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Carol Bainbridge

Hermit or Intorvert?

By October 29, 2012

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October 29 is Hermit Day. I really should do more with this day since I am coming to see myself more and more as a hermit.  I love spending time with myself and have less and less need for company.  That's a hermit, right?  I got a bit of a chuckle when I read a WikiHow article on how to be a hermit.  Some of it wasn't all that funny, such as references to problems like post-traumatic stress disorder, but I still couldn't help chuckling over some of the rest of it.

For example, there is this advice on deciding on a home: "In the spirit of hermitdom, it is probably best to choose somewhere hidden, small, and modest. Better still if it's environmentally friendly. A tree house will do the trick nicely, but if nothing atmospheric is available, you can just use your own room. ex. a storage room, an attic, a basement, your garage, your truck..."  My preference is a cave.  No, really. Have you ever seen some cave homes?  There is one in Arizona and another in Missouri.

Then again, I am an off-the-charts introvert. So it's not really terribly surprising that I like my own company and really enjoy the time I spend by myself. Sometimes introverts like me don't feel very accepted.  Trust me...I know about this.  We are supposed to learn to "open up" and learn to be sociable.

But being introverted isn't some aberration that needs to be corrected. It is as much of a trait as is extroversion. For us introverts, our behaviors and preferences are quite normal. It's not that introverts can't learn to engage more in social situations, but you can't make us like it any more.

If you have an introverted child, take care. Rather than try to turn in into an extrovert, try to understand him, respect him, and help him be the best that he can be. In other words, learn how best to raise an introverted child.
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