Being Reclusive

I read a great post at Sibyllae on Monday morning that had so many wonderful layers of inspiration within it. In part of the post, she mentioned herself as tending to be "reclusive." Karen, one of her readers, left an enlightening comment that got me FEELING about this very aspect of myself.

In part of her comment, Karen (also feeling reclusive) shared that reclusive people probably have a low tolerance for outside stimulation, because they’re internally stimulated.

I thought that was SO perceptive of her, because I had never really looked at it that way…so thanks Karen!

I can honestly say, that most of the time I’ve got an “inside party” going on and require very little outside socializing. My job takes me deep into a social scene that entails interacting with large groups of people and sharing a lot of my energy. I actually enjoy this, however, by the end of the day I crave the quietness of being alone.

Even on my days off I prefer spending time alone.

I’m a creative soul, and I find the majority of creative people that I know…reclusive.

It’s funny, because most people think that I’m a social butterfly. But oh, contraire…I can be very much the hermit.

(with just a little bit of butterfly flapping around)

I’ve always had a very small circle of friends. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it a circle…it’s more like a DOT. And most of these people don’t even live in the same state.

Many years ago, a teacher friend of mine gave me the Myers-Briggs test. What was interesting, was that I took the test twice in the same day. And in the category of introvert verses extrovert, I scored differently on both tests. Which showed that I was in fact BOTH.

And I believe that’s true.

This is one of the reasons why I enjoy blogging. It’s a wonderful way to socialize with many different people (and get to know them). It’s very much like socializing with any friend, however it can be done more conveniently and relaxed.

And yet, there are times when I don’t even feel "blog social."

I find that if I just allow myself to be social when I feel social, and reclusive when I feel reclusive - I feel balanced.

Personally…I like being reclusive.

Because quite frankly, sometimes being with people…can be an astronomical pain in my ass.

Ooops…did I just say that?




Photo: juju bug

26 comments

  1. This is interested. Do you believe in ying and yang, and all that? I do. My husband and I am like dark and light, ying and yang. He is incredibly reclusive. In fact, he is so intolerant...maybe that is not the right word, incapable maybe, of dealing with other people that it had been a challenge for him to even keep steady employment. So, he started his own biz working on the computer at home. Works out just great. We all know that he is like this and try not to take it personally when at times he cannot even deal with us (his family) and has to retreat to his office and lock the door. It is just his make-up.
    Now with me, if I am in my house for more than 2 days, I feel that itch and I have to get out. I have to talk, I have to see someone, call someone, go to lunch, do something. I just cannot take isolation. It disturbs me.
    And it is enough for me at times to just sit on a bench in the mall and watch people. Just seeing human interaction satisfies me to a point.
    But at the same time, I do enjoy quiet moments. I do not crave 24/7 social contact.
    Everyone is different. I wonder these types of personality traits fall into the nature vs nouture debate?

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  2. You make me laugh Ron. :)

    I think everyone has an elements of both introvert and extrovert in their make-up, usually though one or the other is dominant. Me? I'm in two minds! ;)

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  4. Ron,
    I think you've got it right. You allow yourself to be social when you are in the mood for that, and reclusive, cherishing and honoring your quiet time - when you are in the mood to be reclusive.

    I crave periods of aloneness. It is how I recharge my emotional and intellectual and physical and spiritual batteries... That even means no radio, no tv, and I don't mind at all when the phone doesn't ring or I have no plans with friends !

    Being able to entertain yourself, ON YOUR OWN TIME SCHEDULE AND IN YOUR OWN WAY, without addicitions, is a thing of strength.

    The butterfly can coexist with the Dali Lama on the mountaintop :)

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  5. Ron I am honored for the mention and thank you! I have added this article as reference over at Sibyl. Karen IS very perceptive; and wicked smart and fun! (Like yourself methinks). You are a big CHAMPION for so many; an inspiration!

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  6. Hiya Nicole!

    It's so nice to see you and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

    Hey...it sounds like you guys make a WONDERFUL match, because you balance one another and have an understanding and acceptance of it. I think that's SOOOO great!

    YES...I definately believe in the whole "yin and yang thing." And not only between partners, but also within ourselves. I feel that we all have a mixture of both, and yet "one" may be dominant at different times of our lives or dominant all together.

    So many of the books that I've read, talked about the importance of BOTH, because each one serves a good purpose. So, I guess if we can learn how to use them when we need them...yin and yang can be a powerful thing in our lives.

    For me, as I get older, I'm finally learning how to accept when I'm feeling either way, because like I shared in this post...I can be BOTH (very strongly). Sometimes I can feel social and just LOVE being around people...and then other times people just work my nerves!#@

    Oy vey!

    Thank you for adding your thoughts and feelings to this post...it's always appreciated!

    Ron

    P.S. I love to sit in the mall and people watch too. It's so much fun!!!

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  7. Evening Akelamalu!

    Tee- hee!

    Sometimes I make me laugh too!!!

