seclusion

light behind closed door

I realize that I’ve been spending days and days talking about home as a retreat from the world. I guess that for me, that’s the most important part of home. Home feels like a place that’s fundamentally different from all the other places that I go – even other people’s homes.

I wonder how much of it has to do with the fact that I’m an introvert. Maybe extraverts think of “home” differently – in terms of their relationships with the people who share their homes, or the activities they do at home. Anyhow, this is my last post (I think!) about home as a place of deep, inner withdrawal from the outside world.

There’s been some attention in the media lately about the needs of introverts. I especially like this article and this TED Talk by Susan Cain, an introversion researcher who’s an introvert herself.

In contrast to extraverts, who are energized by being around others, introverts are drained by social interactions, and need some solitary time to recharge their batteries and feel most like themselves. I know this is true for me. I weigh every social engagement very carefully in my mind. How much will it cost me, in terms of psychological and physical exhaustion? Can I afford an hour? Two? How much of a break will I need between activities?

I know that if I’m out with people for more than two nights in a row, I become incredibly cranky and start jonesing for at least an equal number of nights at home, alone. For me, home is a place where I can be secluded – or shut off – from the world, both literally and figuratively, in order to feel whole and alive again.

Do you crave seclusion? Or is home a place where you want to open up, and include others? How does your home express either of these tendencies?