Being an Introvert with Anxiety Is Easier than Being an Extrovert
I’ve been a pretty massive introvert with anxiety for my entire life. Compared to the population at large, my threshold for social interaction has always been exceedingly low; even after a simple night out with friends, I generally need at least a day of alone time to recover. Of course, I’ve struggled with severe anxiety for my entire life as well, and because of that, I thank God that I’m an introvert. I sincerely believe the fact that I’m an introvert with anxiety makes it easier to keep my anxiety under control.
Why Being an Introvert Helps with Anxiety
Being an introvert means more than just taking a day of alone time to recover after hanging out with friends. Often, I straight up cancel plans or tell people that I am unavailable to do anything, whether or not that is actually true.
The reasons for this are simple. Social interaction can be very draining. You have to be “on” the entire time because when you’re with others, the assumption is that you’re there for them. All of your energy and mental stamina needs to be redistributed to give them the attention they deserve. After a while, even if I’m with someone I really like, it can be too much. I need to be alone.
From a sensory perspective, being alone is much easier to manage. Because you are the only one around, it’s easier to regulate how much stimuli you’re taking in. Furthermore, because you’re the only one around, obviously that means you have more time for yourself. You can devote as much time as you want to doing what you want, and this healthy self-indulgence is so important to help you feel secure.
How to Act More Introverted to Lessen Anxiety
Now, I understand that introversion is not a learned trait. You’re innately either more introverted or extroverted, and those characteristics are hard-wired into your personality. But even if you’re an extrovert, there are things you can take away from introverts that can perhaps make your life more tranquil.
You are under no obligation to be social every waking hour. Just like doing heavy lifting is physically straining, social interaction is mentally straining. If you do too much, you’re going to hurt yourself.
Likewise, if you spend so much time in the presence of others, when are you going to find time for yourself? Where is there time for introspection, for self-reflection, or for self-improvement when you’re with other people all the time? There isn’t. To make those kinds of improvements, you need to be alone.
So even if it’s out of your comfort zone, perhaps cancel one of your plans and spend that time entirely with yourself. Don’t think of it as a punishment, think of it as freedom. You can literally do whatever you want because you’ll have no obligations holding you back. From that one instance, maybe you’ll come to understand why spending time alone can be so valuable.
Do you feel that being an introvert with anxiety is easier than being an extrovert? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments.
DeSalvo, T. (2019, October 16). Being an Introvert with Anxiety Is Easier than Being an Extrovert, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, September 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2019/10/being-an-introvert-with-anxiety-is-easier-than-being-an-extrovert
Author: TJ DeSalvo
Thanks for this article.
I'm definetly an introvert, but sometimes need reassurance that its okay to be an introvert. expecially the older I get, I realize deeply how much I need to spend time alone.
Im very lucky as a creative person, I am never bored and always working on lots of projects.
Sometimes it concerns me that I may never find a suitable partner, the last 4 relationships I ended due to my desire for solitude. But I think im learning to accept even thats okay.
Thanks again for the writing, articulated so many of my thoughts and feelings well