If at times,
I am quiet…
I seem tuned out..
I’ve taken space…
I am unavailable…
you’ve seen me out alone…
I’ve missed a call or text…
I didn’t attend that social function…
Don’t take it personal…
And don’t count me out—

For me, the worst part about being an introvert is dealing with new friendly encounters and hoping people understand and respect my position, rather than consider me depressed, socially awkward or not interested. Not everyone can adapt to the metaphysical being of an introvert.  It takes a lot to understand that we need time and space from the world to re-energize without extroverts taking it personally; something that almost never happens. Isn’t it obvious when our friends take it personal? The calls and texts to hang out slow down or they find new friends. The saying, “it’s not you; it’s me,” is so applicable here yet, rarely honored.

In hindsight, I exuded the behaviors of an introvert almost every day of my life. It was only within the last five years that I slapped “the label” on it. For years, I thought I wore the mask of an “extroverted introvert” for the comfort of others. I pretended to be entertained and engaged until I’d reach the social slumber stage. Eventually I realized that staying in a moment where I’m no longer present because all I could think about was the perfect time to escape to my safe haven and fill my slowly-draining social reserve, did not serve me.  The relationships or experiences I thought I was salvaging by fighting to stay active and present in that single moment, did not serve me.   Staying in those situations often lead to constant questioning like, “Are you okay?” or, “you need to loosen up.”

Today, I know that anything is possible as long as I keep my boundaries and balance my time between myself and others. I’m learning my groove and what works for me in this somewhat new lifestyle. So friends, don’t fall back; don’t allow the invites or interest to die. We’re around and the love is the same. Sometimes we’re just out filling our reserve.

Can you relate?