Cette semaine je n’ajouterai qu’un seul épisode à la playlist de podcasts.
Parce que cet épisode en vaut 10.
Lorsque ce sujet m’a été proposé sur Instagram, mon premier réflexe a été de tous vous renvoyer vers l’article publié en octobre 2017 sur Medium How Do You Pick Your Friends. Sauf que je l’ai relu. Il reste d’actualité, mais beaucoup de choses ont changé, surtout en cette période de transition.
Du coup un nouvel article s’impose.
I hate going out of my house.
I have been locked in here for three days now. Busy as hell.
Cleaning. Reading. Sleeping. Eating. Working. Working out. Binging on various stuff. Busy as hell.
Most of the time poeple feel sorry for me. They think I am sad. That my life is worthless. That I lack friends. That loneliness is about to kill me. I remember when I was younger, around 12 or 13, my mother used to throw me out of the house after the third or fourth day when I entered a hibernation phase, locked in my room. “Your skin needs sun!” Or “This is not a life!” Or “You live in a world full of people, what is wrong with you?”.
One day, a friend of my mother came to visit. I was the one who opened the gate for him. When my mother came, he asked who I was. She said I was her daughter. He asked if I was a niece or something. She said no, I was her daughter, the one coming after this child and before that other child. Her friend said “But I come here almost every day and I never saw her!”.
This happened several times actually.
I love my own company. I love being by myself. I love enjoying a movie, music, reading, or even staring at the ceiling A-LO-NE. I can be around people, but only for a limited amount of time. Especially if it is a crowd (5 is a crowd to me). I can have a great time socializing, but at some point, usually after a few hours, I get bored. I am not in the mood to chat anymore, and all I want is to go back to my place and enjoy myself… by myself.
The reason why I talk about this today is very simple.
Remember my last post here ? I asked readers to come to me with topics. It was the best idea ever: several people came to me with such interesting topics! The beautiful thing is it was never limited to “I wish you to write about this or that.” Having these people in my inbox was an opporutnity to have such interesting, humbling and enlightening conversations. I am short of words about how grateful I am to each and everyone of those who came to me.
But let’s not digress.
A young lady asked me to talk about people’s perception of the life of an introvert. During our discussion, she said this:
“About introverts, I feel like they are or rather we are people that have a restricted circle around us ( don’t know if the term is correct) but not just anybody have acces in that space. In my case, Ilike being around people, but not all the time. We can meet somewhere and I am open, talkative and friendly, but when Ireturn to my base, which is home, I embrace the solitude. It is like a comfort zone. The same person I was friendly with becomes irritating in my space.”
What saddened me is the reaction of her entourage. They are constantly negatively criticizing her lifestyle. They think she is either sick, or depressed, or lonely. I asked her if she told them how she feels about their reaction to her lifestyle, she said she tried, but they seem not to understand.“What bothers me is how most of the time, it makes me feel like there is something wrong with me.”
Those who read me frequently know I don’t give a care in the world about what people think of me or the way I live my life. What they probably don’t know is I was not born that way. I used to do everything possible to fit in. What people said about me used to affect me a lot, to the point that I used to be a people pleaser. I was doing everything for people to feel ok around me, completely sacrificing what mattered to me to be accepted by the majority.
I was not happy. At all. Most of the time I felt disrespected. People were not caring about what I wanted or needed. All they focused on was what I had to do or who I had to be for them to think of me as a normal human being. I had to be the way they wanted me to for them to feel ok around me. Happy. At peace.
It was not limited to me being an introvert. Far from that. I had to stop wearing black because my skin was too fair. I had to stop laughing that loud because a woman does not laugh that way. I had to stop watching animes because it was for kids (those watching my stories on Instagram know I can die for a good anime!). I shouldn’t be doing this because of that. I shouldn’t be doing that because of this.
At some point it became exhausting.
It was exhausting to have people telling me 24/7 how to live my life; what I should do to be normal to them; what I should adopt or give up to be like everyone else; how to be a social animal; how to be the “me” they pictured in their heads, not giving a damn about who I really was.
I tried to set boundaries and tell them to stop. But it worsened the situation. “Who do you think you are?” “You are not fun anymore!” “You are not as nice as I thought!” “What you are saying is stupid!” “Please drop having an attitude, it does not suit you!”
People. It was hell. Hell. I felt guilty not being the “nice one” anymore, but at the same time I was so mad at them for not trying to understand me.
Ont of the things that changed my perception of the whole situation is an episode of Myleik Teele’s podcast. You guys know how much I love the woman! The title of the episode is It is not being a Bitch, they are called boundaries. Does it ring a bell? Of course: it is the title of this post!
In a nutshell, this episode taught me how to REALLY set boundaries in my life. I told you guys, I am not afraid to cut people off if I am not happy with the path our realtionship is taking. This is my life. MY LIFE. I will never have the opportunity to live another one or to reset anything. I better not waste the one and only shot I have to live the way I want to. And if it means yelling at people for them to get off my back and respect my choices, I will. Absolutely no twinge of regret, remorse or guilt.
I rather put you out of my life than putting myself out of it. That will never happen again. Never.
To the lady who asked me to talk about introverts, I will say this. We cannot choose who we are. An introvert cannot become extrovert. What we can choose is the way we behave about who we are. Either we reject our nature to please people, or we make them reject the idea they have a say in how we live our lives. People respect us and respect our choices if we teach them how to. Boundaries are key here. It is just like making a kid understand he can play football in the yard, not on our white sofa.If we don’t tell them white sofa is not for football the way they can get it, they will go on and play there. Who will be to blame?
PS: this is totally new to me. For more than 2 years, I talked about myself and myself only, but with the number of people reaching out to me, I felt it was about time to stop being that self-centered. It is the first time I address someone else’s issue here. I enjoyed the experience, but I need to know what you thought of it. Should I open up more or just from time to time? My inbox on Instagram remains open for each and every one of you for chat, ideas, or questions.
Photo: DNB Stories
Hello, my name is Befoune and I hate people trying to tell me how to live my life. Share if you enjoyed reading this text. And share even if it is not the case. I need you to cheer me. For real.