It goes way beyond “making time for yourself”.
Sure, Introverts Need Down Time
All introverts are the first to point that out — and most of us think that’s the “secret” to our happiness.
Susan Cain’s book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” came out six years ago, and we’re still talking about it. (Which is funny. But that aside).
And yeah, it’s good we are. Because introverts work differently. They learn differently. They energize differently. They consume and process information and then make decisions, all differently.
And, of course, having “down time” is a great thing in life — as much for introverts as it probably is for anyone who’s balanced and healthy.
All introverts need to “externalize” things, too.
For lack of a better term, we all need to “extrovert.”
(Just like all extroverts sometimes need introspection and down time).
We Get Stuck in Our Heads
When we have too much down time, we start to spiral, cycle, internally loop. I describe the feeling as “falling backwards indefinitely,” a mental or psychological sensation almost like the drunken “spins.”
And the Worst Part About This Is: We Don’t Always Know at the Time
We know it’s “uneasy,” but we’ve also mostly lost touch.
Very often, in the moment, it feels “good” — in the same way drinking or binge eating or any other indulgence often feels “good” while you’re doing it. It’s only the next day or next week, looking back, that you’re like “ugh, not your best moment, sister.”
We get lost
We forget. We give in to the sensations — fall back instead of forward; into ourselves instead of out — and we succumb to the “gentle wash cycle” that, over time, leaves us ragged and strung out, dripping and undone, turned inside over and over until we’ve lost sense of how to stand outside of ourselves.
The Solution Isn’t More “down Time”
Yes — down time is important. All introverts need to recharge.
But the reality is that this is also our “safe space;” our security blanket. And too much of it — even though it feels “good” at the time — isn’t healthy. In excess, it’s just the introvert’s version of the party-animal extrovert.
At some point, we need balance.
And at some point, we need to get out of our heads.