Thursday, January 15, 2015

No, I Do Not Want To Talk About My Day

One of the interesting side effects of working my current line of work is that it makes me almost completely uncommunicative when I get home at night.

I am by nature an introvert.  I do not reveal in or particularly enjoy large groups of people (not really if I have to and certainly not for entertainment or recreational purposes).  I would be just as happy to spend large parts of my life alone or with small groups of people whom I truly enjoy spending my time with.  But the reality is that we all have to work and for most of us, that means working in groups of people.

And so I am forced to be an extrovert.  It is not so much of a stretch as it might initially appear - after all, I am also a latent exhibitionist who loves attention -and so my days are filled with a steady stream of people coming and going and me, responding to questions and having opinions and occasionally giving advice and doing my best to bear the load by entertaining wherever I can (as a side note, you can make a song out of almost anything as long as you sing it to the tune of "O Canada").

But by the time I get home I am done. I have spent up to 9 hours in this environment where I am hardly at my most desirable place followed by the commute home and I am essentially done with communicating.  With anybody.  Including my family.

It is not supposed to be that way, of course.  Your family is the place that are supposed to be communicating the most - and with a house full of women, there is a lot of talking that goes on here!  But I will have none of it.  I sit there trying to drink in the thought that I do not have to say anything, perhaps occasionally interjecting a comment but  seldom trying to manage a conversation beyond (perhaps) what happened in some else's day.

My excuse is that it is hard. I am - in a way I think it is hard to communicate to others - used up.  For me, while I have come to find some enjoy in interacting with others a great deal of the time (on my terms - see the comment about song above) it is none the less draining in the sense that it takes something out of me to do this.  The time I am not there is the time for me to recharge my energy to be able to go do it the next day.  The unfortunate part is that this recharge time takes place precisely at the time when I should be putting as much time and energy into conversation as I do at work.

Of course I do not have a solution to this.  I cannot just drop what I do, neither can I enter a recharge pod when I walk in from work and just hide for the rest of the day.  Nor is working and then having to recharge from work so I can work a precisely desirable outcome either.  There has to be another way.

But I do know this:  if I could find a job that allowed me to work long periods of time by myself interjected with short periods of time spent with the people I like and love I would be the happiest man in the world.


  1. Heh my uncle was a car dealership manager and had four daughters and a very opinionated wife. He built him a TV room in his basement, retreated there and I don't remember him saying a word much until I was in my twenties :)

    He pretty much just stayed in his television room :)

  2. TB - i really, really understand. when i did my 6 interviews with a psychoanalyst for an intelligence agency here in canada - she was shocked when after all of the interviews and my various personality tests that i scored as the highest introvert she had ever scored. she asked my permission to submit my test scores and her notes to carleton university!!! now, this advice is very easily given but not easily followed through - you have to figure out what interactions that are recquired at work - RECQUIRED being the key word. because when you get home - there are RECQUIRED interactions that you must maintain as a husband and a father. number one - you are a husband and a father and those relationships MUST be the most important in your life. figure out how to back out of some of the relationships at work if they are sucking you dry. i hope that this piece of unsolicited advice helps.

    your friend,

  3. Preppy - I do not know that The Ravishing Mrs. TB is that much opinionated, but I can appreciate his point of view.

  4. Kymber - That is super good advice. It was probably a little easier back in the day when I had an office and door to shut instead of sharing cube - alas, these are the times we are in. You also make me wonder if part of my subconscious engagement when I really need to spend my mental reserves elsewhere is because it feeds that need to be the center of attention. I am also trapped a little bit by the fact that for what I do, I actually have to answer a lot of questions and do a lot of "soft" management of people to make my point. That said, you are right about the fact that I do need to concentrate on the truly important.

    And never worry - I need all the unsolicited advice I can get!


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