Apparently I Have a Reputation

I’ve got a problem. Well, I have MANY problems, but this one specifically is of my own doing, I suppose. (Like all my problems aren’t of my own doing?????)It seems I have a reputation. No, it isn’t one of being incredibly handsome. I wish that were the ‘problem’. 🤓

Apparently I’m an anti-social hermit that doesn’t like people, or at least doesn’t like to be around people.

Sigh…

Truth of the matter is that I’m an introvert. I need alone time to recharge. That’s all. Simple as that. No great mystery here! I’ve written about being an introvert before.

I’ve also written about being social. Here,  herehere, and here, as a few examples.

And let’s not forget, what I wrote about community as I was just hitting the road.

Hell, I even wrote about being alone, and what that does to me. 

So, yeah, I’m not sure this reputation is deserved. And I’m pretty sure the people that truly know me, my ‘tribe’, understand what I am. And what I am not. At least I hope they do. 😬

I suppose I’ve got myself to blame about this reputation that I have. I like to joke that I don’t like people. That I love being alone. That sort of thing. For some reason, it’s become my schtick. And I suppose if you don’t know me, you’d take me for my word.

Sigh…

What do I expect? People cannot be inside my head. They don’t know what I’m really thinking. They are taking me at face value.

I really am not an anti-social hermit who doesn’t like people. I NEED people to survive and thrive. I also need my recharge time. Or do I?

Kelly was just telling me that as much as I claim to like to be alone, she’s noticed that whenever she and I part ways (as infrequently as that is), I end up making a beeline to a part of my tribe. In other words, I’m not taking advantage of times when I could truly be alone. Not very hermity of me, is it?

It was brought to my attention just today that someone I’ve never met before, had no contact with (that I recall) previously, has heard about how I like to be alone. No clue where this came from, especially since I am currently taking a break from social media. I guess I DO have a reputation for this.

Not gonna lie, this bothers me a bit. OK, maybe more than a bit. Maybe I had a moment. Yeah, it bothers me.

This is a problem I’ve created. What to do? What to do?

I guess I can start by not giving a fuck about what anybody else thinks. And I’m definitely working on that. But it’s more than that.

I suppose I should chill out on my schtick. Don’t plant a seed in someone’s mind, especially when it’s not really who I am. Why would I want to do that? Why have I been doing that? Gawd, I’ve got no idea. Well, maybe a few theories that I’ll keep to myself. Not ready to open that box right now.

Bottom line is that I’m just a man trying to figure his shit out. I’m not a special snowflake. I’m not the only one with this problem. I’m not the only one who has been dealt a hand that has a few cards you wish you could throw back. It’s called life. And I’m just doing the best I can to live it true to myself.

Have I made the wrong turn here and there? DEFINITELY! Still do. Wish I didn’t. But I do. As much as I try to learn from the things that I do, sometimes I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall, not learning that doing so tends to hurt.

I still feel alone at times. Still lost. Still trying to figure SO much out. And often feeling like I’m not making any headway.

Thankfully I have a travel partner that means the world to me and helps me keep my sanity. And puts up with with my (many) idiosyncrasies. Not sure how I’d be getting along if this wasn’t the case. Because I’m not sure that being alone suits me.

But ultimately it’s up to me to make my own peace with who I am. How I’m perceived. And what I want out of life.

Not such an easy task…

13 thoughts on “Apparently I Have a Reputation

  1. Some people are energized by being around other people, others have to expend energy to be around other people. I am of the type that, like you, I need to be alone to recharge. Not much time, but some. Proud member of the tribe of widely scattered introverts.

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  2. Dear Marshall,
    I’m an introvert too, and I seriously need alone time too. We’ve never met, but I read your blog. Right before you stopped posting on instagram, right after the eclipse, you wrote a blog about how four months of being social had made you nuts and how you needed time alone, and how you were going to go far far far away for a while. I can see how anti-social hermit might come to mind. But the blog is only a slice of you, and I enjoy it, even if it’s not the full marshall.

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    • Thank you! Yeah, I send pretty mixed signals on this blog, don’t I? Of course, one of the purposes of my writings is to capture a moment in time. What I was thinking RIGHT then. It’s nice to know my thought processes can evolve. And maybe, just maybe, I don’t need as much alone time as I think.

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  3. This is really interesting! I’ve been finding out about my reputation recently too, and it was a total shock. Pretty similar to yours actually.
    I hold onto the fact that I know myself and the truth, and these people who are assuming things are probably unaware of their reputation, just as I was. Better an introvert than a lot of other names.
    Great post.

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  4. It’s frustrating to be misunderstood isn’t it? I think too many people view the labels introvert and extrovert as an either or, black and white situation when the truth is that people are so much more complicated than that. I personally don’t enjoy socializing in large groups – except sometimes when I do. I also think it’s a common misconception that introverts crave lots of alone time. Personally, I would prefer to hang out with a single person (or a few people) who I feel comfortable with rather than by myself.

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    • (Some of my first comment disappeared) As for the reputation that you’ve gained, I say f*ck ‘um! Those of us who have spent time with you know that you’re not a hermit. And if someone is avoiding you, or looking down on you because of some weird idea that they’ve formed, that’s their loss!

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      • Truth to all of that! I really don’t like being alone. At least not for a very long time. But large groups do suck the energy out of me rapidly and I pull back. You hit the nail on the head with the small group being the sweet spot. We’ve experienced that for sure and it’s rather nice, isn’t it? I do have some ‘tweaking’ I have to do with my ‘persona’ and that’s fine. But, yeah, fuck all those that truly don’t get me, cuz my tribe does. And that, ultimately, is what matters in life.

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  5. I completely understand how you feel as an introvert, and folks who are not introverts do not understand. It is as simple as that. Sometimes, I think introverts ability to be alone and like it, is threatening to those who need to be around people all the time. What amazes me is that anyone feels they have the right to even comment. I doubt you would say to an extrovert, “you have a reputation for always needing to be around people.” Somehow, it sounds rude and really none of their business!

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    • Too funny! My mom emailed me about this post and said the same thing about extroverts do not, and never will, understand introverts. Fine. And, no, I’ve never felt compelled to call an extrovert out for being them. But, for some reason, it’s OK the other way? WTH? Good stuff, Liz. Thanks for the comment!

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