It’s not you, it’s me: We really are busy!

A lot of folks on the interwebs have been talking about a need for socialization, and wanting new IRL friends.

I remember feeling like that when DC1 was a toddler, but I don’t feel that so much now.  Really I haven’t felt like that that since DC2 was born.  So some of that is that I’m just getting a lot of interaction at home, both overall and with people whose maturity/cuteness quotient is greater than 1– as DC1 grows up, interacting with hir is more like adult interaction, and there’s only so much personal contact this introvert can have before it’s too much.

Part of it, I think, is that I get a lot of interaction at work.  I consider a lot of my colleagues to be friends, and I get some socializing each day.  It helps a lot that even in this male-dominated field, my department has a lot of women!  And there’s junior guys at similar life-stages to my own, so we can talk about kid-related stuff, from, you know, an economist perspective.  I don’t do a ton of socializing at home other than the occasional kids’ party.

Right now, we’re living someplace super easy to socialize.  I have friends from high school and college within a 30 min drive (some are even in walking distance!).  DH has friends from high school and graduate school.  I’m working in the same building as professional friends.  It would be so cool if I were an extrovert or had lots and lots of free time.  (I mean, it is cool, but I’m really not taking advantage, you know?)

And it was really cool… back when we first moved here, when I was recovering from moving and didn’t realize that I had pressing deadlines about to attempt to suffocate me.  Friends from various parts of our lives used our moving here as an excuse to throw parties so we got to see a bunch of people (and often their new babies) all at once.   We had obligatory dinners or lunches with several other close friends from previous lives.

But now.  Now I am just so tired.  DH and/or I are out of town for seminars/conference/work/grants/#2’s wedding every week from the month after we got here until November.  Relatives from outside of paradise are setting up times to visit (even though we don’t have an extra bedroom).

I haven’t told my college roommate who lives a few towns over we’re in town.  I swear I will… once things settle down.  Once we have some time.  Which may be never.

It’s not that I don’t love my friends.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy hanging out with cool and amazing people, both new and old.  It’s just that it’s nice to grab some time to myself.  Or with just my family.  Where I don’t have to watch what I say.  I don’t have to perform.  I can’t feel foolish.  Or I can just quietly be.  Maybe with a cat or two.  And I do have close friends who accept me for who I am… but they’re still not close enough that they want me hanging around without pants.  That’s really an immediate family-only thing.

Do you want more social interaction? 

13 Responses to “It’s not you, it’s me: We really are busy!”

  1. ralucacoldea Says:

    I totally understand you. August was wedding season, September is baby season. I want October when it’ll be quiet and nobody will force me to get out of the bed early on the weekends and I can sit under the blanket until late at night watching spooky movies. I don’t hate people, but I like them in small doses.

  2. monsterzero Says:

    Oh for a pantsless society. Down with the scourge of pants!

  3. Susan Says:

    Do I remember that one of you has or used to have a work-from-home spouse? I’m in camp Oversocialized, and I’ve realized since I started this job that I’m really more of an introvert than this job needs me to be. On the other hand, my husband works at home, and like many (sigh) is rather … passive about his social life. I’m torn between the feeling of genuinely wanting to see more “real” friends away from work, and knowing that would be good for DH, but also needing to stick my head in some sand.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We’ve both had work-at-home partners at various stages of our lives. Both of our partners seem to be pretty good about seeking out social activity that they can do with or without us (ex. board game groups).

      I exactly feel like I want to see real friends away from work because I like them a lot but also just wanting to be by myself or with my immediate family. Now that the academic year has officially started, there are a lot more people around and there’s seminars and lunches and lots of people to talk with about economics (not even including the seminars I’m flitting around the country to give, which are essentially day and a half long series of talking with people a half hour to 2 hours at a time). I’m tired!

  4. chacha1 Says:

    Do I want more social interaction? Really no.
    Between email, text, FB, and in-person get-togethers, I am getting enough of my friends.
    What I want is to spend more time doing stuff with my husband, stuff that isn’t watching TV, specifically dancing. Between family drama, work overload, surgery, and class, our past 18 months have sucked rocks in terms of dance time.

  5. Debbie M Says:

    I’m not even busy and I’m fine with my current level of social interaction even though, when I think about certain people, I really wish I was hanging with them more. I’ve been realizing that I can only handle one–or maybe two–best friends at a time (and these change over time). And although I’m lucky enough to know many people who could be good best friends, I have only one right now.

    Currently my best friend is my boyfriend who is also my roommate and who is also severely underemployed right now so I get to socialize pretty much any time I want with virtually no effort at all. Yea! This really is enough by itself.

    But I do go to monthly “craft nights” where I get to keep up with some of my friends fairly well (sadly, only women are invited). And several people come early to Spanish class, so that’s two nights a week of more socializing (centered around learning Spanish and dealing with our class of course). Plus other people throw parties once or twice a quarter. I love that I can also keep up with many people via Facebook and blogs. And so this is a really good level for me.

    Disclaimer: I am also an introvert. I’m not on the extreme end of the introvert/extrovert scale, but I am clearly on the introvert side.

  6. Revanche Says:

    Yes and no. There are introvert constraints: I require at least half or more alone time in relation to out and about socializing time, and that’s not including work. If I have to socialize at work, then that drops my desire to get out and see people even more. And then there are my time/energy constraints: I only have a finite amount of energy each day but if I use it all up then it also affects the next day, starting me even more in the hole.

    I email with good friends a lot. And I text with good friends and close family. I rely on Twitter for real time interaction and that’s useful.

    But I do want to see really good friends as well, the ones who likely wouldn’t care if I hung around pantsless. Those are the ones I draw energy from being around, which is so utterly the opposite of most social interactions.

  7. Ana Says:

    I don’t get much social interaction at work anymore, so yes, I would like a bit more social interaction. I don’t want to flit around from party to party, but some one on one or small group time would be nice, maybe once every couple of weeks? I don’t feel like hanging out with my children fulfills that for me. They are fun, but its not the same as hanging out with a grown up! Kids birthday parties don’t fulfill that for me, either—I’m usually busy keeping an eye out for my kids or engaging in awkward chit chat with near-strangers.

  8. Rosa Says:

    my summer job finally wound down, so we have had 2 weekends off in a row. Now I want more socializing time! The thing is, what I want is to socialize with my own close personal friends, not extended family, not the kids’ friends parents, not the perfectly nice folks at work and at school. And there is never enough time for that.

    I would quite happily get most of my non-obligatory social contact from my small immediate family for a long time, but I worry about letting my own real friendships wither and fade…what if something happened and I needed them? Or worse, what about in a decade when we’re empty nesting (yay!) will I have to go make all new friends?

    My mom retired and finally had time for her friends and realized she didn’t really like a lot of them. I don’t want that to happen to me and I can see how easy it would be – if I only spend time with the people whose lives are currently really compatible with my own, and not the ones who are actually compatible with ME.


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