Here’s something I don’t think I’ve admitted to on this blog before: In high school, I thought I was actually a shy extrovert because I craved a rich social life. Surely an introvert wouldn’t feel as lonely as I did at times.
Eventually I found out I was actually a pretty strong introvert and that my loneliness was in no way out of the ordinary. Since graduating from high school, I’ve managed to make great friends–some of whom I consider to be best friends that I’ll hopefully have in my life for many more years to come.
Now that I’ve recently moved away from those friends, I’ve found myself thinking this again: why is it so hard to find your people?
In a college class I took, a presenter one day led an icebreaker game called Cross the Line. Maybe you’ve heard of it. In it, the presenter read out statements one at a time and students crossed onto the other side of the room if they agreed with the statement in question. Years later, I still remember what happened when the presenter announced, “Cross the line if you’ve ever felt lonely.” Everyone except one woman crossed. Then, a woman who had crossed along with the rest of us called out, “Well, you’re alone now.” It was funny but kind of sad.
According to a recent Globe and Mail article on a loneliness crisis, almost 25% of Canadians describe themselves as feeling lonely. Yet we don’t talk about it.
Recently I started attending a church book study in which I am the youngest person by probably at least 15 years. This was definitely not intentional, but I do really like it. To hear the stories of people who have lived out their faiths for perhaps longer than I have been alive is pretty neat–gives me hope that I might just turn out okay, in the end!
I believe there is strength to be found in connecting with people who have different backgrounds and personalities, yet sometimes I, and perhaps you too, can shy away from making these connections. Why do we do this, and what is at stake?
When the going gets tough, the tough sit down with a good book to relax.
Or maybe that’s just me. Anyway, it’s been a little while since I’ve posted because I started my very last two courses for my sociology undergraduate degree a couple of weeks ago. One of those courses is super accelerated–only three and a half weeks long! As of today, I only have a week to go in that one, and my other course goes until the end of June. So, I’ve been busy with that as well as looking for work and trying not to freak out about it all. And I’ve been mostly successful with that, as over the years I’ve picked up a few little things that help to relax me! You, as an introvert (or maybe even as an extrovert?!), may be able to relate–and for that reason, I share with you my little things that make a difference:
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, eventually you’ll want to make friends with some of the specimens knowns as the Introvertium excellentus (in modern days known as the Introvert). Here are descriptions of the different types of this fascinating sub-species of Homo sapiens and tips for befriending each one.
Picture this: You’re on the bus after a tiring day at school or work, thinking about dinner and whether your cat missed you. A Friendly Acquaintance, who you don’t mind but don’t know that well, comes on. What do you do?