December 2017
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31


being alone to be creative / NOT AN INTROVERT / that binary excuses oppressive microaggressions


Lately I've been spending a lot of time alone, because I was trying to get out of the habit of spending 6 nights a week at Topaz' house so I took a week of staying home, and then the icestorm added more to that. And with enough time alone, I've gotten creative things done that had been lacking for YEARS.

I met up with Kylei for lunch yesterday and while we were talking about this ze said, "of course, you're an introvert!" and I said no, absolutely not. Being alone for a large chunk of time is not sustainable for me -- after that week alone I went out in a frenzy of social activity over the weekend. The key for me is to have uninterrupted alone time, where no one is making demands on me for any interaction. This is part of the reason I cannot stand to have people randomly call me (unless it's an emergency or I know they will be okay with me being like "can't talk now bye" *click* with no pleasantries), and I don't usually engage in random IMs -- though texting is okay, because it doesn't demand (most people don't expect an instant response). If I have a free moment, it's usually in my planned alone time, and I want to be writing or editing photos or resting my brain. I like social and alone pretty much equally, I just can't stand for them to mix into slush time. I think maybe it has to do with my ADD, I hate feeling torn between two intentions because it makes my brain freeze up where I cannot think or feel or be present. I have to place events into a box in order to be able to fully engage.

I really hate that introvert/extrovert binary, anyway. I feel like it justifies the fact that socializing is worse for some people. Social is more stress for some people (like me) because it comes with shit like sexism and racism and ableism and etcccccc. That's not an orientation, it's a billion effects of all kinds of things, and the primary issue is oppression! I'm sure that if we lived in an equal society, some people would still prefer majority alone time. I'm also sure that a giant chunk of people would suddenly love gathers so much more. People ask why if I want social, I don't go out to get it but want to bring people to my house instead. It's because I make my house a safe place. People know that if they say something problematic, they might get called on it (depending on my energy levels because that takes a LOT), and they will definitely be outside the norm, so they're a bit more careful. When I go out to a gather, even a gather of good-hearted spiritual or hippie people, it takes about 10 minutes before someone says something sexist or fatphobic or ableist (those are usually the first ones I hear because I'm white; but I have noticed that in a mostly white group if one or two people are of color, the racist remarks start happening, or if someone is read as trans the cissexist ones start happening). I go from feeling happy to feeling like someone stepped in front of me with their face 8 inches from mine and shouted "YOU'RE NOT WELCOME HERE," then turned around laughing and happy and everyone continued like it didn't happen. They don't even know something bad happened, and I have to try and build my energy back up after it got so wretchedly shut down. And since I've not been there often enough to build any social capital, I don't feel like anyone will listen if I say "hey, bitch is a gendered slur, using it contributes to oppression" etc. So then what? instead I make my own spaces when I can, and if I have an abundance of energy or a designated driver, I go to other spaces (if I am drunk I can talk back to microaggressions).

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Comments
sabr ══╣sabr : autumn╠══
This all makes perfect sense to me, even though it's not really the way I function. I need to learn to disengage more - I'm always multi-tasking, my mind always reeling, chained to the never ending tasks that my phone prompts me to do.

Also, as an aside, I have never pegged you as an introvert, and I am kind of shocked that Kylei would comment that you were, lol.
kmiotutsie ══╣╠══
1. I never realized that you don't do unplanned IMs until the other day when I glomped you and you happened to respond, and told me that!! So funny ^_^

2. I read once that the defining trait of intro vs extro is that if you're fundamentally an introvert, being around people drains you and if you're fundamentally an extrovert, being around people sustains you. I have a hard time with the binary just because *sometimes* I really want to be around people and it energizes me, but honestly it only does for a moment and after that I need alone time to recharge anyway. So fundamentally I'm ok with identifying as an introvert.

3. I have also been thinking about the intro/extro thing a bit lately and noticed that the interactions I really like best are one-on-one time with other introverts! Those are the relationships that feel the most sustaining to me and the ones I seek out the most. Even though I don't feel like I need a TON of social engagement all the time (my serious introvert friends think this is bullshit because to THEM I'm a ridiculous social butterfly), I do really really reeeeally NEED direct engagement with other human beings VERY REGULARLY, but in a generally quiet setting doing generally quiet things.
countessdeweird ══╣╠══
You make really good points about microaggressions and the intro/extrovert thing. I'd never thought of it that way before. I'm a bit of an introvert regardless, but going places with people who are likely to express unintended bigotry is exhausting in so many ways beyond the regular.
virginia_fell ══╣snail cuddle╠══
I feel this so much. Socializing can be fun but tiring for me, unless I am socializing with people who "don't count." Those are the people that I know are safe, that I know won't force me to shift into outgoing entertainer mode. I can just be who and whatever I am at that moment and it'll be okay.

Those people don't count toward my socialization limit.

I think this really hits on why.

Thanks!
delicatexflower ══╣╠══

this! i have the same problem. a lot of people like to label me an introvert because i value my alone time. i am very friendly, giving and loving -- but that takes a lot of energy and focus for me because i love to give everything my all. i'm also aware of all my surroundings (little noises even) and sometimes i need uninterrupted alone time where i am working on myself and having much needed rest. i dislike how in our society it's you either this or that. there's no gray.. not everything is black and white. you know? and we could use more gray people in this world i think!
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.