A need to disappear?

I’ve always seen myself as an extrovert. In fact, every assessment I’ve ever taken (and they are many – I’m a psychologist remember!) pins me down as an extrovert.

I love spending time with others and meeting new people, I enjoy discussing and debating my ideas as work in progress, I prefer discussions over email and can find my own company a little lonely – especially at work in my office.

But in the last couple of years, I’ve realised my energy is a very finite resource and, despite spending day after day with clients, I’m no longer the extrovert I once was. My ideal after a day spent running a workshop or presenting at a conference is to retire (gracefully) to my hotel room and simply luxuriate in the silence and my own thoughts.

Often, clients in a city I’m visiting will feel bad for me and attempt to arrange some kind of social arrangement. They seem to hate the thought of me spending an evening alone. And 20-something me would have agreed. Hell, 30-something me would have loved to go out and visit new places with clients!

However, 40-something me can think of nothing nicer than to head back to my hotel, particularly if it’s a nice one, and relax with my own company.

I spent today running a workshop for some particularly nice people here in Dublin. We had a laugh and they seemed to really get something from our time together. But as soon as I hopped in the taxi to get back to my hotel, all I could think of was getting to my room, stripping out of my work clothes and then chilling out alone.

Right now, I’m in the hotel bar, having finished off a few admin tasks. I’m sitting in the corner, listening to the quite nice piano jazz playing in the background and enjoying the conversions of strangers around me. I’ve finished work for the day and I’m enjoying a quiet pint of Guinness and thoughts of a room service dinner and an early night.

And let me tell you, I see nothing wrong with this!

My younger self would be shocked that I haven’t arranged a social event for this evening, somewhere more exciting than this very comfortable but not-very-hip hotel. My younger self would be wondering why I’m typing on a laptop and not in the middle of a crowded pub exchanging jokes and stories.

Now? I’m enjoying the anonymity of sitting in quiet solitude. Everyone else is talking to someone, ignoring me and feeling no need to involve me in a conversation.

I’ve disappeared, in plain sight.

And I quite like it.

via Daily Prompt: Disappear

  1. Good for you. Be you and do you. You’re successful and are educating/entertaining others and that gives you a level of satisfaction. Now you can enjoy your time, rejuvenate and refresh and repeat the process tomorrow (or whenever). There’s nothing wrong with that. Naked hugs!

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  2. I’ve learnt that I’m not an extrovert but an outgoing introvert. I get my battery refuelling done by myself. I have always been this way but in my 20s, I was SO busy working and going to school that I apparently would have ‘quiet days.’ I found out by listening to others who would on these days keep asking if I was angry / why wasn’t I jumping up and down, acting out the stories I told or anybody else did!

    When I found this out, I accepted it but didn’t understand what I was doing. I did know that after 1-3 quiet days, I was my normal, outrageous self. Now, I want the evening, nearly each evening. I don’t know when that started but probably mid30s.

    I love being by myself but love interacting with others, as well.

    I see you as being a bit more extro than I but probably we’re all on a continuum rather than binary.

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    1. Yep, all personality factors are on a continuum – despite whatever worshippers at the alter of the MBTI might say! 😂 I love being around others too. But after a day of creating the energy in a room of people, I feel like some downtime can be beneficial. And relaxing!

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  3. You’ll often find me alone in a hotel bar if I’m travelling. I like to people watch.
    By the way – apparently I’m a reflector. That may (or may not) surprise you!
    JP

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  4. Sounds excellent – time alone can be some of the most valuable, and time enjoyed by doing nothing is not wasted time. I’ll be at a training course in Dublin all next week and plan on doing exactly the same thing after hours!

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    1. I’ve grown to love time by myself. Especially in the evenings.

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