"Think you can't change the world? Too late, you already have. It was changed for the better the minute you were born. There are more people than you can imagine who will never be the same because they came in contact with you, if only for a fleeting moment." ~Gail Purcell

Sunday, January 3, 2010

On being a hermit and why do people have a problem with that?

I have had the whole week off because of school vacation, and I go back to work on Monday. I think I must have been a hermit in a previous life, because I have been perfectly content to stay home the entire week (except for the day I went to my knitting lesson).

Maybe it's because I work 2 jobs everyday from7:30 to 5:30; and I have to race from one to the other at 2:00. Plus for the past 2 years I have been working on my BS so I was busy most weekends going to class. Perhaps that is why I cherish my down time and just want to stay home sometimes.

I never felt bored.... I puttered in my quilt store sewing room, read my new Stephen King book, cuddled with the cats, babysat my daughter's dog for 2 days, watched Hulu.com to catch up on the shows I missed,got tangled up in yarn knitted, and of course I was on the computer..... all in all a nice, relaxing week.


Today my friends were going to the movies and I just didn't feel like going, so I didn't. No reason, just told them I didn't feel like a movie, and I know they were fine with it. (they are used to my hermit-ish ways)

But there are many people who don't understand us "hermits-at-heart". They think there must be something "wrong" with hermits that don't feel the need to be around people all the time. I kind of feel sorry for people that don't enjoy their own company.

I found this on Psychology Today, and it is SO true about me! (and can I say that my now ex-husband never understood this as he was an extrovert!)

" Loners often hear from well-meaning peers that they need to be more social, but the implication that they're merely black-and-white opposites of their bubbly peers misses the point. Introverts aren't just less sociable than extroverts; they also engage with the world in fundamentally different ways. While outgoing people savor the nuances of social interaction, loners tend to focus more on their own ideas—and on stimuli that don't register in the minds of others. Social engagement drains them, while quiet time gives them an energy boost.
 Research by psychotherapist Elaine Aron  demonstrates that withdrawn people typically have very high sensory acuity. Because loners are good at noticing subtleties that other people miss, Aron says, they are well-suited for careers that require close observation, like writing and scientific research. It's no surprise that famous historical loners include Emily Dickinson, Stanley Kubrick, and Isaac Newton." (Hey, I am in good company)

SO!! The next time you just "want to be alone" don't let anyone give you grief over it... you just tell them that scientific research proves that you need some "quiet time to recharge your sensory acuity". That should keep them quiet for a while....

And while we're at it, maybe we can join this club:

Unfortunately most of the website is in Latin.
I didn't know Latin was the official language of hermits. Did you?


  1. Oh Sheila---you made me really SMILE with this post and I am also a Hermit--and I don't work outside the home--I do have some health problems--but I just like being in my own apartment and doing my own thing!!!! like you said people don't get it---Hey-- I also don't like to talk on the phone--whereas most people talk on one allllll day long--I do not even own a cell either--but if I had to drive I would have one for that---
    Take care and you go right on enjoying being a Hermit and I will join you.
    Hugs, Di & co.

  2. I'm a paradox, I think, since I'm both a hermit AND like to be with people, but every time I'm with people, there's that thing called compromising that gets in the way and sometimes I just want to relax and do things my way.

    I have found that I'm much better off being by myself sometimes. I wouldn't go so far as to go to a movie by myself, but I do love going shopping alone since I find I get it done much faster.

    I do have this tendency to talk to myself which freaks people out sometimes...I want so bad to say that I'm on my cell phone, but I don't have one of those things in my ears.

    I enjoy my own company, but often wishing I had a soul mate or kindred spirit who would enjoy what I'm doing exactly the same way.

  3. Di, I hate talking on the phone too!! Only do it when I absolutely have to. However, I do have a cell phone, but have a full keyboard and mostly text...texting is fun to me, but talking isn't...haven't quite figured out way. Talking seems intrusive to me, while the texting isn't so much...

  4. I went searching through your blog for this post - I remembered reading it but didn't remember leaving a comment. :-)

    I have very serious hermit-like tendencies and while I try hard to explain to those that don't understand I also don't understand why I have to explain. Isn't it about accepting everything about each other. :-)

  5. Sheila, I wondered onto your blog (I've forgotten from where now) because of the title and then to this post because I am a hermit also. I've read (and quoted) the scientific research you mention too. Another point is that 'we' take in alot more of the feelings,etc from the people around us and need some time and space to let it seep back out. Extroverts don't internalize as much of what is going on around them. They often get moody,etc when alone.
    I also get weary of explaining this to people but my cats and dogs seem to just understand :-)
    Fortunately, my spouse gets it. By the way, love the cartoons and the cat picture :-)


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