I Want to Be Alone

I Want to be Alone

How do you recharge? Does spending time with friends top up your batteries or do you like to withdraw?

There’s been a lot written about introverts needing to be alone to recharge and extroverts needing social interaction but I’m not sure it’s as simple as that. At least, it’s not that simple for me. Anyone who thinks that all humans can be neatly divided into two groups of any kind needs to get out more and meet some real people. Of course some will enjoy the experience of meeting real people more exhilarating than others.

I’m a bit of a peculiar mix in that while I am very much an introvert, I value being with others and socialising. I am very much at home speaking to large groups of people while at the same time I’m very happy just to be left alone. Large social gatherings can be fun for me but at other times I feel socially awkward and walking into a crowded place on my own almost always freaks me out. I can do it, but it’s freaky.

Despite what you might think, introverts don’t hate people or even being with people. (Well, maybe some do, but that’s a whole other issue.) It’s more that we have to ration ourselves socially so that we don’t become overwhelmed and drained.

I need time with others, especially with small groups of friends. I need time just with my family. I need time just with my wife. I need time just with God. I need time alone.

I sit here by myself
And you know I love it
You know I don’t want someone
To come pay a visit
I wanna be by myself
I came in this world alone
Me myself I

Joan Armatrading

Are you comfortable with your own company? How do you recharge? Does an extended time on your own refresh you or terrify you?

Are you an extrovert who believes that the ultimate torture would be to on your own for an extended period?

I’d really enjoy reading your comments and would love to know how you refresh and recharge.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • Hi Rodney. I like you observations on this. I lean more towards the introvert side to recharge and order my thoughts, especially when I have been busy. But then I feel like I desire to be with people again. I like that when we read the Bible Jesus drew aside to pray, rest and eat, but then He was out and about where the people were. As I get older I found it is more like a cycle of in and out. A times I am like a turtle in its shell, but before long I poke my head out to be with people again!

  • I’m an extrovert, yet your paragraph staring “I’m a peculiar mix”, suits me. I know I get energy from others but I’m just as happy on my own. I too find it hard to go into a room of people. If there’s someone I know I head to them first. I was told I was a shy extrovert.

  • I am an extreme extrovert. however, there are times I have “come away” so I could be with God. It is at those time I am comfortable being alone. I also recharge by riding, which I do mostly by myself since I have no riding partner.

  • I definitely recharge by being alone. I guess I’m a classic introvert in that respect. I really hate the way introverts are branded as hating people. It’s not true at all. I enjoy being with people, I just also enjoy being alone and need some alone time in between socialising.

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