7 In Mental Health/ Self-care

To Be Social I Need to Also Be Antisocial

A simple life. That’s what I want.

As an introvert, I’ve always craved solitude, so much so I’ve been considered antisocial.

With my head permanently stuck in a book from an early age, I loved nothing more than my company and the warmth of a cosy blanket.

Jumping forward 30 years, I find I need solitude almost as much as I need air. I need it to survive. I also need it for my health and sanity (otherwise, I might just go troppo). Honestly, without my beloved ‘me-time, I border on hulk-like behaviour, threatening to turn into Ms Cranky Pants or The Ice Queen at the drop of a hat.

The irony isn’t lost on me that in order to be ‘social’ I need to also be ‘antisocial’.

I know that now after packing things into my life for years – work, networking events, catching up with friends, parties, volunteering and more…that only led to burnout, illness and depression. Oh, it also led to a deep-seated feeling of failure, weakness, and disappointment.

Instead of pondering the questions ‘Can we have it all’ we should be asking the more practical question ‘Can we do it all?’ – Sheryl Sandburg

I asked myself this a few years back after reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg, questioning if scaling back my life was my self-perceived ‘weakness was leading to me leaning out of life and not leaning in?

I’m happy I arrived at the conclusion I didn’t need it all and I certainly didn’t need to – or want to – do it all.

Yes, I wanted things. I wanted happiness. I also wanted good health, love and career satisfaction. BUT I didn’t need a kick-ass career in the corporate world, a volunteer position on a not-for-profit board on the side, other positions of ‘prestige’ AND invites to the ‘in’ networking events.

Nope. That wasn’t for me. A simple life. That’s what I want.

A simple life with bits of solitude, a lot of downtime, as well as time for reflection, writing, and peace. Admittedly it’s still a struggle. Life loves to test me with new opportunities and temptations, but I cannot deny that listening to my mind and body and its need for doses of solitude is exactly what I need – often.

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If you want to read more about being an introvert, read these:

I’m not weird. I’m just an introvert!

How have you changed in the last 5 years?

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  • Jennifer Wolfe
    August 5, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Solitude is so essential to my life…especially as I get older, I realize why I crave it so desperately. Thanks for the link up idea – I might try it!

    • Janine Ripper
      August 5, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Awesome stuff. I can’t wait to read you! Thanks for joining the group and connecting up 🙂

      Listening to that craving is oh so important! I denied it for years but embrace it these days!

  • Mackenzie Glanville
    August 5, 2015 at 8:26 am

    I feel you! I love how you say to be social you need to be anti-social I am exactly the same, glad you got this post out as I really enjoyed it #Fridayreflections

    • Janine Ripper
      August 5, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks I’m glad too! Painkillers yay!

  • sue
    August 5, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    As always a great post to read Janine. I love your work. I definitely need my ‘me time’ and think it is so important just to step away from the world for a while for mind and body. #FridayReflections.

    • Janine Ripper
      August 5, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks Sue, and most definitely!!!

  • Marie
    August 11, 2015 at 5:29 am

    I am exactly the same way. #introvertproblems

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