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Thread: Being Reclusive

  1. #1

    Default Being Reclusive

    Over the past couple of months, I've essentially lost the usual desire I have to go out, socialise and be around people. There are still one or two people whose company I enjoy, but I'm becoming much more inclined to opt for spending time by myself, and doing solitary things like reading, watching documentaries and listening music in my room, when I used to enjoy going out with friends.

    Sure, I've always enjoyed all the cultural activities I listed above, but right now, I'd rather just stay in and be by myself than go out for a meal, and be around people - which before, would've been almost unheard of, for me. I'm not feeling particularly stressed or depressed, and there's not been a big social issue to make this change develop...it just sort of has.

    So, I suppose that's a bit of personal context on a wider issue I'm interested in. Namely, that of being a Recluse:

    Is a reclusive lifestyle one which appeals to you?
    Do you think it's healthy - in any number of ways - to live in a way where you don't interact much with others?
    Is there a lot to be gained by enjoying one's own company?
    And do you think people are naturally reclusive, or is it something some of us develop from exposure to certain social situations?

  2. #2

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    Personally I think those are difficult questions to answer because you are delving into what makes people tick territory and that's not always cut as dry.

    Humans are social creatures but it's not unheard of or uncommon for even the most social butterfly to need a time out.

    Personally I don't think it's unhealthy to want to be alone and I don't think it's healthy to want to be surrounded by people all the time eaither. But what makes you happy is up to you to find not any preconceived definition of Normal.

    I am personally a recluse. I have my job that I do outside and I love nothin more than going home to a quiet house and doing me things. I don't like dating and I'm not fond of going out except for once in a while.

    I like my life and I wouldn't change it. It's quiet, stress free and it works for me but I also understand that my lifestyle is not for everyone.

  3. #3

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    I'm very much a loner, and I've always had a hard time explaining this to people. Their eyes cross as they try to fathom the concept that I'm perfectly happy alone, with no other company, for weeks or months at a time. And I don't feel cut off either... I've got my hobbies, I stay connected to the world, just not to other people.

    That said, a strong shift in mood and interests like you're experiencing could more likely be a symptom of depression or some other problem. If you feel content then maybe not, maybe you're just burned out on people for awhile. But watch for other signs. Sleeping a lot? Feeling at a loss for things to do? A general sense of discontent? Just take care of yourself.

  4. #4

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    Honestly, this is a hard question to answer in the best of circumstances.

    First, an attempt at an awswer, for what it's worth: Sometimes, moods change. Circumstances change. Life changes. People change. Moods change. So, whether this is a new and permanent part of who you are, or whether this is a temporary affair, who knows? You say you don't believe yourself to be stressed or depressed, but again, who knows? Perhaps there's something long-term that isn't stressful per se but is weighing on you all the same. Perhaps there's been a subtle change in the dynamics of your social circles and you're feeling subtly different about them. Perhaps you're actually depressed in some way, shape, or form. Or, perhaps you're like me in that you deal with enough stupid assholes that sometimes by the time you're done with the day you'd just as soon back over someone as talk to them.

    So who knows? Perhaps this is a temporary malady. Perhaps it's terminal.

    The bigger question, I think, is how is it affecting you? Do you feel as though it's affecting your ability to get on in the world? Is it saddening you? Are you relieved to have the break? Are you worried it's merely a symptom of some greater emotional or medical concern?

    To your bigger question: I think there's value in balance, that everything exists on a continuum and being to either extreme is not always an optimal arrangement. So, being an extreme recluse, one that only goes out to do the necessary things in life (school, work, etc.), is potentially problematic. One that only ever goes out and parties and never takes care of business at home-again, potentially problematic. But, I think people have phases. There are times when we need to recharge, or aren't keen on dealing with people, or just want to do something like sit home and watch a documentary. That's ok. There are times when we need to get out and let loose or bounce ideas off someone or just stop looking at the four walls, and that's ok too. Sometimes I think these come in longer phases. Perhaps you'll go a month or two and not go out much. Perhaps you'll go out pretty much constantly for a month or two, then you'll just be burned out and need to stay in a bit.

