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Introvert overload

Two weeks ago, I canceled a lunch walk with a friend.

I cited “introvert overload” after an especially exhausting morning with my kids. I sent her a link to “This introvert’s bubble” so she might see my cancellation not as a blow-off but a necessary self protective measure. (She did!)


I came into this week already overloaded following my San Antonio trip.

This week has involved at least as intensive interaction. Next week will be the same.

So when I was invited to lunch on Wednesday, I politely declined.

“We’re not gonna tease you for your weird food!” someone said.

I smiled and said, “That’s not it. It’s an introvert thing. If I don’t get a little time to myself, I’m all exhausted and RAWR by the time I pick up my kids. No one wins.”

From that moment, a post began brewing in my brain. If I tried writing it now, it’d be 18,000 words and 1,000 images. For time’s sake, I’m gonna let it percolate a little longer before I start typing and graphing.

(I’m pretty sure I’ll sound like a prize-worthy misanthrope no matter the word count, but we’ll see!)

For now, I just wanted to say hi. If I don’t say much more than that for a while, it’s not because I’ve been abducted by aliens!

I’m just on energy-saver mode to take the edge off my introvert overload.

  1. January 29, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    I can relate all too well.

    • January 29, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      I debated asking my friend for a lunch walk today but realized that would have not-great impacts for everything else I have left to do today. (Hoping for some R&R tomorrow!)

  2. Deb
    January 29, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    The boys deserve “their best mom” so turn off the phones and the world that says go on overdrive and veg with your kids ๐Ÿ™‚

    • January 29, 2016 at 11:29 pm

      YES. (Unfortunately, I fell asleep on the couch and awakened (i) unable to fall back asleep and (ii) feeling compelled to make noise, noise, noise, which will then leave me drained tomorrow. But I’ll be striving for that quiet all the same …)

  3. January 29, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Your drawing is exactly what I visualize when I’m feeling overwhelmed with “OPE” (Other People’s Energy)! It’s a clear glass bubble with a semi-permeable membrane, so I can interact, yet stay protected. Sounds strange, I know … but it works for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • January 29, 2016 at 11:32 pm

      Ooooh. “Other People’s Energy.” Yes! I know I’m keeping something (partly) out and something (mostly) in, but I couldn’t articulate what was out … till now.

      Since I seem to be unable to sleep now, I might start typing that post. I guess the silver lining is that I could start working out the calculation kinks early that way? ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. January 29, 2016 at 2:26 pm


  5. January 29, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    We had a needy, demanding house-guest for a week. The cats hid in the wardrobe. I wanted to join them.
    I so understand where you are coming from, and the quiet place you need to retire to.

    • January 29, 2016 at 11:38 pm

      I love that you reference wanting to hide in the wardrobe! I spend chunks of almost every day imagining places I could hide for a little quiet space.

      Despite having acknowledged my introversion for at least a decade, it’s only recently that I’ve really started understanding how that impacts many aspects of my life. I used to imagine overload as this ghastly creature just leaping up on me out of nowhere, but now I can see how dozens of factors interweave to lead it creeping slowly up. Bit by bit, I’m learning how to keep it further and further away, at least in the usual course of life …

  6. January 29, 2016 at 4:56 pm


  7. January 29, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    I completely understand the feeling!

    • January 29, 2016 at 11:40 pm

      I’ve felt the feeling many times before, but now … now I am finally starting to understand it! And with understanding, better ability to manage. Phew. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. January 30, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Completely with you on this. I sometimes have to push myself to accept invitations because honestly they are few and far between as it is. Moving every 3 years makes it difficult to have close friends to gather with and if I’m not careful it can feed into my introverted, hermit-ting tendencies. Sometimes I decline with no real reason other than I want to sit home and read, sometimes I force myself to go out and sometimes I really want to go.

    • February 6, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      It’s so funny to me now that I didn’t see the connection between two kids and heightened introversion. With two kids, those quiet moments to myself while one kid was occupied disappeared; then, even when the two were both in bed, I had to tend to two kids’ worth of planning, preparation, and clean-up. Looking at it in this light makes me think my introversion levels will ebb and flow with time, and that as Littler becomes more autonomous I’ll have a little more left over to visit with the friends I love deeply … though it’s probably not always clear from how often we speak, or meet.

  9. January 30, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    I have to disconnect sometimes- there is no shame here!

    • February 6, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Indeed, there is not! What’s freeing is being comfortable not coming up with excuses but saying, nope, not today … and knowing that I don’t need any particular person to understand why I’m saying “no” for it to be OK. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • February 6, 2016 at 2:38 pm

        Yes! I had a lot of people in my life that became, people I couldn’t even recognize when I gave birth. Or maybe, I saw who they truly were. I was so very focused on being perfect to them and letting them scold me… Today I can say that I don’t have that issue. I’m not perfect and what I need is not necessarily what you need to wind down, take a break or raise your children. I bet, in the end our kids turn out just fine too- silly folks!

  10. January 31, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    INFJ here – I NEED my quiet/alone/recharge time or I quite frankly feel I’m losing my mind. I hear you!

    • February 6, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      I was an INFJ for as long as I remembered, but my last test declared me INTJ … and YES to that quiet, slow time to recharge! YES to it being recurrent and predictable, too, which perhaps will happen again someday. :p

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