Always recharge the batteries

Shamelessly stolen borrowed from Carey's blog

Carey had a post from a while back (that is to say, more than a month ago- an eternity in Internetz time) on the need for introverts to be alone:
But there are days. Ah, yes. There are days. Days where I wish to retract into a shell permanently. Or I long to go back to a time when a man could find some peace and quiet easily and without the noise and bustle of this modern world. I wish for the ability to pick up stakes and move to a country where I may quickly become lost to the world at large and spend my time pondering. Pondering and experimenting. Tinkering with ideas and concepts without having to constantly explain that I am not at the moment grumpy, nor am I intending to be unfriendly, nor rude or shy or anything else that an introvert’s general demeanor can seem to be communicating to the average person. Like any other introverted person, I grow weary of the, “Are you ok?” questions. Most days, I just simply say, “Yes, I am fine.” But there are days. It is certain that no man is an island but an introvert like me could make fine, fine use of his own island. 
As I step back and look closer at this (what with it being “one of those days”) I can see plentiful causal factors. I work in Corporate America, now more akin to ‘Extrovert or Go Home’ territory... [W]hen an introvert has no autonomy—when he doesn’t actually have a place of his own, his own vehicle, etc.—then he feels dependent on others which means more interaction with others which means less energy left at the end of the day in his “people reserves” tank which he must refill often in order to thrive in this world... 
On days like today there remains only one feasible choice for an introvert in an extrovert world: push on through it anyway.
As Carey indicates, the fact is that introverts understand extroverts quite well. We understand that extroverts have a constant, pathological need for validation, companionship, and human contact. Without it, they lose their ability to function in society.

Extroverts, however, do not even remotely understand introverts. This is why dealing with them is such a colossal pain for us. We are forever being asked, "why do you seem so serious today?", or, "Are you OK? You seem tired.". My least favourite one is, "hey, I really need you to look into this- oh, sorry, were you doing something else? Well can you take a look anyway?"

This is tedious and tiresome for those of us who thrive on quiet and solitude. It is distracting, irritating, and ultimately quite uncomfortable; in fact it is normal for a deep introvert to simply "shut down" at the end of the day and become almost completely unresponsive to external stimuli if he is exposed to this for too long. Requiring an introvert to attend back-to-back meetings and conference calls is a surefire way to tire him out to the point where he becomes nearly catatonic for several hours.

As Carey says, this is the world we live in. We cannot change it unless we become self-sufficient and independent to the degree that we never need to work in corporate environments or deal with people on anything other than our own terms. Most deep introverts will not get to that point, for a variety of reasons- we like what is familiar and what is comfortable, after all. That does not mean that an introvert should ever ignore the warning signs.

I have to deal with an extroverted co-worker in my current job. I get along quite well with him. Like me, he is smart, technically gifted, experienced, and talented. Unlike me, he likes to talk about this, that, and the other- conversations that I cannot be bothered with because they are of exactly zero interest to anyone other than him. Because he likes to talk, I find my "social batteries" going flat after just five minutes of interaction. The problem is, I work in a technically challenging job that requires that my mind is sharp and my ideas are sound. I cannot do this if my mind is fatigued from the mere act of socialisation.

Whenever you find this happening to you, take immediate action to get away from the source of stress. Go for a walk. Make a cup of tea- for you Americans I suppose it would be coffee, or whatever hackneyed, paint-thinner substitute that you people call coffee. Step outside and enjoy a few minutes of bright sunshine. Whatever it takes, disengage, politely but firmly, and spend some time by yourself. If you do not do this, your ability to function as a human being will rapidly be destroyed.

This tendency that deep introverts have of being very susceptible to quick depletion of "social stamina", if you will, is probably what holds most of us back in most areas of our lives. Our basic and most profound desire is to be left alone. Therefore, we do very little to break out of our shells, to go to new places and experience new things. This flaw in our genetic programming, if it is indeed a flaw (I am not convinced it is), also tends to prevent us from taking full advantage of the dysfunctional nature of today's dating scene, where confident and independent men are doing better than ever, while weak and uncertain men are doing worse than ever.

None of this can serve as an excuse for inaction. If there is something in your life that is not as good as you think it could be, your only recourse is to put in the time and effort required to improve it. You cannot do this, however, if you ignore your basic nature as a deep introvert- if you do, you will fail.

So if your goals require that you engage more with other people, for whatever reason, then always set aside some time both before and afterwards to recover and regroup. My outlet is the gym and the kitchen, where I can do pretty much whatever I want and no one can bother me.

Find that outlet, and use it to recharge whenever necessary. It is critical to your health and well-being that you do so.


  1. Introverts understand extroverts much more than extroverts understand introverts in the same way the smart understand the stupid a lot better than the stupid understand the smart.


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