I’m not a bitch.
Or stuck up.
I don’t hate people.
I’m not trying to be rude.
I’m not even shy.
I’m an introvert.
I need my alone time.
It’s what energizes me.
What gives me the best time to think.
I can talk to people. In fact, I adore public speaking.
I can be quite outspoken, especially when I have a strong opinion about something.
I’ll chat with a friend for hours. Though I’ll admit I really relish those friends who understand that we don’t have to fill every moment with chatter and that there’s comfort in being able to be together and not talk.
If I know I’m going to be in large group setting, I prepare myself.
I think about why I’m there- whether it’s something for work or blogging or something like a holiday party or even a child’s birthday party. If I’m there to learn or to network or to celebrate someone else or if it’s just because I don’t hate people so I do want to get out of my house and socialize.
And I do actually enjoy myself. I do want to be around other people. To talk with friends, to meet new people, to be a part of a party.
But I know there will come a point when I’ll just be done.
That it’s not that someone irritated me or that I feel like I’m too good to associate with the people around me or that I have somewhere better to be.
It’s that I have this internal limit of how long I can be “on” and when I hit it, I shut down.
I need the quiet.
If I’m able, I’ll politely excuse myself and head where I can get that alone time.
But sometimes I can’t leave. So I get very, very quiet.
Sometimes I continue to listen to what is going on around me and other times, I simply retreat into myself and try to tune out all the noise.
I might become intensely focused on my meal if I’m out at a big group dinner. Or maybe I’ll rest my head against a window and close my eyes if I’m on a loud bus. Or I’ll step away from a group and whip out my phone(yes, sometimes I’m the girl reading on her phone at a party. Though I can say I’m checking in on work- which is often true anyway).
People who are energized by crowds might not get this.
Why wouldn’t I make the most of every gathering by being right with everyone all the time?
But that’s just not how I run.
If I don’t take some time for the quiet, I’ll get drained.
So I’ve learned not to mind that some will misinterpret my actions. I can’t control what other people think. Though I’ll admit that I hope that some do get it.
Because I’m doing what I need to do to take care of myself by stepping away to find the quiet.