Saturday, December 6, 2014

I'm a Loner, Dottie. A Rebel.

I wonder what everyone else makes of my loner nature. This is something I think about a lot when I'm working by myself.

Lately especially half of our back room is filled with lots of people having conversations about anime, music, the Internet, video games--in short, all sorts of things I like and/or have opinions about. So where am I during all of this? I'm in a different room, isolating myself intentionally with just my phone blasting music and podcasts to keep me company.

And that's totally fine by me. I love having people around that I can talk to, but I've always found that my participation in a conversation drops precipitously with each additional person. I can hold my own in a one-on-one conversation, and I might have something to say in a three-way conversation, but I tend to be completely silent most of the time in groups bigger than that unless I really have something to say.

It's not that I'm shy, either. I'm just careful with my words, usually. I want to make certain that what I have to say is something actually worth saying. It's a strange thing for a person who's written blogs almost daily for the past year, but that's a large reason why each blog post takes about an hour to write and about five minutes to read. I'm carefully considering almost every word, most of the time.

In a conversation with multiple people, though, such carefulness makes me almost useless. Topics in conversations shift constantly, moreso as the number of participants grow, and I generally find myself thinking of plenty of things I would say if the conversation hadn't moved on five minutes ago.

That said, I can lead a conversation when I have to. It usually requires preparation, though, which is why I'm like a totally different person when I'm, say, running a D&D session.

Most conversations aren't planned ahead of time, though, and constantly being behind on a conversation is exhausting. I enjoy being around a bunch of people, but everything from meetings to regular conversations wear me out after a while.

I read once that the difference between introverts and extroverts is that one builds energy by being alone while the other builds energy by being around people. I think our office is filled with lots of extroverts, which kind of shatters my preconception of nerds being mostly introverted. Either that, or people can switch between one and the other depending on the other people involved.

I can't, though. When I have a lot of work to do, it's best if I spend a lot of time alone to maintain my energy to get things done. It's why I enjoy doing inventories by myself on the weekends, and why a couple of years ago I flipped my schedule to work through the nights by myself while everyone else worked all day. I'm just way happier working alone, for whatever reason.

I just hope that my co-workers don't take my loner tendencies to mean I don't like them. I love my co-workers. A loner can appreciate his friends without being around them all the time, but I don't know how well everyone understands that.

In short, a loner is not necessarily a misanthrope. I'd consider myself quite the opposite, in fact.

1 comment:

  1. Nah Charlie, I certainly get where you're coming from. I'm an introvert as well, and being in the office exhausts me on a regular basis because of all the social interaction. Christmastime at Fangamer is hard, because everyone is crammed in a tiny space with many conversations happening at once. It can be enjoyable sometimes, but most of the time I'd much rather be working by myself.

    Heh, I have similar fears that my coworkers are starting to think I don't like them anymore. It's not that at all, I just muuuuuch prefer quiet ;_; I HOPE nobody thinks I'm a grump