introvert
Introversion,  Retirement

Am I Becoming More of an Introvert?

I’ve always been pretty introverted but I’m starting to wonder if I’m becoming even more so. Has retirement allowed me to become too comfortable in my own little introvert world?

Am I reclusive?

My answer to that question would be no, I’m not reclusive. I’m not trying to escape from society, although it seems there’s a lot to escape from these days!!!

I simply like being at home. We just had a very social three day weekend. It was all very fun and I enjoyed every minute. But today, I’m ready to be home alone, even enjoying the laundry and other chores.

A day like this means I can focus on the things I like without having to talk to anyone (except Brutus, who talks back but doesn’t ask me questions).

I will admit, if it weren’t for Tim, it would be SO easy for me to become a little bit reclusive. Sometimes, I feel better when he gets me out of the house, even if it’s just for a quick dinner. The only negative is I have to change out of my comfy clothes. 😆

Am I rigid?

Am I inflexible or unchangeable? I don’t think that’s me either, although there are times when I have a plan and I don’t want to change it. But is that being rigid?

Tim’s days off these last few weeks have been variable. As a result, I’ve had to adjust my plans so I have time to spend with him. I’ve done fine with that and even enjoyed mixing things up a little.

But I will admit, this week’s back to “normal” and I kind of like it. While I don’t think I’m rigid, I do like routine. I have a set morning routine, which sometimes suffers due to early morning obligations. That’s OK. I adapt. And then I try to avoid anything before 10:00 in the future!! 😉

Besides, Brutus prefers our routine too. It messes up his day when things don’t go as they usually do. Good excuse, right?

As we age

I’ve read that everyone becomes more introverted as we age, even extroverts. What surprised me, though, was that this begins in our 30s.

As we settle into our adult lives, some of our extroverted activities become less appealing. We’re satisfied sticking closer to home and being with our families or a few close friends.

I realize some people will always be extreme extroverts and want to be out and about constantly. But most people will be happy spending more time alone or with family and friends.

When I was working, there were weekends when I didn’t leave my house. At the time, I didn’t realize how being an introvert impacted my physical and mental well being. I was always worn out by the end of the week which I now attribute to all the people stimulation from the week.

It’s definitely easier for me to feel more introverted now that I’m retired. I could go days without leaving the house and not feel bad about it. That doesn’t mean I don’t like to do things outside of the house but I’ve learned to schedule them sparingly.

I look forward to both the days when I have no place to go and when I get to see friends or run a few errands.

Does it matter?

You know what, it doesn’t matter!! As long as I’m happy, it’s all good. This is one of the reasons I’ve said retirement is perfect for me. It’s not about becoming more introverted; it’s finally feeling comfortable as an introvert.

Years ago, I found this quote in a Real Simple magazine. I cut it out and it’s been on my bulletin board ever since. Even then, I knew I was destined for the happiness of retired life as an introvert.

“We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.”

E.B. White

Introvert or extrovert, we should all find what gives us joy and do more of it. That’s all that really matters.

10 Comments

  • Molly Stevens

    I have been wondering this about myself, too, Linda. I recently felt some anxiety about the change of seasons. It wasn’t because I’m not looking forward to better weather and being outside more. It was because of how busy and social summer tends to be. There are plans to attend bridal showers and weddings and there will be visitors from out of state. I know I’ll enjoy it but at the same time it is overwhelming. Finding balance on a day to day basis will be the key to my serenity! I know you understand.

    • Retired Introvert

      Oh boy, do I understand. In late June and early July I have two class reunions and a trip to the Black Hills. All very fun but a lot packed into a short time. I just have to know my limits and make sure that time is free of other things!!

  • Marty

    A very timely post for me because I’ve been thinking about this very aspect of my personality along with retirement. I’ve always been somewhat reclusive and a homebody. I love going out and doing things, though the return to home is never far from my thoughts. During my first marriage my wife was the extrovert, but now my current wife is more like me. It makes it somewhat challenging at times because I think we need to get out and mingle more.

    But you’ve give me grace here: “it doesn’t matter.” Don’t worry, I’m not holding you to that! 🙂

    • Retired Introvert

      My husband and I are very similar in that regard too. The difference is, he likes to “get out” just for something to do. Not necessarily to socialize but to be active. That gets me out more than I would otherwise, which I know is good.

      And that’s right – it doesn’t matter. You’re not trying to please anyone but yourself!!

  • Pat

    I’ve always been an introvert. When I worked, I learned all kinds of extrovert skills and many people, over time, thought I was an extrovert. I can pretty much talk with anyone, handle being in front of a crowd, etc. It just takes so much work and can exhaust me.

    Hubby is also an introvert, and his job did not require him to learn extrovert skills! He, like you, is getting to be even more of an introvert as he gets older.

    I do like to be out and about and connected to people, in small doses. I think I got so used to it working that I found a new “set point.” But not too many people, and not for too long, or too many days in a row! Otherwise, I still can get to that feeling of exhaustion.

    • Retired Introvert

      I’m not great at developing or even faking those extrovert skills. There were situations where I had to network/socialize but I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I like being around extroverts because I can mostly listen!!!

  • Donna

    I never thought of myself as an introvert until I took the Meyers Briggs. I can be very chatty and love public speaking. But an introvert I am, and I agree, it’s wonderful to just be who we are. I agree that I have become more so since I retired. My husband is chatty, too, but also introverted. The downside is both of us suck at making friends.

    • Retired Introvert

      I would not describe either of us as chatty but certain topics and audiences can make a difference. I would say we are both bad at making new friends too. We’re friendly but nothing leads to true friendship. At times, I wish we had more couple friends but that might require too much effort!! 😁

  • Nickie Lukehart

    It’s hard when your spouse is just the opposite. (The more people the better)
    I’m always ready to come home before he is. I tell him before we leave that I will want to come home early and we should probably drive separate. But he says, he is fine with leaving early. Once the evening progresses he doesn’t want to leave.☹️
    I’m hoping for the day we are on the same page.😁

    • Retired Introvert

      I’m lucky that way. Tim is usually ready to get home too. I’m not sure you guys will ever be on the same page. 😊

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