Confused about the difference between rejuvenating solitude and fear-driven avoidance?  Here are questions to ask yourself and some tips to try:

Is Wanting to Be Alone a Problem?

1)   How do you feel when the phone rings?  Likewise, how do you feel when you are invited to an event?  When someone wants your company or attention, pay attention to your reaction.  If you experience dread, resistance, or physical symptoms like a racing heart, shallow breathing, or a clenched stomach, these may be signs of social anxiety or past trauma.  However, letting that call go to voicemail because you are immersed in something else, or simply deciding not to answer the phone for a while is intentional, not avoidant.

2)   When you get some time alone, how do you feel?  If the answer is rejuvenated, energized, or otherwise positive, then rock on, my introverted friend.  If the answer is “relieved,” look closer. “I don’t have to go to that party and feel awkward!”  “I didn’t have to talk to him!” “Phew, no one noticed I wasn’t there.”  Relief in moderation is typical, but consistently turning inward for relief may imply avoidance. 

 

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