socializing is awesome, in moderate doses.

Over at The Atlantic, Jonathan Rauch has a great article up about the proper care and feeding of your introvert.

I’m an introvert myself (shocking, I know!), and I have to say that he’s spot-on.  I’m a selective socializer—I love hanging out with people, but it has to be the right sort of crowd.  Also, sooner or later I need to disengage and have Alone Time again to recharge the batteries. 


12 thoughts on “socializing is awesome, in moderate doses.

  1. William the Coroner says:

    Yes. In small doses, people are fun. If I don’t get some time alone, though, I start wanting to bite people’s noses off.

  2. MarkHB says:

    Mmm. It’s quite a thing, isn’t it? Company is great (as long as it’s the right type), but for so long, no longer. I do cherish my quiet time. That said, you can have too much solitude, too.

    Nice to know it’s not just bein’ awkward, and all.

  3. Tam says:

    I read that back when it first went up.

    I would have told you about it then, but I needed my cave time.


  4. a bit of solitude is so necessary to me that it’s right there in my “about” blurb….”like to read some, write some, be left alone some…”

    of course it also says…”some say good man, some say asshole…” that makes being left alone some a bit easier…and not always even voluntary.

    suits me fine, though.


  5. Lawyer says:

    I need to print that article out for my staff, my wife, my kids, …

  6. Rob K says:

    I forwarded that to my wife when I first read it some time ago on a geek news site.

  7. Pappy says:

    And I thought it was just me.

    In my case, I find as I get older society in general annoys me even more and I need more alone time

  8. dave says:

    Great article! I’ve found that even after a few hours with my closest friends, I need time away from them. This has led to some relationship problems. My last girlfriend was definitely an extrovert, and always thought I was upset when I wasn’t participating in conversation. She often thought I was mad at her, when really I just didn’t have anything to say or any desire to engage in conversation.

    Sometimes I just get tired of hearing people talk, like the presence of voice itself is a drain on my psyche. I hate inanity in conversations, like how the weather has been lately or how high someone’s grass has grown. I usually endure those conversations with the mental equivalent of wincing the entire time.

    Also, I have a few questions for those of you who read the comments and are introverts.
    1. How do you deal with your significant other? Do they just know your behavior and are used to it, are they someone you just don’t grow tired of talking to or grow tired of hearing, or are they introverted as well?
    2. How do you deal with children? I have none of my own (and don’t plan on having any anytime soon) and I’m curious how introverts deal with a young child’s constant craving for attention.
    3. After reading my comment, do I seem like I’m an introvert or just an anti-social asshole? The difference between the two sort of seems like a blurry line (and I wouldn’t be offended by being called either).

  9. Eric says:

    I’m a Myers-Briggs INTJ and my wife is an ISTJ. When we come home from work, we “go to our corners”. She heads for the kitchen, and I head for a book!

    Dealing with people all day can be a drain, especially in the IT world where not everyone has the same level of stress! My biggest problem is with the extroverts in the office next door. I leave my door open for fresh air and they love to stick their heads in and ask “how’s it going?” right when I’m neck deep in a situation!

  10. boomvark says:

    As long as we’re slinging Myers-Briggs jargon … supposedly INTP here, whatever that actually means (if anything).

    I tend to think of myself simply as a guy who appreciates the value of silence. While I can converse all day on topics I find interesting, social gossip is emphatically /not/ among those topics.

    Great article, though. I printed out a copy to leave lying in a highly visible spot on my workbench.

    Thank you, Marko.

  11. LabRat says:

    1. He’s an introvert too. One of his shining virtues as a partner is his willingness to bring me a drink and then leave me alone, when necessary. We also do a lot of things next to each other rather than actually with each other, which feels comfortably affectionate without actually requiring a lot of social energy spent. Think of cats- if they’re on the same piece of furniture with you, but not necessarily doing anything with you, by their definition they’re being friendly with you.

    2. I don’t have children and don’t necessarily plan to, but I dealt with my little brother (ten years younger and definitely an extrovert) largely by encouraging games and activities that require a lot of figuring out things for yourself.

    3. Just an introvert.

  12. Marja says:

    If you don’t like idle talk, move to Finland. Especially western or middle parts, Karelians do talk. The general idea here still is that unless you have something real to say you should keep your mouth shut (lots of nice sayings to the tone of ‘silence is golden’). Nowadays there are courses where they teach small talk to those individuals who are forced to deal with foreigners. Maybe there should also be courses of how to keep quiet to the immigrants…

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