I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.
― Audrey Hepburn
Note: This Article, “Weight Loss for Introverts,” is Part 1 of a two part series on personality type and weight loss. Part 2 is “Weight Loss for Extroverts.”
In a series of scientific experiments, it was found that people would rather administer electric shocks to themselves than to be alone with their thoughts. I find this really sad. No wonder people feel so disconnected these days. You can’t have a relationship with yourself if you can’t be with yourself.
I know from listening to many of my clients, that people are often afraid to be alone because their thoughts are either obsessively negative and/or self-critical. This leads to a downward spiral in their mood, and then they use food to numb out the painful feelings.
Other people are simply afraid to be alone. In today’s world, you can always be connected to a device in one way or another, unfortunately, when unconnected or without company, some people don’t know what to do with themselves. They then turn to food, TV or both to numb out.
Personally, I’ve always loved my solitude. Solitude is nourishing, loneliness isn’t. As an introvert, I treasure my aloneness, even more so as I get older. I enjoy people, but I need plenty of alone time to recharge my batteries, process my thoughts and feelings, and enjoy my hobbies (painting, writing, photography), which are all solitary. I’m happiest when alone and immersed in the joy of creativity.
People are always surprised when I tell them I’m an introvert. They believe the stereotype of the shy, quiet, nerdy introvert. I’m an outgoing and very friendly introvert. The true definition of extroverts and introverts is that extroverts gain energy around others and introverts are energetically drained by other people. They may love being around others but they need solitude and downtime to recharge their batteries.
As an introvert, I love nothing more than being with one or two special people and having deep, thought provoking conversations. I can’t stand crowds, noisy environments, parties, and I’m not much of a group person unless the group is small or I’m the one running it.
One of my greatest strengths is that I’m an empath. As an empath, I can easily sense and feel the feelings of others. This is important in my line of work because it helps me to connect deeply with others and have compassion for my clients.
Being an empath also comes with its share of drawbacks. It’s very easy for empaths to become exhausted from taking on and carrying the negative emotions of others. It’s important for empaths to know how to release and clear negative emotions, so that they don’t become depressed or overwhelmed by too many emotions.
Many of my clients are in the helping professions and because of their empathic natures, they tend to become overwhelmed, overweight, stressed out, and eventually they burn out. Empaths tend to be givers and therefore must learn self-care, and how to set clear and firm boundaries.
This is why learning how to deal with and accept your true nature, knowing how to play to your strengths, and developing a self-care routine are so important. It really is a quality of life issue and by making some changes, you can actually stop living a life that drains the life out of you and start living one that supports you and actually feeds your spirit.
I take time out to enjoy my solitude and listen to my thoughts.
In my next article, we will explore the eating and health habits of extroverts.
Are you ready to learn self-care and create a life that nurtures you?