Time. We all know about the concept of time. Every day consists of 24 hours. Every hour has 60 minutes. Every minute has 60 seconds. And most importantly: time never stops.
As you are starting to read this blog post, time is passing by every millisecond. Sometimes we notice it because we are used to looking at a clock multiple times a day. On other times its nature that tells us. When the sun sets, we know the evening has arrived. When the sun rises, we know that a new day has begun.
Times rules everything. It tells us when we have to get to bed. It tells us when we have to arrive at work. And it for sure tells us, how much free time we have left after returning home. And if you’re an introvert like me, “free time” is the most important part of the day for you.
Free time is the most important time of the day for mostly every introvert
In my free time I do all the things I love. I write, I read, I play videogames, I watch tv-shows and movies. I even go to the gym sometimes and that usually takes a lot of it!
The hardest part about free time is having the freedom of choice. You have to choose for yourself what you want to do the most or the least because the majority of us only have a certain amount of hours per day that we can use to just enjoy ourselves and choosing what you want to do therefore can sometimes be really hard.
But do you know what I always wanted to do the very least in my free time? Hanging out with people!
And can you imagine who was making me feel bad about that for the longest time? The people that I for sure didn’t want to meet after coming home from a hard and long day at work. What a funny coincidence, don’t you think?
As most of you already know, the people we surround ourselves with have a high impact on how we perceive ourselves and how we think our life has to look like. It’s human nature wanting to fit in and be part of a group. Humans to the craziest things only to feel accepted by others and I can tell you, that I tried a lot to achieve that, too!
Sometimes we try so hard to be like everyone else, that it can hurt very much to realize that we can’t change who we are deep inside of us. No matter how hard I tried to hang out with people after work, even though I knew I was completely tired of human interaction, it didn’t change me or make me suddenly enjoy that kind of activity. I craved an afternoon alone at home, where I would chill on my bed and watch the latest episode of the tv-show I was binge-watching at that moment. But the wrong people will make you feel bad about even thinking of that!
As I said, the people you let into your life have a high impact on how you see yourself and your life as well. They can either help you to become the best version of yourself through supporting you in every part of your life, lifting you up when you feel down and motivate you to work towards your goals. But they can also do the quite opposite of that!
The wrong friends will always push you to do things, you don’t like or enjoy. They will make you think bad about yourself and they will always find a way to make you believe, that your choices aren’t valid and that what they want is more important than what you want.
And I can tell you, some people do have a certain way to get into your mind!
There were so many days where I was so depressed about hanging around at home, even though I really liked not having to go anywhere, that I started to hate myself for that. People were calling me “lazy” or “boring”. They told me that I need to be more out-going, which translated meant that I should go out more and hang around with them at places I didn’t want to go to. And every time I said, “no”, they managed to make me feel bad about “wasting my time” with all the things that I wanted to do instead.
But is it a waste of time, if the things you would rather do spark joy?
I doubt that. I say: It’s 100% a waste of time if you only do things to fit in but don’t enjoy, instead of doing the things you like to make yourself – and only yourself – happy.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you currently doing something you deeply enjoy?
- Would you say, that what you are considering as enjoyable activities are based on your – and only your – needs?
- Are there activities you do because you fear people will lose interest in you if you wouldn’t participate in them?
The key to overcoming this fear of wasting your time as an introvert – for me at least – is to look at the activities you are currently enjoying the absolute most and acknowledging them as the meaningful and valuable time you have invested or are going to invest to make yourself happy.
Nothing that makes you happy and brings you joy is a waste of time and no one should ever have the ability to make you believe otherwise.
This way of thinking changed everything for me. Nowadays I see the things I do in my free time as crucial for my mental health and overall happiness. Of course, you should always want to seek a balance (> Click here to go directly to the blogpost (öffnet in neuem Tab)” href=”https://thegermanintrovert.com/2020/01/26/maintaining-a-balance-alone-time-social-life/” target=”_blank”>Alone Time vs. Social Time >> Click here to go directly to the blogpost) but you should never feel pressured into doing something that doesn’t make you feel any happier than before.
Say “no” to the things you hate and only “yes” to the things you love.