What Specifically Is It About Social Interaction That Depletes An Introverts Energy?



When I’m home alone I wear soft garments and fuzzy socks and dedicate my time to the pursuit of things that interest me. To go out into the world and interact with others requires that I put on real clothes.

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While in part I mean this literally, it’s also a metaphor for a layer I have to put on to make myself socially acceptable.

I carry with me a sensation that a bit of what I’m presenting is real, natural and comfortable, but not as real, natural and comfortable as I am when I am alone.

I don’t mean artifice. I don’t mean I wear a mask, because I don’t. I don’t mean I fake a persona, because I don’t think I could. I’m referring to a level of ordinary, expected social adornment, a veneer of civility that I consider lovely, necessary and most definitely an effort.

When I’m “being social” I am definitely “being me”, really, really me, but I’m being “on” me. This alertness is not unpleasant I actually quite like it – but represents to me an expenditure of energy.

When I talk to others I take on the responsibility of keeping an interesting conversation going. It feels like I’m swimming. I can’t just nod and float. I keep moving my arms and legs vigorously so my head can remain above water. Metaphor aside, I love swimming. It’s just tiring.

I have to listen remain engaged, interested and then say something in response. I find both these things first insistent, then demanding, later cloying of my attention and brain function.

As I become more tired, my ability to manage input is compromised. I feel overstimulated. Threads of conversation that were once tidy begin to seem disjointed, tangled. Following becomes harder, in particular if I am not interested (which is the case with small talk.)

I become a stranger, an outsider in a conversation that I created.

Then there is noise management. If I am talking to you and we have to scream over background music or background banging or background chatter, if I have to hear you but someone near you is having a conversation with someone else that I can also hear, I feel my brain short circuit. It blows a fuse. It’s a horrible feeling. Aside from the physical sensation of the energy leaking out my ears I feel a sense of anger like what the hell Dushka what on Earth are we doing here.

Then, I am overwhelmed by the feeling that I am sacrificing something precious in exchange for this. I am allowing myself to be pulled away from something somewhere else that is truer to me.

I want to go home. I want to be in my house with my things and my words. I want to go be with me.

This answer originally appeared on this Quora question on Shyness.

What Specifically Is It About Social Interaction That Depletes An Introverts Energy?

What Specifically Is It About Social Interaction That Depletes An Introverts Energy?

The Question: What Specifically Is It About Social Interaction That Depletes An Introverts Energy?

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if you struggle with shyness or social anxiety check out our free no BS training course with actual useful advice you can do from home none of that just get out there nonsense the link is in the description below for now let’s get to today’s question the question what specifically is it about social interaction that depletes an introvert center chamber answer by dooshka so pata when I’m home alone I wear soft garments and fuzzy socks and dedicate my time to the pursuit of things that interest me to go out into the world and interact with others requires that I put on real clothes while in part I mean this literally it’s also a metaphor for a layer I have to put on to make myself socially acceptable I carry with me a sensation that a bit of what I’m presenting is real natural and comfortable but not as real natural and comfortable as I am when I am alone I don’t mean artifice I don’t mean I wear a mask because I don’t I don’t mean I fake a persona because I don’t think I could in referring to a level of ordinary expected social adornment a veneer of civility that I consider lovely necessary and most definitely an effort when in being social I am definitely being mean really really but in being on me this alertness is not unpleasant I actually quite like it but represents to me an expenditure of energy that when I talk to others I take on the responsibility of keeping an interesting conversation going it feels like in swimming I can’t just not in float I keep moving my arms and legs vigorously so my head can remain above water metaphor aside I love swimming it’s just tiring I have to listen remain engaged interested and then say something in response I find both these things first insistent then demanding later cloying of my attention and brain functions as I become more tired my ability to manage in for this compromised I feel over stimulated threads of conversation that were once tidy begin to seem disjointed tangled following becomes harder in particular if I am NOT interested which is the case with small talk I become a stranger and outsider in a conversation that I created then there is noise management if I am talking to you and we have to scream over background music or background banging or background chatter if I have to hear you but someone near you is having a conversation with someone else that I can also hear I feel my brain short circuit it blows if you it’s a horrible feeling aside from the physical sensation of the energy making out my ears I feel a sense of anger like what the hell dishka what on earth are we doing here then I am overwhelmed by the feeling that I am sacrificing something precious in exchange for this I am allowing myself to be pulled away from something somewhere else that is truer to me I want to go home I want to be in my house with my things in my words I want to go be with me and sir by Sophie filo allow me to copy and paste part of my rather long answer to this question what does introvert mean introverts get their energy from being alone or with just one other person for more people around the more draining it is for the introvert this has to do with the brain stimulation levels being around other people automatically stimulates the brain because humans are naturally social beings introverts are already highly stimulated so being on found people for too long how long depends on the individual introvert and on how much actual social interaction is taking place actually / stimulates them think of introverts like people who are overly sensitive to touch too much of even basic touch social interaction / stimulates the nerves and can cause the person to freak out or shut down but after being drained from social interaction introverts regain their energy or recharge with one other person or by sleeping this allows their stimulation levels to fall back to their normal levels if an introvert is not able to recharge this can lead to extreme frustration shutting down becoming non responsive and non interactive and depression introverts need time alone or else they cannot function properly TL DR being around people increases stimulation in the brain introverts already had too much stimulation so other people cause over stimulation which depletes energy sign Sophie filo tilde and survive sardick Guwahati you want to talk about people I would rather not what are they wearing who are they dating have they put on weight I don’t care oh did she break up with his boyfriend I did not think that was worth a public debate I don’t know if it’s an introvert thing but I would always avoid such conversation I don’t mind sharing my not so personal life details if I feel the person is genuinely interested if I would also ask you about your life till the time I don’t feel that provides you an opportunity to brag or bore me with unnecessary details I would rather just pass a person by sharing a smile than unnecessary small talk ultimately it’s useless gossip that drains the energy of an introvert but they are best people to talk to if you are capable of initiating a good conversation..

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