This post is a reply to a comment posted in response to an article on The Introvert’s Way column column
on the PsychologyToday.com website. It deals with the First the original comment:
Now my response:
Very encouraging to read your comments and they were particularly poignant coming from a self-described extrovert.
I used to be terrified to sit in a fast food restaurant alone, for fear everyone was watching and pitying me. Then in college, I just decided, “Dammit, I got 4 hours in-between these classes and I gotta eat!” So I started with false confidence. Then I began to notice how people who looked completely comfortable eating alone behaved and just mimicked them.
The stigma attached to loners stems back to our embedded social evolution where the anti-social tribe member was the outcast and a threat to the tribe–whether as some mysterious antagonist threat or as a proof that one can thrive without the tribe, thereby rendering its existence invalid—at least for some.
Even as I’m writing this I’m realizing I haven’t been able to think this clearly to write since having a family member move in with me.
I’m just one of those people who can’t function when in the presence of others for worry that I have some obligation to them–be it practical or just a simple social awareness of their presence out of respect of their humanity. Hence, I’m not able to function as myself and participate in the activities that keep ME whole and satisfied.
Not all of us need all of the rest of us to achieve a feeling wholeness.
I still feel a small amount of uneasiness when out doing things in public that most people do with a group or at least one other person. I’ve missed more than a few movies I’ve wanted to see in the theater because I couldn’t get one of my kids or grandkids to go with me, but I’m a whole lot older now, and I really don’t have to care what people think of me.