If you’re like me in your ways, then you too have probably been accused of being anti-social/ not loving of your fellow humans. When in fact, you may also be like me and love people (mostly!) and love socialising. So why the accusations and assumptions?
People have a tendency to judge anything that’s different. I think we all do to some extent without even meaning to. I think that’s just part of the way we are as a collective race – the way we’ve been raised, the way we run our societies and the way we live in them. We all have perceptions of how life should be lived, and we can’t understand it when people don’t live their life in our way.
Because of this, I felt a lot of pressure growing up. When you’re quieter than your peers, or you prefer to be alone sometimes, you’re labelled as anti-social/ shy/ an odd-ball. And it’s only now that I’m completely comfortable in my introverted personality that I can see how backwards and wrong that is. Why should my contentedness in being by myself mean that I must be lonely? Why should my need to recharge after socialising mean that I’m anti-social?
The answer? It doesn’t.
What it means is that I operate in a way that may be different to how you operate, or it may be similar. It means that I’m a individual with a distinct personality. I think it’s tremendously sad that we’re encouraged to be ourselves, and then that’s contradicted with phrases like “you must be going crazy by yourself” and “you need to get out more.” If you’re somebody who thinks or says those kinds of things, then I’d like to tell you something: I’m happy. I’m the happiest I have ever been in my life, because I get to live my life in my own way. I don’t have to use up all of my energy with socialising and then have nothing left for everything else in my life. Instead, I get to reserve that energy for the people that I love – the people who fill my heart with happiness and make me laugh so much that I snort. And I think that’s much better than seeing them in my zombified-I-need-a-break-from-humans state.
I love meeting new people, and sharing stories and connecting with them. And just because that takes some of my energy instead of replenishing it, it doesn’t mean that I love people any less than you do.