not in a good way. And so it goes until I get some space and time to rejuvenate away from the frantic world. Sometimes a trip to the gym, a run in the rain or an hour of watching cheesy youtube videos is all it takes to get me back into conversational mode but sometimes it takes a day away with no interruptions to halt the increasing desire to slap people upside the head!!
So a word of warning to the extroverts of the world, when someone takes time to disappear into their own world, shut the door and put the “Do Not Disturb” sign up, don’t go and force an interaction or conversation. You may just get your head bitten off. Don’t take it personally and don’t assume something’s wrong. Hang out for a while, enjoy your own personal space for a bit and enjoy the peace because when that little introvert comes back out, they’ll be ready to party (at least for a little while).