Prompt: how being am introvert/ extrovert influences your life

I am very much an introvert, frequently assumed to be an extrovert. This weekend is a perfect example. I pretty planned a 3 day weekend to myself on purpose. As much as I would t mind breaking it up a little by spending some time with friends, I’m pretty attached to my couch, flannel pjs and dog. I do feel a little like I am missing out on something and wasting time. On the other hand, I really, really, really need the quiet time of doing nothing.

Why am I mistaken for being an extrovert? Because when I know people I am chatty and turn into the room comedian. Therefore, it’s assumed I am extroverted. If I don’t know people, I am not going to speak unless spoken to. I will go to a bar surrounded by people and scroll through my phone or write but I don’t speak unless someone else goes first. I’m not there to get my energy. Socializing is an ok benefit but not my goal. I have different goals for being there depending on my mood but it’s never about extroverting.

For a living, I read people and try to steer them in the right direction via tactics which only speak to them on an individual basis. I am also an empath so my body literally absorbs the room I walk into and my mood is quickly influenced by the vibe I pick up. I know something is wrong without any word being said. I pick it up from a glance, a hand movement, a tic…all the things most people never register. I see them and start encoding them. It makes me tired.

I need my down time to re- generate myself and be able to get back to Monday morning with my full self available to others’ needs. It really is a process. For awhile, I was keeping myself so “booked” with appointments, gym classes, errands, etc that I didn’t have down time on weeknights and then headed straight for the Cape in weekends where I am not alone. In essence, I think I have been trying to not have time to feel things or I am trying to make the ennui of my life go by faster so that maybe I notice it less. But I’m pretty tired all of a sudden and have been really enjoying time alone in my house with my dog. It’s pretty hard to get off the couch actually.

I shower and wear clean clothes because feeling good is part of my process. I love long, hot showers. That time is a little meditative for me. I like to be makeup free on weekends (which means seeing no one) so my acne can heal properly. When you have anxiety, one thing it’s hard to do is to not obsess about something like nail chewing, hair twirling, skin picking…you name it…an anxious person has something obsessive. I constantly look for zits and blackheads. I have bought really useless gadgets designed to suck out the impurities but they never work. I just spent 4 weeks anxiously waiting for one $30 purchase in the mail. Every day I looked at my front step on my way into the parking lot at night hoping to see the package. The day it finally arrived I was rushing Fergus through his bathroom trip so I could run upstairs and suck the madness out of my face. Didn’t work. So, I am bare faced today trying to give the abrasions a breather before I cover them in 5 levels of foundation for work on Monday. You read that right. 5 different cover ups on my face every day for the past 6 months.

I basically need down time and quiet to rest my brain and my body. For a good chunk of the time I am anxious that I should be spending my time better…that my future husband could be somewhere between my Bed & Bath or Market Basket errands I almost ran today but flaked on last minute. Or that I could be trying harder to make plans with friends or I should have taken the time to research inexpensive weekend vacations. At least on vacation I am out and about for full days, not returning to my hotel until it’s time to sleep. That kind of introversion is useful and productive which doesn’t make me feel guilty or FOMO.

I should be at a town holiday stroll supporting local businesses and watching a tree lighting but it seems super silly to do alone. I’d just end up in a bar which isn’t a bad thing but it isn’t a good thing either. Having the dog is a good excuse to go nowhere. He is so happy to have me around. He can’t get enough of laying on top of me while he sleeps. It’s very sweet and hard to walk away from. In fact, maybe the only other thing this introvert could sometimes use is a lap to curl up on myself where someone just strokes my hair or rubs my back until I fall asleep…something which makes me feel warm and safe and yet un-obligated. My batteries could use a little help at times. But absent of the Herculean effort it would take to find that, the dog and a great pair of knee high socks certainly suffice.