Screening Calls: the Privilege of An Introvert
I am an introvert who has come to self-acceptance. In my twenties, I used to force myself to be social because I thought my desire to be alone came from an unhealthy place--you know, like depression or "wanting to isolate to avoid something." I was fortunate enough in my late twenties to have a therapist that asked "Why do you go to parties you don't want to got to? Why do you spend time with people who drain you?" He encouraged me to try living alone (rather than with roommates) if I could afford to, to find out what would happen.
I did and I loved it. I felt my energy expand to fill my surroundings, rather than shrinking to accommodate them. As I came to accept my introversion more, I actually had more social energy for the people who I chose to let in, who I didn't find draining to be around. I came to trust my need to recharge with some time alone. It actually meant spending more time alone in the beginning, like I had to make up for all the time that I didn't let myself spend enough time alone.
While we live in a culture that over-values extroversion, the world needs both extroverts and introverts. When an introvert accepts him or herself, it is possible to emerge form the cave with a fresh perspective to share that is a needed one. There is a lot of creative energy associated with introversion.
So, fellow introverts, give yourself permission to spend time alone, screen those phone calls. Your friends that get you will understand. The ones who don't may need to fall by the wayside or reexamine their expectations of you. But don't forget, it is still important to find a way to communicate your needs to those close to you. With self-acceptance, it is easier to do this with grace rather than resentment.