Just leave it alone...

Am I antisocial?

I sometimes find myself debating this question mentally. It seems I quite often have an overwhelming desire to just retreat within myself and ponder whatever random thought I may have at that moment in relative solitude.

And I am quite content to do so.

Sometimes this process may only take a few minutes; other times, it can take hours.

And the worst thing that a person can possibly do during this time is to interrupt me.

Really quick interruptions are fine. Things happen and information needs to be conveyed and it, perhaps, cannot wait until I emerge from my protective cocoon. But, what I find happening more often than not, is the relayer of the information will drag out the conveyance process for a looooong time instead of just giving me the abbreviated version of what's going on or they will break into a bout of small talk as though dragging me out of my bubble kicking and screaming is their own personal crusade and I will be all the better a person for it.

Why do people act this way? Why is it so bad to want to be alone from time to time?

I'm not always like this. I just have my moments where my best company is, well, me. I do, quite often, like the company of other people. Friends are a great thing; sometimes, the best thing. And I'll be the first to jump in on a conversation about the probable box office take of X-Men III or how Stephen King writes killer short stories but cannot sustain an entire novel to save his life (not anymore, at least).

However, on those occasions when I am clearly attempting to steer our conversation to the end of the track instead of whipping around for another spin, please respect that. And don't act as though I'm putting you off. Really, I swear it's nothing personal. I may just have some weighty thoughts I'm trying to make sense of (and, no, I likely don't want to share them, either). Or I might be debating the pros and cons of some pending decision. There is also the possibility that I'm "in the zone" on a project I'm working on. Don't mess with a person on a mission.

Is this a human way of acting or is it just me?

Do any of you have similar desires for solitude? How do you deal with interruptions?

Perhaps this is just a "man thing" thus explaining why we males are renowned for doing our best thinking "on the can."

Things that make you go hmmm...

Previous Post

Mama said...

May 21
First, I'd like to wish my mom a happy 60th birthday. As you might recall, we had the party for her back in April, so you can visit that post for some photos. Happy birthday Mom. We love you. On...
Next Post

That's why she fell for the leader of the pack...

May 23
I found this on both The Unofficial Apple Weblog and ArsTechnica's Infinite Loop. iDont (you can key it in yourself if you so desire; I won't be bumping their hit count with a built-in link) is a viral marketing campaign...


You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Kevin - this is NOT a man thing. This is a human thing. I am exactly the same - only really to the extreme - I refuse to socialize with my classmates, and I enjoy spending time alone. I like to travel by myself, live by myself (during school), go shopping by myself, etc.

I do not think it is wrong or bad as long as you are still social when you need to be - like at work or an event you are attending. Otherwise, I think it is perfectly fine to want to be to yourself. I just try to be kind to others as I give them the hint to leave me alone.

For me, it is not anti-social, but enjoying your own company and thoughts. I love spending time with the few close friends I have, but other than that - I would rather be left alone.

Hope all of that does not sound really negative, because I do not mean it to be. I think every human has the right to their privacy and should be given it. I think I understand how you are feeling (because, I too, have had people who question my "independence").


You are not antisocial. Everyone needs time for themselves and I can't wait for X-men 3.


It's defintely not a man thing. Alone time is the time that I cherish the most. Everyone needs some time to reflect on things. I think it's awfully strange when people say that they hate being alone and must be surrounded by people all of the time. For me, that's a prescription for a migraine. I enjoy solitude!


I'm a big loner, too. LOVE my quiet. I could probably go without actually seeing another person for months and be utterly fine with it. Of course, that doesn't sustain a relationship very well, I've found. Heh.

I do like to hide away in another room or go to the bookstore for a few hours to regain myself. I do it often.

Or, sometimes I get in my car by myself and drive for 2 weeks. That's always refreshing!

ms. sizzle

i get incredibly pissy if i don't have enough "me time." i think it is great that you like spending time alone- many people can't do that. and that you can recognize your need for it instead of acting out or being passive aggressive. good for you!

you aren't antisocial- we are just commonly required to be ON and AVAILABLE way too much.


I'm a Retreater also. I like to be alone with my thoughts. For the most part, at work I'm at my desk doing my work by myself, and I like it that way. But I'm not a hermit. Your actions are perfectly normal.


I think I actually require more alone time than your average bear. Oddly, though, I sometimes like my alone time to be in a crowd. As in, me milling around in a place with a bunch of people, but kind of not interacting -- just observing, being on my own, etc.


Kilax, I'm the one that brought it all up. How can it sound odd or bad to me? I love it.

Mikey, looking forward to that one. Just gotta find someone to go with. Lord knows it won't be Katie.

Elaine, definitely a recipe for a migraine. I reel just thinking about it.

Chase, I wish I could afford the gas necessary to drive for two hours doing nothing. Bookstores are wonderful, though. I do that a lot.

Sizzle, I hate being "on" and "available." It makes me enjoy life that much less. You want to start something, but you know, the second you do, you'll be called away. So why bother? A horrible way to spend your life.

Eve, I'm not even by myself at my desk because I have all sorts of people dropping by. I need more "me" time at work.

Sandra, I find it oddly comforting to be in a crowd of people just within myself. So long as I have no agenda whatsoever. Maybe read or write or something along those lines while people watching.


It's totally natural to want to have some alone time. We all have introverted and extroverted sides and tendancies. Perhpas you're more on the introverted side. that doesn't make you anti-social. Taking time for oursleves is totally natural.


