There are days when solitude is
a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom,
others when it is a bitter tonic,
and still others when it is a poison
that makes you beat your head against the wall.
Okay all you introverts, hang with me through this first idea and I will get back to you on the second.
I am an extrovert. I will continue when the loud haws of feigned disbelief subside. It’s just the truth of it – I love talking, interacting, sharing, watching, knowing, being around people. I am fairly certain it is deep-rooted inside of my DNA.
I was in my 30’s before I even began to consider the benefits of occasionally choosing solitude. And there are many. It hasn’t been until very recently that I have been able to participate in this foreign art and enjoy its fruits. In this age of constant connectivity and information availability, even the introvert can constantly surround himself with people with minimal effort.
There is a lost appreciation (or in my case an unknown one) for that time you spend with that one person you need to know best – yourself. Developing an understanding of another person takes intention and focus with little distraction. Keeping in touch with your inner compass is no different.
Alrighty introverts, idea two. Because our preferences change and adjust from time to time, does not make a statement on our devotion or character. It is painful to watch a dynamic person continually attempt to keep themselves in a static box because of expectations – either from themselves or others. I find it amazing when folks who adore and celebrate diversity and eclecticism everywhere else fail to see the beauty of it in themselves.
Like to be alone today, with a whole gaggle tomorrow and a few close friends the day after that? Great – all normal. There is nothing wrong with a varying desire for interaction. It does not make you a loner, attention starved, elitist, unable to be by yourself, uncomfortable in your own skin, wishy washy, recluse – or any other label others attempt to put on you so they can feel more comfortable with the dynamic.
Today, I encourage you to take inventory of your own inner dialogue. Do you talk with yourself enough? Do you listen? Do you allow for the time you need to check in with your inner compass to ensure you are still tracking? Yes? Great. Move forward into your next interaction at whatever level that might be. No? Great (there is no judgement here). Consider if this is the best course of action. If it works, beautiful. If not, take that time for yourself and go ahead and decide upfront that you are not going to let other people’s perception of this move throw you off your game.
Thanks for the coffee…