Everyone has limits and boundaries. If you’re not careful, living as if you don’t have them can do more harm than good.
I know this first hand. Everyone needs structure of some sort, some habits (hopefully good ones are cultivated), and rules to live by so that you’re not constantly in conflict with your true inner nature, your true self.
I read Quiet by Susan Cain over the weekend and loved it. I Felt as though someone finally understood what I was going through, as an introvert, as a person. I’m also reading a book on anxiety (since I have dealt with anxiety/panic attacks lately) and the chapter I’m reading is about boundaries. Even though it’s about people with anxiety, I feel as though it can apply to introverts as well.
Extroverts seem to have less inhibitions, at least when it comes to socializing. Or maybe it’s just that they get more energy from hanging out with others, while us introverts end up drained and having to go home to recharge alone. We prefer a good book. We don’t like people disrespecting our need for personal space. We also hate small talk.
I’m learning my limits, something I didn’t really know about until a few weeks ago. So here we go, as I reveal a few of them:
1. It’s not that I don’t like small talk, it’s just that small talk for me, is about sports. Sports is my icebreaker topic. And even with that, I’m not likely to walk up to a complete stranger and talk sports with them.
2. I’ve tried to be more outgoing. I failed. Miserably. I ended up drained and it was pretty awkward. Moving right along…
3. I can spend a whole day with close family (hubby, parents and siblings, parent-in-laws) but I’ll need the evening to recharge, alone or with hubby. I can spend a whole day (or afternoon/morning) with 1-2 close friends, tops. I can spend 3-5 hours (depending on how late it is) at best, with a group of close friends. After that, I am tired and begin to withdraw, becoming less enthusiastic. You’re actually better off hanging out with me in the morning/afternoon. Evening after a long day at work (dealing with the public)? I’ll last a few hours tops.
4. Any job dealing with the public with no downtime whatsoever is the WORST. It causes a bunch of stress and is pretty overwhelming for me. Too much noise/stimulation/chaos bothers me and completely exhausts me of my energy, leaving me frustrated rather quickly. I can do a customer service job, but evenings, when it’s slower and fewer people, tends to work better for me.
5. Church services with loud music, requiring participation (like lifting your hands, shaking your neighbor’s hand, hugging 4-5 or more neighbors, etc) are okay on occasion but not every Sunday. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate the more laid back, subdued church services, including ones that allow me to ask questions/reflect.
And those are my limits, the ones I’ve learned so far. I’m happy to learn about myself, especially since I feel everyone doesn’t always get me. The more I know about myself, the more I can educate folks around me about what it’s like to be me and what I need from them.