As per the Oxford Dictionary definition of Introvert:
A quiet person who is more interested in their own thoughts and feelings than in spending time with other people.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about how to make more meaningful relationships with others and why I don’t have a bigger circle of friends to call upon for coffee and brunch and whatever else people tend to do together.
My weekends and evenings are my own time, I work full time and as many of you know I work within Human Resources, which instantly halts the ability for relationships to be formed at work.
1. due to the potential conflicts of interest and the unprofessionality of befriending co-workers and managers.
2. Believe it or not, not many people want to be friends with people who work in Human Resources, just like i’d expect the Tax Man/Woman doesn’t have many friends…
Work can be quite draining for me as a person, as there is so much social interaction, I often use my evenings and weekends to refuel my energies and this is usually done through binge watching something on Netflix or engrossing myself within the pages of a good book. This is my way of keeping the balance, my way of allowing myself the power I need as an individual to deal with the heightened social interactions my daily work brings to me. These social interactions, meeting people for the first time (sometimes), stressors of work, make me incredibly fatigued; not because i’m stressed or can’t deal with these things, but because I am not an overly extroverted person. I hate over familiar personalities and I cannot deal with shit like ‘tell us your name and a bit about yourself’ on the spot. This sort of thing fills me with absolute angst.
My weekends are usually spent with no plans set in stone (just how i like it) with the ability to sleep until I wake and eat when I want and chilllllll to the max. Which is honestly my favourite way of weekending. When there are plans for my weekend, which is a rarity in itself, I worry throughout the week about who and what might happen at these plans and whether i’ll want to actually commit to the plans i’ve agreed to when the time comes. My evenings are spent similarly, with my boyfriend when he is not at work, doing our own thing. One of the best things about my relationship is there is absolutely no pressure to do anything at all. If I want to lounge all evening reading a book, he won’t force me out of the pages and in to the cold for a walk, (i mean – he wouldn’t dare) buttttt my point is he allows me to utilise my own time and do so how I see fit. The same goes for him though, if he wants to sit up all night playing his game I won’t be on his back about how he’s choosing to spend his time because I understand the importance of outlets and the need for your own time, and ultimately doing your own thing.
Would it be nice to open up the void and let a little variance in to my weekend? I think so, which brings me on to my main subject.
How hard is it for adults to make friends right?! Like honestly. You have people that you’ll always get a ‘like’ off on insta, or people that message you to celebrate your successes, but how do we turn these social media interactions into meaningful relationships? I don’t know, but it probably starts with courage, and putting yourself out there, which many of us aren’t willing to do, out of fear of being ridiculed or feeling like we’re ‘begging it’!
I always thought social media was supposed to enhance our social lives, but last New Year, I took 3 months off social media. It allowed me to see who was around and who wasn’t, who made an effort, and who didn’t, and who I wanted in my life going forward. I’m known for being quite brash at times, and in these instances, if something has got my goat, I will immediately cut people off. This mentality has come from years of taking people’s shit and never knowing when to stop, a few years ago, I decided things needed to change.
Around 2013, I was learning about ‘Self Worth’ and what that means to people, I started to manage people’s expectations from the beginning and be clear about what I would and would not tolerate because after all, transparency is key for me. People make mistakes, and sometimes let you down, and that’s okay, I am not above forgiveness or mistakes, however, when do you draw the line? When do you say enough is enough? How do you forgive and maintain your dignity as a person? To help me ascertain this conundrum, I chose the 3 strike rule. Simple, easy, logical. 3 strikes and you’re out!
This rule has not come without detriment to myself many a time, however my stubbornness and principle takes over. I will not be treated like an idiot. Easy as that.
So perhaps this is why my circle is small, because I set rules and regulations on my friendships, I manage expectations like you would a business proposal, I live in a world where principles mean so much to me, and perhaps my mind is too methodological in that sense.
With this being said, and as much as frequent socialisation might be lovely… The people I have in my life are so special, they’re more than friends to me at this point and i’d be lost without them. I’d never want to seem ungrateful for the incredible relationships I do have in my life, but I think it is important to be true and honest that as introvert as one may be, it is okay to be lonely sometimes and that’s just realistic. I love being alone, and it is probably one of my favourite things to do, however, I still feel that at times, it might be nice to step outside of my flat of wonders, to try something new – at least once in a while anyway!
I do not see weakness in my vulnerability and occasional loneliness, instead, I believe someone else may be able to relate to my disquietude. So if you’re out there, feeling similar at times, reach out, let me hear your thoughts, and let’s grab a coffee while we’re chatting!
Lots of Love, Lily.