    You're right...I honestly believe that we ALL have elements of both, and that one usually does dominate.

    Like you...I'm in two minds!!

    (and sometimes OUT OF MY MIND)

    It's always a delight hearing from you, my Cheerful Friend!

    Thanks, fine lady.

    Ron

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  9. Oh, Annie...your final comment made me laugh my ass off!!!

    And I SOOOO freaking agree!!

    Me too, Annie...NO tv and NO radio...and I usually turn the ringer off on the phone, so I don't ever have to hear it ring!

    (I'm not a big phone person)

    It's wonderful on a Sunday morning to just sit in total silence and sip my coffee, while eating my COCO PUFFS, and read some mindless magazine (like Popular Mechanics).

    AAAhhh...the wealthy life!

    Thanks for dropping in today, Annie. You made me giggle!

    Ron

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  10. Evening Sibyllae!

    You're so very welcome. It is a honor to have you here!

    Your post REALLY touched me, and caused me to ponder more on your thoughts.

    Karen's words allowed me to see something in a totally different light...and that was so COOL! I can sense that she's perceptive and very, very SMART! I briefly stopped by her blog the other day and laughed my ass off. I will definately be going back. Thanks for leading me to her!

    And thanks for taking the time to stop by and leaving a comment. You add a lot of awesome energy here!

    Ron

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  11. Oy Vey is right. I need to proof read before I publish comments!!!

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  12. *nodding*

    All week long I do people. It's what I do.
    AND I get to be the grown up, professional. (and I'm pretty good at it, too!) (well, most times I get to be the grown up, professional...LOL......suppose to be? need to be? shoot. LOL)

    When I hit the door and the weekend's here I've done my quota of people--AND I chew with my mouth open, put my elbows ON the table, run with scissors, colour outside the lines AND....become utterly annoying.
    It's what I do. ROFL
    (I don't mind saying I'm pretty dang good at this one, too! 'Gold star' annoying, methinks!)

    Yep.
    It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it.
    :-D

    I'd wager Karen's right on the mark.
    Dunno that it makes me 'reclusive'--but it sure makes me annoying!
    (at least according to Mr. Crabby Pants....LOL)

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  13. I never can understand people that hate to be alone. I think they must be horribly dull.

    Your post is so true for those of us that crave solitude.

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  14. Heyo Ron!

    "reclusive people probably have a low tolerance for outside stimulation, because they’re internally stimulated."

    Definitely an interesting concept... I never thought of it like that. I've been down lately, trying to come to terms with the duality of demanding a lot more time alone than others, having relatively few 'real' friends, and having a low tolerance level for the outside world.

    Like yourself, I find social events quite enjoyable (once I'm there) but it's a slow drain on the resources, and I'm just as happy to get home and get the energy levels back up.

    I'm not looking for excuses to be reclusive. Creative pursuits require solitude in order to produce. Perhaps the battle is not to cut oneself off completely. After all, we are social beings at some level, wherever that may be.

    Like you said, balance is a good priority to monitor.

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  15. Greetings Nitebyrd~

    Welcome!

    Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. It's always great to meet new people!

    Oh, man...your comment made me laugh, because I found it SOOO true!!! And most people think that it's the other way around.

    Isn't it funny how those of us who DO enjoy periods of being alone, can find oodles and oodles of things to entertain us???

    Sometimes I just like staring at a cotton ball!

    tee-hee...

    Please drop by anytime it moves you...it was nice meeting you!

    Ron

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  16. Morning Mel!!!!

    Oh...do you know what's funny??? I chew with my mouth open (and talk) all day long. I know it's disgusting and very ill-mannered...but I don't care. The food just flys out of my mouth. One time during the Christmas holidays, while I was taking a fast break at work (and had little time to eat), this other employee and I grabbed a quick snack.

    Well, let me tell you...I hit her in the face with soft pretzel dough about 2 times. And got her blouse, once!!!

    I must of looked like a volcano!

    (this is why I always travel with wet-wipes)

    (tee-hee)

    It's so good seeing you Mel...and thanks for dropping in to say hi!

    Hi, Mel!

    Mr. Recluse

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  17. Heya Greg!

    I hear you, buddy!

    Places like bars and crowded eateries feel like sensory overload for me!@#!

    For me, I've just gotten to the point, where I know that in order for me to function well...I require solitude and lots of reflective time. I find that time spent with nature, brings me great inspiration and re-juices my soul.

    Like you so wonderfully shared, creative pursuits require solitude in order to produce.

    Thank you for layering this post with your thoughts and feelings, Greg!

    Enjoy you weekend.

    Talk to you soon!

    Ron

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  18. Hi Nicole!

    Hey, proof read or not...I ALWAYS enjoy your comments!!!!!

    Have a wonderful weekend, my friend!

    Ron

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  19. Ron,
    Hello, I came by the way of Lady Sorrow. I like what Karen had to say. My take on that is I don't always need other people to realize myself. But I do enjoy at times, the me that is social. When i am being reclusive nothing is distracting me from the music. I like what you have to say. Dobry Noc.

