I need to get out more

And by that, I mean I need to get out WITH PEOPLE more.

A new phase has begun for me and here’s what makes it different: it involves people more. Also: I don’t hate it.

I’m an introvert. Sometimes I feel like an extreme introvert. As such, it’s really taxing for me to be around other people, especially in group settings. I burn a lot of energy being in groups and trying to work in a team. It also takes a lot of effort to prepare myself to be around others. I don’t have any kind of social anxiety, I quite simply just don’t really like being around people in general*, but I’ve already kind of covered this. I could happily spend an entire weekend alone in our apartment without ever thinking of needing human contact.

*People in general = the general public. My people are a different story.

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To say a new phase has begun may be a little overzealous, but I have started to open up to new people and new relationships. By that I mean that, for the first time in a long time, I’m feeling excited about new and existing relationships and enjoying time with others.
I’ve been out on a few occasions recently and it’s reminded me how much I really do love people (though one-on-one or very small groups is still my preference) whether I’m just meeting them for the first time or revisiting old acquaintances.
Today, I went out with some of my Mom’s extended family – my second and third cousins, I just found out (thanks to this article.) We all get together every so often, but we’d skipped a year or two in recent past. This was a reunion as one of my second cousins was in from out of town and she and I hadn’t seen each other since I was eight. It’s always fun and I was looking forward to the get together, but it still weighed on my mind most of the weekend. As I walked home, I felt so happy to have been with them, to have made stronger relationships, caught up on what’s what and even met a few relatives I’ve never known before. It was a really good time!
This isn’t out of the ordinary. I often feel a ding in my energy just at the thought of going out to meet even my closest friends. I push through and actually go because I know it will be worth it, but I do have to coach myself. I wish there was an easier short cut to the loving glow I feel after the fact and that it wouldn’t take so much mental work to get there in the first place.

It is getting better, though. I’m remembering the joys of looking someone in the eye, exchanging a smile and connecting over shared experiences. I think it may have something to do with brighter days as we head into summer. Whatever it is, I’m trying to roll with it and have a good time.

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