Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Focus on My Mental Health - pt. 26 - Introvert vs Extrovert

     I think everyone falls on that line between being an extrovert and an introvert.  They say that even introverts crave human attention from time to time, and yet, get worn out by it.  Extroverts, on the other hand, feed on that human interaction and the more they get the more they want.  That's why many who are extroverted are self-centered oftentimes because they just want to be the focus of attention.  (Not to say extroverts can't be loving, caring, devoted people, because many of them actually pay more attention to others to keep conversations going.)
     Introverts, to a lesser extent, are also self-centered, but mostly because they reflect internally upon themselves more than on others.  Mind you, these self-reflecting creatures can also learn to look outward and care about others as well, and they know the right questions to ask and the best topics to keep others talking, so they don't have to carry a conversation!
     I wonder about myself, and if an extrovert can actually be made into an introvert by simply being made to think that way about themselves.  Could I actually be an extrovert that has just been so coddled over the years that I can't help but get worn out by social interaction?

     The reason I'm writing about this today was because of a thought I had yesterday on my way to lunch with one of my friends.  I had been sitting here at the computer wondering what I was going to accomplish for the rest of the day and also feeling lonely.  After an anxiety-ridden moment, I dropped my friend a message to see if she was going to be free for lunch since she had the day off of work.  Well over a half-hour passed and I did as most anxious people do, I clarified what I meant by meeting... Only if she was free, only if it wasn't out of her way, that sort of thing.
     Then my anxious brain took over and I started thinking about being turned down again.  I keep getting turned down for doing things with people.  I ask if people want to get together, I'm asked whether I want to join someone and when I say yes, they say nevermind.  Things like that make my brain just start really messing with me.
     Take for example today, (I know I'm going on a rabbit trail here) but a friend said they weren't planning on looking at my shop today because they're saving money for this weekend but maybe next week... and I went into a pit of endless Facebook scrolling for a half hour and deleted the entire blog entry I'd already started.  So... yeah, it really messes with someone.  I crawled out of my hole fairly quickly, but I'm still in that place of, 'no one likes me'.
     So, that was my thought, because I realize that even though I've spent most of my life thinking I was introverted, most of the people IN my life thought I was extroverted.  And I, when I get to start hanging out with people, really want someone to hang out with all the time.

     I don't think my friends realize that as they're having all of this fun with other friends, I'm feeling very left out.  I want to have friends with them and their friends.  I'd like to be invited once in a while.  I have so little human interaction lately since I lost my job that I'm going batty here in the house.  I'd really like to be able to get out and do things and talk to people besides my husband and the groups of people that come over once in a while. 
     I spent about eight to ten years after I moved into a new city having very few friends.  I'd met a few people at work from time to time, but after a while realized that no one wanted to do anything with me outside of work.  While other co-workers were going out to lunch together, I was having a packed lunch all by myself in the breakroom.  When others were doing quilting get-togethers after work, I was going home to watch TV and be miserable.  It took a LONG time to get friends again who would want to do things with me again.
     And now that I have a few friends, I'd really like to spend more time with them.  I'd like to go out on the weekends and be asked to go out to lunch.  But, it doesn't happen.  I crave for it to happen, but it's so rare to be asked... and yet this craving doesn't go away.

     So, I might have a tinge more extrovert in me then everyone I know has thought over the years.  I think they believe I'm introverted and I'm completely happy just staying at home and doing things on the internet and not having a job.

     It's actually quite miserable.

     At least for me.  I think a couple other friends I know who don't have jobs are doing okay.  They have their bad moments, but I think overall they don't seem to be miserable by not working.  Unlike me who thrives on hard work and lots to do and maybe that's why these last five months have been so hard on me even though at first I thought it was going to be a great thing.
     I think I really needed all of that social interaction throughout the day, really needed that so I could just go home and relax and be introverted the rest of the time.  But I got that attention, I got the talking out of the way, I got to spend time with my friends, and even though we don't do anything with one another the rest of the time, it was okay when it was like that.

     So, am I really introverted or extroverted?  I have no idea.

     But maybe we're all on both sides a little bit and it just depends on how we're leaning each particular day.

     Meanwhile, on a whole different topic, I'm almost off all of the medications I had been taking.  I'm just sorta wondering what it will feel like to be off all of the fake stuff I keep putting into my body.  I'm still really worried about going off birth control (I never really needed it to keep me balanced, just to make things easier with my husband...)  I know I'm going to be worried again but at least I can see if any of this depression or numbness was because of the pills.  I guess only time will tell.

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