Authors note: “This is the first post in a series about introversion and how that is affected by different things. Over the last month and a half, I have intentionally put myself outside of my comfort zone. So, this series will focus on what happened and my experience. I’ll do it so you don’t have to. But I am hoping that my experiences will encourage you to take the first step outside of your comfort zone because that is how you grow.” #outsidemybubble
At the beginning of this school year I, accidentally, made a new friend. He is an extrovert. I grew up with five extroverts, I’ll be fine. With extroverts, it is all about doses. If you can getaway.
This extrovert is one of the ones that really does know everyone on campus. So, hanging out with him means I started to actually get to know people and even worse they started to know me. I had lost some of my invisible nature.
I now have a group of “friends” and it is a rather interesting experience. I can honestly say that I have never really been a part of a group. It is exhausting. This past weekend, I spent way too much time with people. I was with people almost 100% of the time that I was awake.
Now, as an introvert, spending this much time with people (especially groups of them) for any amount of time is taxing. They were interesting but I am paying for the interactions now.
I am normally a morning person (this is a little bit off because of college but I tend to go to sleep by 11 pm). However, I stayed up to 2:30 am on Friday and got up at 1:30 pm on Saturday. This is highly abnormal and I know exactly why I needed the extra sleep.
I feel like every drop of energy has been drained from my body and all I want to do is sleep for 24 hours and stay away from humans for as long as possible.
So, are friends worth it? Are groups even an option, for an introvert?
I have found that there are people that do not drain me, they do exist (and I have found some lovely ones). These are the people that I gravitate towards. There are some who I deem “blood-sucking energy vampires.” I try to avoid them at all costs. This semester I made friends with an extrovert like that and I had to push her away because it was too much.
It is great to have non-draining extroverts but not in groups. Unfortunately, they like to be in groups. Groups are an option but in moderation. You must be aware that you will feel drained after any interaction, and I am sure you are already aware of this. Do not overdo it. Even if you find people that are not super draining, take care of yourself and do not overdo it. You will pay and be completely wiped out like I am right now. It will take weeks for me to be myself again.
Boundaries are necessary and usually something that I am good at. However, I have been in a mode and mindset of growth. This means I am letting people into my life and although this is a healthy and good thing, it can be draining so awareness is key.
Not every group of people is completely exhausting but the time spent with any group needs to be offset with alone time, or you will sleep for ages.
Do you feel drained by people? Are there people that you feel like you can talk to forever without feeling drained?
Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.
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-Evi. L. Holmes