    I realize that's a bit wishy-washy, but this is such an individualized question that it's hard to give a straight answer. So, I'll go back to where I was before: Do you feel like it's negatively affecting you? If so, perhaps it's a problem. If you otherwise feel fine but you want to stay in and watch a documentary, well, enjoy the opportunity to become that much more enlightened. Not all our lessons are learned in public, but sometimes we have to go out and get our hands dirty too. Think of it as part street-smarts, part book-smarts.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanch View Post
    Is a reclusive lifestyle one which appeals to you?
    Yes



    Do you think it's healthy - in any number of ways - to live in a way where you don't interact much with others?
    Yes and no. With rare exceptions, you have to interact successfully with others to make a living. As long as you understand your limitations and sacrifice enough solitude to support yourself, I don't see a problem with it. Fortunately, a lot of tech jobs are performed best by people who are comfortable locked in a dark closet by themselves for long periods of time.




    Is there a lot to be gained by enjoying one's own company?
    That's up to you and how you deal with it.



    And do you think people are naturally reclusive, or is it something some of us develop from exposure to certain social situations?
    Some are, some aren't. I've always been that way, so is my dad. I recognized early on that I'd have to fake being social to some degree to get along in the world. So I did.

  6. #6

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    My only concern would be the rather short span of time, going from social to reclusive. Sometimes it's because of growth. I always had to be with my friends when I was young, but over the many years, that has changed. I'm married, so I'm always with someone, that being my wife. I still work my part time job, so I'm out and about, but I'm more satisfied with staying home, and like you said, reading or listening to music.

  7. #7

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    Is a reclusive lifestyle one which appeals to you?
    -This changes with me over time and it depends on the people I'm around. At home I typically am reclusive but will occasionally be a busy body for a few weeks at a time. When I am more depressed than usual it does not appeal to me because it's isolating and makes that worse. I'm an introvert so being social for too long, or with too many people, or on too many outings is incredibly exhausting at times. My introvert/extrovert balance also changes regularly. When I'm out of town with ageplay friends and my chosen family I'm more extroverted and usually more social but even so there will be a few months every year where I keep to myself or only talk to two or three people.

    Do you think it's healthy - in any number of ways - to live in a way where you don't interact much with others?
    -I would rephrase this to give an answer. Can you live in a way where you don't interact much with others in a healthy manner? I think the human interaction and the health involved with doing so are separate things. If you can be engaged and avoid excessive introspection I think living solitarily can be perfectly healthy. I usually cannot keep myself that busy unless I'm working. I can program machines and fiddle with parts for days while seeking as little human interaction as possible, but I have trouble keeping that occupied without the job.

    Is there a lot to be gained by enjoying one's own company?
    -I think it can help you identify some of your weaknesses, perhaps make you comfortable with situations where you can't have the company of others for some reason. If I moved for work I would have to be very self reliant while I settled into the area. I don't know how well extroverts handle something like that or if they can plug into locals fairly easily.

    And do you think people are naturally reclusive, or is it something some of us develop from exposure to certain social situations?
    -I think people can be naturally reclusive BECAUSE of certain social situations, nobody is born without knowing another human being. I'm introverted and quiet like my parents, my extroverted friends are much like their parents and families. Things do happen that make me shut myself in from time to time but I think reclusive tendencies are a symptom of my personality traits. So the degree with which symptoms like that show up will depend on how my personality is at a given time.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for some really interesting personal and general responses. In relation to whether I think my becoming somewhat reclusive is perhaps due to depression, I don't think so. I've suffered from depression (along with other mental health issues) at times during my life, and right now there's no indication that I'm dealing with another bout of it. The past year has actually been one of my most stable and upbeat.



    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    Yes and no. With rare exceptions, you have to interact successfully with others to make a living. As long as you understand your limitations and sacrifice enough solitude to support yourself, I don't see a problem with it. Fortunately, a lot of tech jobs are performed best by people who are comfortable locked in a dark closet by themselves for long periods of time.
    Some excellent points here. On a personal note, I'm self-employed, so most of my work is done from home. In the past, I would've missed the office environment some of those times, but I actually feel like I work better just by myself. Like you say (in other parts of your post), as long as you can deal with other people when you need to, there's not necessarily a problem if you don't want to see them any other time.

  9. #9

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    Humans are social beings. Research has shown that populations that have more social contact live longer. Just think of the Mormons. Conversely avoiding contact with others may well be counter productive for your own longevity.

  10. #10

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    It's not healthy long term to be anti-social, at least in my opinion. I've really wanted to meet other ab/dl's in person since moving to a new state but I understand it takes time and patience when catering to such a hobby.

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