Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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We appear cold, stuck up, or non-caring when it couldn’t be further from the truth. Social interaction is difficult for introverts. We are often processing the commotion (and that is how it feels to us) surrounding us or spaced out in a memory or daydream. Not to say we don’t enjoy being engaged in conversations or included in activities but after said event we are spent, physically and emotionally exhausted.

Though I am timid and quiet in large gatherings among strangers, I am guilty of thinking others cold rather than taking to heart they might feel the same social awkwardness I do. I try to keep this in mind and force myself to initiate exchanges.

I take refuge in my home with book and outside along nature trails. I like solitude. I revel in silence. It takes effort to get me into the mainstream, but I seldom regret it. I depend on my trusted small social network to keep me connected. I am fully aware of how easy it would be for me to slip beneath the ice and forget the warmth of the sun. Last year I focused on connecting. I’ve discovered more meaningful contacts and surprisingly a stronger sense of self. As with all things in life it comes down to balance for me to remain socially and personally healthy.

How about you? Does socializing come naturally? Would you rather be among lots of people or alone? Do you have difficulty maintaining balance?

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34 thoughts on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

  1. Oh, Suzie, I could have written this post myself. Socializing one on one comes very natural to me, even with strangers, but add another person and I go into my shell.
    I cherish my times of solitude…I must have it daily.
    I love the Longfellow quote! 🙂

  2. I enjoy spending time with friends, but the quiet of my space is most precious to me. I have to push myself quite often to say “yes” to an invitation instead of taking the easy out and saying “no”.

    • The hubby and I have tried very hard this past year to say yes to gatherings and we’ve done well. That said, we still like our quiet together time and separate time as well.

  3. I’m an extrovert, but I cherish my alone time. Sometimes I have to push the introverts I live with out the door, sometimes I’m quite content to leave them home – it really depends on where the final destination is that decides how hard I push.

  4. Suzi, you know me so well! You have articulated my sentiments exactly the way I could have done but never would have said it so well! Love that quote! Thanks for sharing…saying all within this lovely post.

  5. I enjoy being alone and quiet time. It is not impossible for me to interact with others, being in the customer service industry has taught me how on a professional level. On my own, it’s more difficult and I often feel insecure. Overcompensating sometimes, I give up too much of myself. It’s difficult to balance, but I do try.

    • I understand exactly. I used to work with people and I seemed to do it with ease (or at least I appeared to be at least as others didn’t know of my own insecurities)though I enjoyed my alone time. It’s been in later years I’ve come to prefer my quiet alone time.

  6. It’s funny but for the last few years I thought it was all my husbands fault because he was sick that we didn’t do much with other people – just stayed home. I’d envy people on facebook who were always going out and doing things and did have pangs of jealousy. I have now found myself going out more these last two months that he’s died than the last two years, but I would give anything for our quiet little life we had. 😦

  7. I like a little bit of both, Suzi. Naturally, I think I’m more introverted and enjoy spending time with a small group of close friends. Yet, there are times when I LOVE to socialize. But all in all, I like my quiet time.

    “I am guilty of thinking others cold rather than taking to heart they might feel the same social awkwardness I do. I try to keep this in mind and force myself to initiate exchanges.”

    Yes, I am guilty of that myself.

    Beautiful photographs! You can feel the icy cold 🙂

    Have a warm and cozy weekend, my friend!
    X

  8. I think you are describing me there, until people get to know me they think i’m a little odd, but i’m not really. I didn’t use to mind being on my own, but now i am on my own most of the time, it gets kinda lonely, but i am happy with the company of one, then of many.

  9. Such an excellent description! The photos are perfect.

    I pretty much fit your description. I value my time alone and often find myself both stressed and bored in large gatherings. On the other hand, I enjoy meeting with my friends and doing things together with friends and family. Since my husband died, there are days when I fell I have have too little social contact. Your comment about balance says it all. (Of course the balance would be different for each person.)

    • Yes, stressed and bored is it! I work from home so I lack the social interaction of the work place which makes it so easy for me to get out of balance. I’ve made strides in the past year or more. I know I’ll never be the belle of the ball, and it suits me fine. 🙂

  10. While I don’t consider myself an introvert, social events take alot of effort and self motivation. I would much rather spend a quiet evening at home rather than out on the town. However, it is important to nurture our relationships with others and I have made it my goal this year to reconnect with old friends or coworkers I have not seen for various reasons. As we age we are more likely to need friends to help us get by. Making the effort to socialize now can have long term benefits in the future.

    • Yes, self motivation. I am often asked to do things with friends and I’ve gotten so much better at saying yes. I’m taking a bible study with a friend right now and it’s been good for me. I’ve turned many down, but so glad I said yes this time. I’d stopped going to my writer’s group, mostly because I wasn’t getting what I wanted from it; but there have been some changes so I’m going to give it another try…baby steps is sometimes the only way I can get back in the groove.

  11. This one really strikes a chord for me, Suzi. I naturally gravitate toward solitude — it’s next to impossible to write, bead jewelry, design websites, anything creative, really, without some alone-time. I prefer small groups of people I can feel affinity for over huge gatherings. You’re so right about the commotion — YES, that’s exactly what large groups feels like to me. And I think that’s why I leave such gatherings completely spent! There’s an interesting book (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_10?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=susan+cane+quiet&sprefix=susan+cane%2Cstripbooks%2C233&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Asusan+cane+quiet) by Susan Cain on the power of introverts — I took great comfort in reading it; you might, too!

  12. I like solitude, and sometimes small groups. I avoid bigger social events because I feel too awkward and often stand off to the side just observing (which others might find strange, I realize as I’m caught staring 🙂 )

  13. Your title was a great double entendre! My first thoughts were of the outside temps, but can completely agree with your words. I think we make the mistake many times of thinking someone cold when it’s really not the case.

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