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  20. Greetings Polar....

    And welcome!

    Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!

    You said it...."When I am being reclusive, nothing is distracting me from the music."

    So beautifully stated!

    And I also like what you said about not needed others to "realize yourself."

    Isn't it wonderful to finally "realize" that???

    Thank you for sharing your feelings on this post...you've added MUCH!

    Please stop by anytime.

    It was nice meeting you!

    Ron

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  21. Thanks for the shout out! Interestingly, I had a conversation with my 20-year old son this weekend about solitude. He is a loner like myself and I wanted him to know that it's OK to spend time alone, as long as that's what he wants to do. Sometimes society pushes us to believe that everyone has 50 close friends, that everyone's social calandars are overflowing with parties - and if you're not perpetually overscheduled then you're outside the norm (and that there's something wrong with that).

    Anyway, thanks again for referencing my blog in your post. Great topic. Looks like everyone has very interesting comments on this subject.

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  22. Greetings Karen!

    Welcome...and thanks for stopping by!

    Your insight on Sibyllae's blog gave me something wonderful to ponder. I thought about what you said all day long, which then inspired me to share my own feelings.

    So thanks for that!

    You sound like a VERY cool mom. Great advice to your son!

    I too, know so many people who are constantly MOVING and DOING things. I myself, have periods of that (which I thoroughly enjoy), however, I require solitude too.

    I just sort of DO as I feel!

    Hey, I stopped by your blog last week and REALLY enjoyed your writing. I respect honest speaking people!

    Stop by anytime you feel,

    It was nice meeting you!

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  23. Hey all,
    I'm not sure this is OK - asking for advice in this blog posting, I guess if it's not you'll tell me!

    I'm wondering if someone here can give me some advice. I am head over heals in love with the most reclusive person I've ever met or even been aware of. I am not reclusive, but I would say shy and reserved. I'd much rather have a one on one dinner than go to a party. Definitely not a social butterfly.

    On his side, he hasn't answered his home phone in years and I don't think anyone has even been inside his house in several years. We are just friends, but I am having such a hard time with his reclusiveness. Many of the comments that were left sound like him. He says he needs time alone to recharge, and the like. I think he can go for several days with out leaving his house or seeing or even talking to another soul. He hates phones.

    On the flip side of all this, WHEN we are together he is the most present person I've ever met... He's not checking his Blackberry or cell phone (I think they are probably turned off unless he has to turn them on for work) or texting anyone. It's wonderful, but I am having a very hard time balancing my need to be with him and his need to be alone. I feel like we are soul mates and he seems to enjoy being with me. He is just shy of 50 and was married once a long time ago.

    I want to be respectful of who he is and how he wants to live his life, but it is so sad for me when on the weekends I want to share something with him or just see if he wants to meet for a cup of coffee or go to a movie and I know he is literally unreachable (the Cardinals in conclave selecting a new Pope are more accessible than he is... I'm not kidding! ;-).

    My questions is - should I just let my friendship with him go or should I try and see if he feels something for me and try to make a relationship work. I'll say one last thing. I am not the type of woman who I think would be described as needy. I don't have to be with him all the time like you hear about some women. I don't want him on a leash.

    I don't know how I could have fallen in love with someone so reclusive, but I did and I do love him with all my heart and want him to be happy, even if that means letting him go. I'm old enough to know not to try and change someone, but I'm just wondering if there is any hope.

    Any suggestions or advice would be so appreciated. Thank you!

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  24. Hi Robin!

    Welcome! Thanks for stopping by and sharing a comment.

    Nice to meet ya!

    Gosh...it's been so long since I posted this I almost forgot that I posted it - HA!

    Anyway...I don't know whether I'm the perfect person to answer your question, but...

    ...it sounds to me that there are two different things here. His reclusiveness and then perhaps wondering if your friendship will move into a closer relationship.

    I mean if your relationship did become more, would you be ok with the fact that he enjoys being reclusive at times?

    He sounds like a really nice guy, who when your together, is always present. And you also sound like a really nice woman who is understanding and respectful.

    ..."should I just let my friendship with him go or should I try and see if he feels something for me and try to make a relationship work"...

    Honestly? I think that's something you have to answer for YOU and YOUR needs. Would/are you ok with his reclusiveness in either case?

    Again, thank you for stopping by and sharing a comment.

    The best to you!

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  25. Thank you for this post. Occasionally I do feel anxious about my solitary tendency, but most times, I love it so! My aim is to create a life that accommodates it somewhat, as well as challenging it at times.

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  26. Greetings Bookyblog!

    Thank you for stopping by and sharing a comment. It's very nice to meet you!

    I LOVE what you shared...

    "My aim is to create a life that accommodates it somewhat, as well as challenging it at times."

    I think that's the "key."

    The balance.

    Please stop by any time. You're always welcomed here.

    Enjoy your day!

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