Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wednesday Factoid: Alone

Today's Wednesday Factoid is: Do you like being alone?

Wow, short answer is YES.

Part of it has to do with the fact that most of my favorite activities are solitary. And when I'm interacting with people through electronic means, it's nice because I can still exchange ideas with people without their actual company. I just get sort of worn out by being around people, even though I might like the individual people quite a lot.

Me after several days of nonstop social activity
I also really like having my own space, and having other people in it can mess with me if it goes on too long. I'm reasonably tolerant of houseguests and visitors for about two or three days. After that, my tolerance wanes (at different rates depending on the person and the other circumstances). I seem to do better with handling the frustration of not being able to be alone if I am traveling. For some reason being in someone else's home makes me less territorial about privacy or attention. Maybe my brain likes to treat visitors as invaders, but doesn't feel as strongly about it when I'm the invader.

My friend Jeaux is pretty similar. He says he particularly likes our relationship because it is predictable; we get together at the same time every week and the amount of time we spend together is predefined, and I don't demand his attention at other times or drop in on him. He is able to prepare himself to interact, have a great time, and then be finished with that to go on to the next thing. Having to interact longer than intended or at an unexpected time stresses him out. I'm pretty much the same.

I'm an introvert who still loves people individually and appreciates (reasonably limited) time with loved ones. I've noticed that some people interpret my situation as maladaptive; that somehow because I enjoy alone time, it must be because I'm avoiding social interaction due to something I need to get over to be happier. I'm not sure what causes people to demonize solitude like that. It's just so silly. Most people get this, but there are those who don't, and insist on shaming me for enjoying being alone since they can only conceive it as escapism.

It would be neat if there was less tendency to project in the world.

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