September 16, 2013 at 12:41 am #42301KeParticipant
As someone who is intensely private and doesn’t like to share anything about feelings or emotions, why would you need to have people in your life? Especially if you’re the kind of person who is happier alone and doesn’t ever really think about keeping in touch with other people.September 16, 2013 at 7:54 am #42307JohnParticipant
You don’t need people in your life. With the proper training and discipline, you could become as ascetic and cut yourself off from the world completely to live in a cave for the rest of your life. It’s completely do-able. Lonely, boring, painful, stagnant, and does nothing to contribute to your own well-being or the well-being of others, but it’s do-able.
Although you don’t need people, you could consider wanting to having people in your life.
Having people in your life adds variety and spice. It makes life more interesting. People are fun! People can be the recipients of the love that you can give and in turn be sources of love. People help us learn and grow and we can help others learn and grow. Open hearted and open minded people can be there when we need to talk things out, bounce around ideas, solve problems, make a tough decision, and help us overcome challenges. Working together with others, we can be creative and create beautiful things – a family, a group of friends, a community, and a society.
You could cut yourself off completely from others, avoid any pain and suffering that they may inflict, but that comes with very high personal cost, a lot of self-sacrifice, and it denies the world all the wonder, joy, and beauty that you can potentially bring to others.
In short, people can be there to respond to you when you ask, “Why do you need people in your life?” 😉September 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm #42332LindsayParticipant
I think a more important question is why don’t you WANT anyone in your life? I am also private and I tend to be a home body. It’s where I’m content. I’m single, and am perfectly content with that as well. However, I do have some wonderful friends who get that I’m an introvert. I don’t make friends easily but the ones I make, I keep, even when we move to opposite ends of the globe. They enrich my life, make me laugh in ways I never imagined possible, love me when I screw up, allow me to be a better person by being there for them and loving them just as much when they screw up, etc. There are countless ways that I’m blessed to have them in my life.
You seem to base your desire to not be around anyone on your strong dislike of sharing your feelings and emotions. I’m not so great at those either; it’s a work in progress. But I think you need to ask yourself WHY you so intensely dislike sharing your feelings. In my experience, that often comes down to fear or shame. Fear of what people will think, fear that your feelings aren’t normal, that there is something wrong with you, that people will realize how weird you are, that you aren’t perfect, etc. And shame that people might figure out that you aren’t loveable.
None of those are true, of course. But a lot of us struggle with those thoughts. Part of the reason that I don’t share my feelings with many people is because, as an introvert, I prefer to work things out in my head first. I prefer to get a grasp on the situation, my options, my thoughts, before sharing them. That’s okay! But then I also sometimes still don’t share once I have a handle on everything because I’m afraid I’ll be judged. And that really comes down to my own sense of self-worth. And that is why I’m working on it.September 16, 2013 at 11:19 pm #42335KeParticipant
Thanks for the replies. For more clarification, the reason for not sharing emotions or wanting to be around people is that they’re tiring. Just being around them makes me feel drained and listless.September 17, 2013 at 3:56 am #42337LindsayParticipant
Being around large groups of people is exhausting for me. Sometimes it can be very fun, but it’s always tiring. So, I get that. I’m less exhausted one-on-one. But even then, I need a lot of time to myself. I’m not the kind of person who can be around people all the time. Do you have a job that requires you to be around people? If so, by the time you get off work, you might just be too tired to want to maintain friendships. If you simply don’t have any desire to have people in your life, then you don’t NEED them. You can definitely go off grid. Just keep in mind that your needs might change and fluctuate in life. You might be in a phase where you are exhausted around people and don’t want or need them. In a few years, you might desire the company of others. So, if it changes, be open to it. If it doesn’t and you’re content, more power to you 🙂September 17, 2013 at 7:17 am #42346JohnParticipant
Thanks for the clarification Ke.
So perhaps another good question to ask is, “How do we balance spending time with people with spending time alone?”
Both situations energize us and everybody’s thresholds / preferences are different. It’s not an either or situation, but just a question of finding the middle path.
By taking the time to become more self-aware, developing self-compassion, and confidence, we can feel more at ease and have more liberty declining invitations to spend time with people, being open to invitations to join in activities and attend events, and finding just the right spot between not enough and too much.
And as Lindsay mentioned, it also changes with time. Nothing stays permanent. Not even your preferences. Over the course of a day, a week, a month, a year, or decade, you can find yourself wanting to be more or less social. There is no right or wrong way. Only the way which feels right for you at any given moment or period in your life.
“If you wind the string too tight it will break and if you have the string too loose, there will be no music.” 🙂
September 17, 2013 at 8:46 am #42353MattParticipant
- This reply was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by John.
Perhaps the reason you’re feeling tired and listless is not inherent, and could untangle. When I read your words, it seems you are trying to avoid social situations because they are exhausting. Some people have found that it is not the social situation that is tiring, rather it is the generating and maintaining a “personality” that is tiring. Its like there we are, real and true, and then we create a mask of “what we feel comfortable being seen as” or “who we think they want to see” or “the acceptable one”. So we try to talk through the mask’s mouth, from the mask’s point of view. No wonder we get tired!
The question becomes not “why do we need other people in our life” but “why don’t I like myself very much?” and “why do I feel unaccepted?” These are the questions that produce the healing that allows us to be fueled by our environment. Whether that be a cave or a party, the vibrancy of beauty is there all around us, moving through us.
MattSeptember 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm #42361ladybugParticipant
I often feel the same, that people are draining and I want to be alone. Especially when, as currently, I feel I have put energy into a friendship and have not received the same consideration or energy back- whats the point if its just take take. I have since made the decision to only put that energy into the people I know would return it in similiar situations. This is a tricky one as there are times when you simply want to be alone. However along my spiritual life journey I have recently realized that I need other people around and to have meaningful relationships with them as it is these relationships that drive me to work harder, make myself better and basically express all the great parts of my personality that would otherwise lie dormant. Without relationships and other people in my life I do not think I would be able to grow spiritually and I would lose purpose. Humans are social beings. But in saying that we are all social to varying degrees and there is no right amount of interaction.
Have a lovely old day
LilySeptember 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm #42362KinnyParticipant
I used to be a a natural and extreme extrovert and now I’m an extreme introvert. From my experiences, anything that leaves you feeling drained and listless isn’t meant for you. Perhaps you are just introverted or maybe you just haven’t found your kind of people who *get* you. I think relationships are healthiest when they aren’t based on needing each other to fulfill emotional voids. At times I’ve hung out with people to give them a shot, or to get out of the house more, or because they needed a friend, or because I thought maybe I was just too picky. I don’t think you can be sure of things unless you try, but overall I’ve learned that although relating to all kinds of people is a great skill and has taught me a lot, sometimes I would rather just be by myself.
As a general rule of thumb if I’m watching the clock and a minute seems like an hour, I’m probably not where I’m supposed to be. Alternatively when I lose track of time I’m probably found something special that I should stick with.
To answer your original question, I think we all need mirrors, experiences and relationships to grow. I think other people give you another dimension of self awareness which cannot be achieved alone. Plus, what you hate about yourself someone else could find endearing and something that comes naturally to you might be a lesson someone else is trying to understand. The natural give and take of an edifying relationship is exponentially freeing. I enjoy finding people who get me. I think of them as puzzle pieces who I can help and fit in certain ways and vice versa. If it takes me a while to find those puzzle pieces, I’ve learned to be okay with that.