Social Burnout & Living w/ People

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Social Burnout & Living w/ People

Postby Limonata » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:10 pm

I am a social, but also very heavily introverted, person. I have been feeling some strain building up recently between having a lot going on at work and then coming home to a place I share with 5 other people. Before I get into the details, I want to say, as an introvert, I actually enjoy living with people. It gives me a chance to be social in a low-key way, without having to 'go out' and make a big night of it. That said, I am having trouble finding balance in terms of being open to socializing and really needing to squirrel away and 'power introvert' when I really need to spend an evening talking to absolutely no one (besides my cats, that is). There has been a lot of turnover, recently, in terms of housemates - 5 new people over a 6 month or so period, which means not only getting used to new people in my living space, but also interviewing countless housemates. I think it is safe to say that we should be pretty stable for a while in terms of housemate turnover, so that is one issue resolved. However, I believe that a lot of the strain and anxiety (which is leading to me feeling irritable, and spending emotional energy trying to suppress that) actually has a lot to do with my relationship with one of my housemates (one of two who I have actually lived with for over a year, everyone else is pretty new at this point). We have become really good friends which I think is what is making this extra hard. She identifies as an introvert as well, but actually talks quite a lot. Like, really a lot - most of our interviews with potential housemates have gone on for two hours or more, due to her talkativeness as well as the talkativeness of another housemate. I am generally a good listener, and happy in conversations to listen for long periods of time. That said, it is pretty common for me to come home from work, and before I even make it up the hallway and into my room to put down my things, say 'hi!' to my cats, and breathe a sigh or relief, she will intercept me and talk about several different topics before I can finally hide in my room and unwind. She knows that I need copious amounts of alone time, since as mutual introverts we have talked about it. And, on a case by case basis, I try to tell her 'oh, I really need to power introvert right now, so I am going to go hide in my room with my cats.' And when I do, she gets it (although she may still cover a few topics before letting me go) But, I feel like negotiating that on a case by case basis is itself becoming exhausting? And sometimes when she really gets into talking, there isn't even a pause long enough to me to state those needs, or if I do it feels really abrupt? I feel like, it is all or nothing. If I show interest and ask questions (because I usually am genuinely interested) I have no idea how long the conversation will go? I'd feel a lot more comfortable engaging if I kind of had an idea that the conversation will be under 10-15 minutes, for example. I don't always want to be like, 'sorry, not available for conversation right now.' It is at a point where I am ordering a lot of take out, just to avoid being in the kitchen and having to share space/talk to people. I know, I probably need to just have a sit down conversation about this. So, any tips?

TLDR: I am having trouble balancing being social with housemates (which I want) and being able to have 'me time' at home (which I need. frequently.) I have tried to communicate my needs on a case by case basis, and that is well received, but is starting to feel like it is not enough. I know I need to set more boundaries, but I don't really want to have to set hard and fast rules about when I am and am not willing to converse, because I want to still be open to spontaneous conversation? HALP!? Maybe I am trying to have my cake and eat it, too? Both commiseration and advice are needed and welcomed!

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Re: Social Burnout & Living w/ People

Postby tongue35 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:17 pm

honestly i think you are trying to have your cake and eat it my experience, i have tried to set boundaries in the past but they dont work in the real world and i end up on one extreme, either over stimulated from conversation or isolating myself to an is very very difficult to find a happy medium or to somehow get others to understand your need for solitude..ive tried talking to my friends about it but they dont understand..

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Re: Social Burnout & Living w/ People

Postby supervillin » Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:17 pm

i would be curious how you would do with just one roommate or living alone. sounds like that may be a better fit? five is an insane amount of people for an introvert to have to live with. id be mentally insane after two weeks! :cry:

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Re: Social Burnout & Living w/ People

Postby Daisy » Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:24 am

supervillin wrote:i would be curious how you would do with just one roommate or living alone. sounds like that may be a better fit? five is an insane amount of people for an introvert to have to live with. id be mentally insane after two weeks! :cry:

I totally agree with this.

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