I find myself doing this around the office pretty often. It's not that I'm trying to be antisocial either - as generally I'm a very social person - but rather that I have an awful lot of stuff to do so I don't have time to fake interest in your husband's root canal.


We're bloggers, of course we're antisocial. ;)

I like to zone out to tv: I don't like commentary or interruption during my fave shows. In the past I ended up setting ground rules for a show or two cuz my roommate or family just didn't get it. I'm much mellower about it now, but apparently I made enough of an impression about it that the training has mostly held.

Writing is another activity even more so during which I do not want to be interrupted. It's not something I've conveyed well though and since I do my best not to be rude, I get interrupted more than I'd like.

Not long ago I read an article about shyness starting to be called a disorder. I don't have it in me to be "on" even 50% of the time, and it's not something I aspire to. It does make dealing with some things in our culture more difficult though.


Suze, it's weird because I was always the outspoken one in grade school and people consider me extroverted (save for those times when I need to just escape and people I know don't understand it). But I've always considered myself very introverted.

Bre, that work bit is so true. They want you to get your work done and then freak out when you actually try and, thus, avoid their attempts at conversation. Weird.

Claire, I agree with you on all of that. But the nice thing is that now, with TiVo, we can pause a show to talk about things in the middle that cannot wait until the end. And then just pick up where we left off.


Alas, no TiVo for me. Live pausing would be handy most of the time, but sometimes, I just want an hour of peaceful distraction, y'know?


Ah, lovely solitude. Something I never seemed to have enough of... ever. I think with being connected (and I love my MSN Messenger) we can live in our minds a little bit. I guess it's only a problem when you can't relate to others face-to-face. So enjoy the reflection time - I do.

Tracy Lynn

I love living by myself. Because of a lot of things I really have no control over, being with people is not something I can do for long periods of time, or it gets ugly. Actually I get ugly.

Fortunately, everyone in my life has been exposed to the ugliness enough times that when I say, "Gotta go!" they say "See ya!".


Just so long as you get over it before JUNE 3RD, BABY!!!



The last time one of my 'darling' housemates interrupted me during some alone time they had a shoe thrown at their head with a very unsanitary word following. I odn't handle interruptions well... Although saying that everyone ws gone all weekend and I freaked out more than once convinced I would never escape in a fire... Such a dumbass!


It isn't anti-social to want to be left alone from time to time. In my case it keeps me from going to jail for killing people.


Yer wiiieerrrrd (said in a Willy Wonka, as played by Johnny Depp, voice)

Did you miss me these last few days?? Shout out Sunday is all yours next Sunday.

Now I need to catch up with your other posts.


I have the same issues. I think everyone's got their own list of things that they're impatient about. I don't like storytellers who don't keep the story moving, for example. Whether I'm reading it or listening to it. I also don't like to be disturbed while concentrating, just like you. I don't think it's antisocial. It's good that you can focus so intensely.


heyya, it's certainly not "just" a male thing (but i *do* wonder if it's a trait shared by many bloggers...). It seems to me many people are afraid of being alone with their thoughts, and desperately seek conversation, any inane conversation will do, just to hear their own voice and be assured that they are alive or something :p While I am more than happy to entertain all the voices in my head, LMAO!


Claire, if such a thing as a solid hour of peaceful distraction truly existed, I'd be all for it. Until that time happens, I'm loving my TiVo.

Nat, I can effectively relate (I think). I think you and I probably have no problem with that. They real question is, do we want to relate with those that are trying to relate to us?

Tracy Lynn, the only time I really lived by myself was when I was an RA and Hall Director in college. And, even then, you're never really alone because everyone is always dropping by.

Dave, oh I will be! Don't you worry about that.

Bec, remind me never to share living space with you. ;-)

RW, is that because it gives you time to cool down so you don't kill people or it allows you the time to figure out a perfect cover story after you've already killed them?

Jacquie, yeah, where have you been? I went to your site yesterday to see if my RSS reader was crapping out and not picking up on new posts from you. Alas, you had not updated. Missed you, girl.

jackt, I just wish I was given the opportunity to focus like that more often. The amount of work I could get done if I was just given the chance to hunker down.

*lynne*, God knows I have more than my fair share of voices in my head.


I missed! It was only because I just had a good idea for the first time in (what feels like) months, and the interruption lost my train of thought. I made cups of tea and bought cherry pie (no one died) to say sorry.


Sorry to hear about your derailed train of thought. I hope it comes back to you.


Definitely goes under the category of personality trait and not one that can be filed under sex. (Heehee, I just said "sex" in your comments box...)
I think on the can too and have come up with some wonderful stuff there, as well as been hit with the "lightbulb-going-off" phenom, but I'm definitely of the female persuasion. (What the heck does that saying mean, anyway? That I was "persuaded" to be a female? Uhhhh...better get back on the toilet...)


Heh heh... hey Beavis, she said sex.


I used to be this way. Since Bret came into my life, I find I no longer require alone time. We are together 24/7, and never tire of each other. Of course, we are often in the same room but each on our own computer, so that's a form of separation. But so far, we both greatly prefer being together than apart, and we're coming up on three years!


It keeps me from killing people. Of course I had to learn this the hard way.


SJ, I think it happens more for me during those times when I'm away from Katie. Like at work. To have "me" time at work so I can get stuff done would be great. I have some, but the "water cooler" discussions around here last forever. Some of us will spend 45 minutes at a pop discussing the previous night's Grey's Anatomy.

RW, nothing like having experience to build on, eh?

The comments to this entry are closed.