Introvert Exhaustion

While there are different understandings of what it means to be an “introvert,” I have enjoyed the increasing popularity of defining introversion as a tendency to lose energy through social interaction.

Personally, I would consider myself an introvert – a definition which seems to increasingly take people by surprise as I get older.

When I was younger I would go long stretches without speaking to anybody – my sister used to tell people I was mute – so, I suppose, the label of introversion didn’t seem so surprising then.

As a young professional, I had to actively develop small-talk skills. I worked on the 12th floor of a building so I made a rule for myself – anytime there was someone else in the elevator, I had to talk to them.

And somewhere along the line, I suppose, I’ve become downright gregarious.

But I would still consider myself an introvert.

Social interaction has gotten easier, sure, but it’s still just…exhausting.

Age and practice have made it easier for me to quickly articulate an idea, and I no longer worry too much about what others will think about what I have to say. I get a kick out of chatting with strangers on the street.

But I would still consider myself an introvert.

And there’s a special type of exhaustion that comes from that. It’s normal to be exhausted when you’re busy, its normal to be exhausted from the work. But I find I am fundamentally exhausted by social interaction in a special way I can’t quite explain.

I enjoy talking with others. I enjoy learning from others. And I enjoy spending time with others.

But. I can listen better when I have listened to silence. I can learn better when I have learned from nothing.

Solitude serves.


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