I am a self-confessed misanthrope and cynic, and I take comfort in building barriers to prevent too much contact with real people, in the flesh. I could quite happily live as a hermit, but a modern-day hermit that has access to the internet, Twitter, Facebook and the suchlike. One of my (many) contradictions is that, despite my desire for period of isolation, i also like to voice my own opinion.
For that reason I have joined the Leeds Wellbeing Web group, so that I can learn how to use this more competently, thus reducing my need for interaction in circles I feel less comfortable with. Hoorah! It does mean that I have to attend a group, which is something I would normally avoid like the plague but, like the plague, it is not for an eternity and those that make it through to the other side will be stronger and better for it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Leeds. I really mean that too. I grew up in some awful little parochial villages, where gossip was the most modern form of communication and travel meant a day out in the nearest city (two hours drive away). Moving to Leeds is one of the best things I have ever done, if not the best. I like the fact that there is a whole variety of amazing and beautiful experiences that I can choose to be involved in. I just chose not to. But I could, if I wanted to. But I don’t.
… and in case you thought that I am just a miserable little person, who can’t get any friends and justifies this to herself by theorising about isolation, here’s a word from an expert at the Ted Talks website on introversion and the benefits of this for the creative process.