Shelf Life : “the length of time for which an item remains usable, fit for consumption, or saleable.”
As I’m sliding quarters into the parking meter I am thinking to myself, ” What is Liam’s shelf life today?” Referring to the amount of time I can confine him to the stroller before he gets bored and has a full-blown meltdown.
It’s the same question I ask myself or my wife before we undertake any activity with him and it’s also the reason we stopped going to restaurants unless it’s a special occasion.
I don’t blame him. I’m the same way when it comes to being confined. I’m also the same way when it comes to any interaction with other people.
I will make one thing clear about myself, as well as most introverts. It doesn’t matter who you are. Whether I have a close relationship or you are a complete stranger, you wear me out.
The speed in which you drain my batteries has to do which how much of a connection you have with me. But don’t flatter yourself if I give you the time of day, the time will come where I need to get away from you.
Don’t take it personal but we need that alone time to re-charge.
My shelf life in any big social setting, oh by the way that’s any activity with more than 4 people, is about 2 hours. Cut that in half…twice if I have nothing in common with you or I don’t know you. When the internal hour-glass runs dry…it’s time to disappear.
When I go away on my company’s annual convention my colleagues wonder why I slink away for a private few minutes / 2 hours whenever I get a chance. I’m not trying to be rude but it’s required for my own mental health.
Cut us some slack and give us space.
If you are trying to build a connection with an introvert, I would suggest an activity with some sort of stimulation that can reduce that amount of talking the introvert has to do.
Go to a movie, play a sport, play video games. Meet them on thier “turf”. Whatever that is. Respect thier introversion and they will let you in. Slowly. We are attracted to those who make the effort to make us feel comfortable.