I know countless artists who struggle with isolation. They are so bound up in fear that it is just easier for them to be alone than to press into relationships. -Matt Tommey
Relationships are hard, being a person is hard. As an introvert I find myself daily trying to stay out of the way of others. I think and feel deeply and many people don’t understand that. I like to be alone, I like to be able to have the freedom to be who I want to be, and do what I want to do. Unfortunately I am a people pleaser and so I often do things to make others happy even when I don’t want too.
When my friends make plans I always say maybe, when I was living with my parents I always pretended my mom said no to me going anywhere or doing anything. Im not antisocial I just have a hard time relating to people and making conversation. I have to constantly remind myself to say hello to people and message them, Im really a terrible friend sometimes.
I think a lot of introverts feel this way, there are books and books written about characters to isolate themselves because its easier than facing emotions. When you self-isolate you bury your emotions and spend time totally alone drowning in your own thoughts. That is not healthy behavior at all, in fact many counselors would love to direct why you like to be alone.
Despite how hard relationships are, we need each other. Matt Tommey says this,
God gives you friends, who are there to help you when you fall, keep you warm when you are cold and defend you when you are attacked
You don’t have to have a ton of friends but a few close ones are all you need, they will be a gift of foundation and belonging. Friends will help you through your own feelings even when you’re not sure what they are. You can’t be alone all the time because you will develop negative self talk and a negative side of yourself. You will develop some unhealthy habits physically, mentally and emotionally.
Mala Sazlavitz, in her article “Social isolation, not just feeling lonely, may shorten lives” suggests that loneliness can contribute to the health of people. They could develop anxiety, or depression or it could get worse if they already have it. Staying inside alone all the time can also make you gain unnecessary weight.
I think it all comes down to this; why are we isolating ourselves? Is it lacking trust in others? Do we fear people knowing us? Do we not like other people? Is our anxiety for those of us who have it acting more than we are?
For me, it comes down to my social anxiety. People freak me out. I am not good at small talk or chit chat. I don’t know how to carry a conversation and I get super nervous when Im the center of attention.
It is a daily struggle for many people and it is good to always remember that you are better with other people. Others who will encourage and love you and make you laugh are important. You have to tell yourself that people are not always out to get you, don’t always talk about you and want to be your friend. Just practice telling yourself these things whenever you get the urge to stay in for long periods of time, force yourself to go out once or twice a week to hang out with people.
I hope this was encouraging for you, and I hope that you’ll remember that you’re not alone in how you feel.