Sorry, All People Are Draining
There are a few things that introverts have a hard time explaining, or things that other people tend to take personally. One of the biggest things I find hard to explain is that all people are draining no matter what. For a lot of people, those that they find draining are for a reason, such as that person is selfish, boring, or needy. It’s someone who they don’t want to be around or wouldn’t be around if they had the choice.
That’s not the case for us. We have those types of people in our lives, but as an introvert, everyone is draining. We can love hanging out with our friends and family, and actually enjoy every second of it, but we are still giving of ourselves and interacting. It uses our time, energy, and brain power to interact. Other people don’t find that tiring.
One example I can use is that introverts are kind of like cell phones. Texting doesn’t use as much energy as making a phone call does. Being home on your own WiFi takes less energy than if you’re using data while you’re out and about. Scrolling through social media takes more battery than phone calls. Looking through pictures on your phone is less draining than watching videos or stories on social media.
It’s the same as if you go to a bar or a party. There aren’t really places for you to charge your phone. You don’t get the chance to recharge yourself and you’re also using a lot of energy at the same time. At a restaurant with a smaller group of people, you might be able to find a few places to charge, but it might not be long enough or effective enough. If you’re at a friend’s house with one person or a small group, you have more of a chance to recharge. There are typically deeper conversations where you aren’t losing as much energy in the process. You have the chance to plug in because you’re getting one-on-one time and spending time with people you care about. Yet, it still takes up energy and the battery is being used up. The best place to recharge is at home when you’re leaving your phone (or yourself) alone for a little while.
Another analogy is that we are all balls of energy, and we all have a sense of how much energy we use and how much energy we have left. Some people are like the sun, as they are very stable and constantly bright and energetic. Others could be like a giant star that consumes energy very quickly and then has to shut down. Just like that giant star, we need to shut down sometimes. You don’t need to feel bad about yourself for not being around people all the time. We need to be more accepting of other people doing things differently. We can have different personalities and quirks, and still be a good friend and fun to be around.
This is great information to share with people who don’t understand how everyone can be draining to us, no matter who they are. It’s not about being difficult or about that one person in particular. You don’t purposely make them feel bad about how they spend their energy. In the end, it’s about taking care of yourself. Conserve energy when you feel like you need to.