Hi Adam, I have another question for you. I am not a social or a party person and I avoid or make excuses to go to social events because I don't enjoy being social. I criticize myself for not being social and think that I am lacking something and I am not doing good karma. Please suggest...
Sure. Good question. I have some experience of this myself. I prefer to stay in than go out. There is nothing wrong with it.
Today’s society promotes the ideas of social activity to a great degree, often as if being sociable, going out, interacting and meeting with people is the way to a healthy and happy life. But what is really the point? You may at some level feel that most interactions are quite shallow, and what most people tend to be interested in and talk about, simply doesn’t interest you. Your nature may be an introverted one – this is not to be judged as good or bad. Those with an introverted nature do not gain energy from interactions, they are more likely to lose energy, whereas extroverted individuals tend to gain energy from interactions, and perhaps feed off of the energy of others.
Fully embrace this aspect of yourself. We hear so much about the “desirable” qualities of being open, confident, friendly and chatty, that we judge and resist qualities that seem to be in opposition to this. If you feel closed or unsociable, fully allow yourself to be this way. One can never feel more open by resisting the feeling of being closed. Simply let yourself feel however you do, without believing it should be different. This, paradoxically is where healing occurs if it is required.
There are generally two possibilities: the first is that the ego fears destruction and disturbance form other people. If this is the case, then self-judgement or criticism (which is of course also from the ego) will just serve to keep this illusory self-defence mechanism in place. Allowing and accepting your tendencies, without labelling them as good or bad – will heal what is limiting and useless. The other possibility is, as I eluded to before – that you are happy as you are. You do not need interaction to give you a buzz, more energy or mental stimulation – it simply is not necessary for you.
If you feel reclusive, accept the feeling. We will get nowhere through judgement and resistance, especially when most of our judgements come from the conditioning of an insane society. So however you feel, accept it, let it be, without even entertaining the idea that you know whether it is good or bad that you feel unsociable. Others may say it is bad, but how can anyone possibly know?
With this acceptance comes relief, a feeling of “there is nothing wrong with me”, “I can be as I am”. With this you will not feel such a strong urge to make excuses for not socialising, and you may find yourself just saying “I don’t feel like it”. Don’t believe you have to explain yourself to anyone. How can you really explain the reason for you feelings? Do they not arise of their own accord, rather than being deliberate constructions? Self-explanation is futile, so don’t force it.
On the other hand, with this acceptance of one’s own feelings or thoughts, you may naturally find yourself seeing social occasions as not a big deal – nothing really - in which case you may partake more often, or you may naturally lose interest altogether, without carrying resistance.
Be aware of your mind forming an identity out of this. Watch how your mind creates thought of “not being a party person” or “being unsociable” or anything similar, and see how it makes an identity out of these thoughts – the idea of “me”. If you form an identity out of these behaviours, you simply limit yourself. Again this is not a bad thing, but can create a sense of limitation or constriction that may not serve you. Don’t even be a person. Just be. Be aware of the deepest , truest aspect of yourself – which is the simple feeling “I AM” – the sense that you exist, that you are – be with the feeling alone, and pay no attention to thoughts that try to associate with this (such as I am “this” or “that”) – just be with the I AM. Be the I AM – which is no different than inner stillness or inner space. It is the natural space of being, before the ego arises. It is felt, rather than seen. This sense of being – yourself - needs no defences, does not change or diminish, and is free from person-hood.
So let go of the idea that you should be different. Everyone has been fooled by this idea that the way you are is not good enough, that you lack something or should be better somehow. This is simply not true. Let the feeling “I AM” which can most easily be felt within the body – be your self. The “I AM” does not know lack or self-criticism, it simply is as it is, and when felt without mental filters - is itself love and joy. If you allow your solitude or solitary preferences to fully be as they are, everything will sort itself out.
Even if self-judgements or self criticism arises – let this be. Do not be interested. Be aware that it is the domain of the mind which is not who you are. It creates a false, conceptual identity, which feels separate from the natural being “I AM” – and then it creates other thoughts to attack this false identity. Let this happen, again without even labelling it. If guilt or any emotion arise – just watch it without giving it instant belief.
Being alone is extremely undervalued in society. Not only is it useful for spiritual purposes, but also is the ground in which creative endeavours can come to rise. When you accept the unsociable behaviour – you actually become more comfortable in social situations – since you are aware that you do not need others to like you. You feel no pressure to make friends or to be liked. You are not closed, but you are not needy. With this being said, social interactions can still have their place, and are actually enhanced to a far more genuine degree if you fully accept your own feelings, without judgement. One who accepts their own inner energies and behaviours is far more genuine, and therefore tends to be more likeable.
At the deepest level, the person that feels responsible for not being sociable, for making excuses, for creating any karma etc. - is illusory. Can you see that all thoughts, behaviours, actions and tendencies arise by themselves, of their own accord? Then there is the idea of “me doing it” – which is just another thought, rather than the reality of what you are. When you no longer take responsibility for what is done or not done, said or not said – you may find that this is not some reckless, childish behaviour of “not taking responsibility for your actions”. In fact action carries on, it takes place, often more effectively and without negativity, and without the feeling of heavy attachment. Even the idea of doer-ship arises by itself. See that things happens by themselves, and the idea of doer-ship is simply an idea in the mind, rather than a truth. Then naturally all false and limiting behaviours will have no ground to stand on. If this final paragraph makes no sense to you, that is fine, just discard it.
I hope this response has helped somehow, if you feel to ask anything else, feel free.
All the best,
Comments for Not A Social Person
(from previous website)
Apr 01, 2014
Question on not being social
Thanks Adam for such a useful advice.. I feel like people think I am weird because I don't socialize, all my neighbors are so outgoing and friendly with each other. I don't feel like going out with them.
also I feel that this is what my 2 little children are learning from me. It really hurts me when my children see that their mom is so introverted. Just worried what if they become like me?
Apr 01, 2014
Introversion From Fear or Contentment?
by: Adam - InnerPeaceNow.com
Hello, I responded to the comment above but it ended up being too long to place in the comments section. A new page has been built for it - available as "Part 2" just above this comments section, or you can find it on the top of the blog.