It’s nothing personal; you just prefer to be by yourself. You enjoy conversing with your own thoughts more than with others in your free time, but this doesn’t mean you utterly hate all other humans. Occasionally, this stems from just needing a little more “me time”. Or you may be feeling a little overwhelmed with your own life let alone incorporating others lives into yours too. Or, if you’re like me, sometimes you just have a hard time catching your breath when dealing with social anxiety. Here are some signs that you’re feeling the need to have some space:
- Your outfit is always fully equipped with sunglasses and headphones. This is the perfect way to avoid any unnecessary eye contact and to appear unable to hold a conversation. Basically, you are broadcasting, “Sorry, I am currently deaf and blind at this moment in time, check back later”.
- You get super psyched when you go to a public place and no one is there. Why? Because no one is there to look at you, talk to you, and you don’t have to worry about having a backup plan to get out of an “icky” conversation. It is a dream come true to be at the gym, Starbucks, or in the library with no one in sight.
- You get confused when people ask you, “Who are you here with?” or “Why are you here alone?” Uh…why would I want to hang out with people when I could hang out with the one and only me? Duhhhh. You are all about your me time, and it’s a necessity in order to handle your daily routine of having to be around others.
- You have only one, or possibly two people in your life that you feel 100% comfortable with 100% of the time. When it comes to others, you always have at least a bit of a guard up. You’re used to putting up a front for protection purposes, and you don’t like to show your cards.
- You always prep yourself to be around people before you go out on the weekends. Sometimes, I have to remind myself that being shy or a little more quiet can come of as rude or uncaring to others, so I have to prompt myself to make an effort to talk to everyone and to show I genuinely care about our conversation. Not in a forced way, just in a conscious way. Because we’ve all felt that awkwardness talking to someone who is obviously not mentally there for the physical conversation.
If you notice yourself doing any of these things, take a moment to reflect on why you are feeling so uneasy around people. Or for those who have noticed a friend acting this way, understand that their behavior is not a reflection of you. Your friend doesn’t hate you, they are just taking some time to recoil and recharge their energy. When those who are a little more introverted or socially anxious get into these funks, they don’t stop loving their friends. I can tell you from my own experience, I am so thankful for the close friends I have who understand why I need a little space sometimes and support me through my funks.