“I don’t know what to talk to people about. I’m okay with just sitting there and listening to others. Then if I try to interject, people shut me out, like I don’t exist (depending on the people.) So, It’s best to just sit quietly.”

I got this paragraph in an email from an acquaintance recently and I totally understood where she was coming from.

Sometimes I just want to be alone to “recharge my battery”, as introverts often do.

But other times, my desire to be alone is more complicated. Sometimes I don’t want to be around people because I don’t feel like being rejected. Say you are hanging around a group of people you don’t know well. You try to be a part of the conversation, and you are ignored.

And let’s be honest, rejection hurts, especially when you are a kid or teenager and still trying to figure out friendship and social situations. After that happens a few times, you learn that it’s better to just be quiet and observe rather than run the risk of speaking and being rejected.

As an adult, I’ve learned to cope with these feelings. I don’t care nearly as much when people “reject” me. Instead, I tell myself that these aren’t the type of people I want to hang around, anyways. I like people who are considerate, kind, and willing to listen to me the same way I listen to them. I have something to offer as a friend and acquaintance, and if they aren’t willing to accept me, then, well….maybe they aren’t worth caring about!