Despite having the ability to talk your face off, I am extremely shy, and introverted and am hyper sensitive. I talk a lot because I try to compensate for the fact that I am so shy. My brain moves faster than my tongue can form the words - and sometimes I just talk, without thinking, because I think that I must speak. Luckily the people that count think this feature is incredibly endearing. I also have extreme anxiety when it comes to engaging in social situations where new or unfamiliar people are involved. The ironic part of this is that I love new experiences, travelling, and I like people from a distance. My social interaction over the past few years has diminished ever so slowly to the point now that when invited out, I'll find any way I can to get out of plans that I agreed to in the first place. I like knowing people are there for me to talk to, but I have trouble making the effort to nurture these relationships; it's half anxiety and half laziness.
There is a saying that the time of the lone wolf is over, which kind of freaks me out. I am not implying that I don't want social connection, but sometimes I wonder why these social interactions are necessary. I know that all living beings require social interaction, which I agree with - to a point. I have a small social group of people that I make significant connections with, it's not that there is no room to make new connections but making connections with others has always been difficult. Not to say that I'm cliquey, but...I am. Totally.
According to the Myers - Briggs personality locater, I am an INFP. I react to situations based on my feelings. I'm of course introverted, and I find myself tremendously drained when I have to hang out with others that I have no feeling of a "future" of our relationship. My friendships are curated very intensely. While I say I'm not cliquey, I am. I am totally cliquey. Not to say that others aren't worthy of my time or attention, what I'm saying is I don't waste my time on people who I don't get a good feeling from. I increasingly have little time for time wasters, and I certainly don't want to waste anyone else's time.
I much prefer small groups of people, and even better yet, communicating with people on line. I have no problem spending days on end alone. There is a point when it can get lonely, but then I think about contacting someone and I become exhausted, and then I go back to being content being "alone".
Even looking at the words "alone", "dependency", "introversion/extroversion", and "one" they imply so much, and are words that exist separately in different contexts. Within my spiritual practise I prefer to be physically alone, mentally/spiritually, however, I do feel connected on a profound basis, and not on the basis of feeling resentment or any kind of exhaustion.My social interaction (my "safe"social interaction) is primarily on line. I allow myself to meet and connect with others, share ideas, and engage in a socially creative environment, but in effect, I am "alone". When I am physically with other people I feel a kind of separateness that lately has left me feeling alone and desperate for connection but also exhausted at the thought of physical togetherness. I am often at my most powerful when I am alone. Despite this empowerment of being alone - physically - I've been seeing more and more messages within the spiritual community that we are at our most powerful or whatever when we make those connections with others.
My partner is an extrovert through and through (however, like all of us, there is another side of him that requires "his time".) and I am true introvert (ha, except for those years when I was going out 4-5 days a week feeding off the attention I could get while single - see again, that "other side" we all have is apparent). The thought of "trying" to look good, or being around people I only kind of know reduces me to a full on anxiety attack and fully embracing the banshee within (yes, screaming and crying, and obviously pissing off my partner). I get so comfortable and I feel so safe in the bubble that we have created. To anyone who doesn't know me, it would look like I have intense dependency issues - however, after reading Teal Scott's blog on what dependency actually is - I also share the view that "dependency" is just a reflection that your needs are not being met. I'm not using that as an excuse to be a raging cunt either; my raging anxiety filled state is a reflection of feeling unsafe with others, not trusting others, and feeling put upon when it comes to being around people I really don't want to be around. It's extremely liberating to not do things you don't want to do in the first place, which makes having to go out hugely difficult for me, because I end up going out of the need to not be seen as selfish. I have been accused of being selfish many times - when it couldn't be farther from the truth; the way I look at it is, why put other people in your war path of anxiety and a false sense of duty? Why bring that energy into a situation that should other wise be "fun". Instead of others seeing it from that perspective, I've often had others call me a spoil sport, negative, and of course selfish. I'm not trying to be a martyr either, the point is asking: why bring that energy into a space? Why create shame and guilt for not going when any social activity would be more enjoyable without that energy. Don't confuse how you interact with someone on an person to person basis to how that person interacts on a person to many people basis. Just because I click with one or a few people in one setting doesn't mean that same connection or interaction will be replicated in a scenario that is absolutely different (ie a party with more people).
All of that said doesn't mean that I don't want connection - I absolutely do, but I'm on a journey of how to achieve that connection without the crippling anxiety. I feel like I'm becoming a lot more attuned to this aspect of my personality lately, because I live in a city that is pretty flash and very image centric. As chilled out as some aspects are it is very difficult to make meaningful connections. The most meaningful connections that I've made since moving to Sydney have been on line. I have yet to make any connections where I can feel like I'm not bothering someone if I attempt to socialise or chat. But, like I said the this solitude is much more "at home" than forcing myself to be around others when I don't want to be.