- require a minimum period of isolation every day to survive psychologically
- are energized by weak-link social fields, such as coffee shops, where little interaction is expected
- are energized by occasional, deeper 1:1 interactions, but still at arm’s length; no soul-baring
- are energized by such 1:1 encounters with anyone, whether or not a prior relationship exists
- are drained by strong-link social fields such as family gatherings
- are reduced to near-panic by huddles: extremely close many-many encounters such as group hugs
- have depth-limited relationships that reach their maximum depth very fast
- need a minimum amount of physical contact everyday, even if it is just laying around with a pet
- are energized by strong-link social fields such as family gatherings
- like soul-baring 1:1 relationships characterized by swings between extreme intimacy and murderous enmity
- are not willing to have 1:1 encounters with anyone unless they’ve been properly introduced into their social fields
- are made restless and anxious by weak-link social fields such as coffee shops unless they go with a friend
- are reduced to near panic by extended episodes of solitude
- have relationships that gradually deepen over time to extreme levels
From the Introvert list I have: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6. From the Extrovert list I have: 3, 6, 7.
What does that make me? I have always thought of myself as an extrovert and yet, I tend to feel like larger groups don't like me. I don't feel safe when I have to figure out how to relate to more than one person at once. I used to love big groups. I was good at them. Not anymore. Anxiety has pushed me towards isolation and it really sucks. I often feel better connecting briefly with a stranger because I don't have to worry about offending them. I don't have to worry about them learning to be disgusted by me. I'm trying to cobble together a mental support team without overly depending on any one person. Because if I depend too much on one (or three) people I will exhaust them, they will get sick of me, they will move on. If I can get bits and pieces from many, many people, I can pretend that is enough.
I think that a lot of my conflict with Noah is because I swing hard between the sort of energetic transactionalism this essay talks about. What an interesting thing to consider. I can't decide if we should have one "bank account" or separate accounts. I suppose it makes sense that I gravitate heavily towards folks with Aspergers and I am absolutely terrified of being codependent. I would rather learn Aspie coping mechanisms because they make me feel safe. They make me feel less vulnerable. I wish every single day that I could take my extrovert needs and burn them out of me with a poker. It has been the work of a lifetime to stop being an extrovert. Being an extrovert is dangerous. It's not safe. I can't depend on people.
I can go weeks without talking to people I don't live with. Most of the people I depend on heavily rotate in and out of my life. My friends all have their own mental health issues and they will go radio silence for months or years. I poke at them every so often to see if they are still around, but almost none of them come back to me. I'm too hard. When I lose contact with people it is because *I* stop forcing a relationship. That hurts. That hurts a lot. I don't have many people who reach out to me unless I post excessively on the internet about how I may not make it to tomorrow. Otherwise people just don't have room for me in their lives. I've never been able to figure out what to do about that.