I am a classic introvert. My time to myself? Priceless. My need for extended periods of quiet–nay, silence? Immeasurable.
The way my life is set up, though, these moments of solitude and reflection would never come if I did not snatch them out of the atmosphere. I am married with 2 very boisterous girls. I teach middle school, where the very act of silence is like waterboarding to them. I come from a talky family. I have talky friends. I love social justice–which is a talky thing. I am a minister, which means I have to talk there, too.
So, as you can see, if I do not take care of my own needs, nobody else will.
My fellow introverts: I have read a few really good articles that explain to other people how we work. Well, this one is for you.
Say no to everything.
If you change your mind after you say yes, people are mad and disappointed. I have never seen anybody get mad if I change a no to a yes. This works loke a charm: I can look like the benevolent spirit that I kinda am NOT. And people get used to hearing no. Win-win.
Boundaries are life.
Stop allowing people to step over your personal boundaries. The exception will become the rule. Open your mouth and claim your space–physical or otherwise. Nobody should be in your bubble unless you invite them.
Checking out without checking out is the best.
Sometimes your physical presence is required where your mind is not. Learn to pop in some ear buds, smile and nod, and carry on. I do this all. The. Time. Folks are usually too busy talking to notice. I’m just saying.
Because I live in a household of extroverts, I use these 3 simple rules in my life all the time. I cannot always get completely away, but I can unplug long enough to recharge my life-force without disrupting our family routines. You can use these as well and not have people out here calling you a jerk or a wet log or whatever because you need a minute to chill.
Take care of yourselves, my fellow quiet souls. We can’t save the world without saving ourselves first!