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It's Okay to Be a Homebody & an Introvert

Now that it's December, the month for festivities and the aptly named "party season", I thought I'd share my 2 cents on why it is more than okay to not want to be part of that and spend time at home instead. Growing up I did my fair share of going out, getting blind drunk, and just generally being a "social butterfly" but the longer this act went on, the more I realised it was exactly that. An act. I didn't really enjoy it. I began to realise that I was actually at my happiest when I was home, reading a book, watching my favourite TV shows or a documentary, painting, drawing... Anything but going out. So now that I've come to terms with that and I'm confident and not embarrassed or ashamed to say I enjoy being in my PJs on a Saturday night playing PS4 drinking endless cups of tea instead of being out and about, I thought I'd talk about why it's more than okay, acceptable, and not "weird" if you're also a stay-at-home kind of person.

I should probably also mention that I'm an introvert. I will happily sit chatting to people, go out for dinner, go out for drinks etc etc. (which has certainly improved in recent years because my anxiety has always held me back), but I am an introvert through and through. I often come across as confident and chatty to others but realistically I'm incredibly self-conscious and critical and thus deal best in my own quiet company and I like it that way. Being an introvert doesn't always mean you're a homebody too, but the two can easily slip hand in hand because they suit and compliment each other so well. Introverted tendencies seems to be more common nowadays as we spend more time alone submerged in the online world, in media, in virtual realities... But it still seems to have a stigma surrounding it and people can often be afraid to say they have an introverted personality and it's a real shame.

You are not boring. If you do enjoy staying home instead of going out or you enjoy your own company, that absolutely does not mean you are boring. So many of my friends have called other friends/acquaintances "boring" for being homebodies and content with their own company yet if I was to highlight the fact that I would identify as a similar person, it's a different story because it's *me*. That's not okay. Just because you enjoy different activities in a more cosy and secluded environment does not mean you don't have a lot about you. If you enjoy spending time alone and at home you're being savvy with your money, you can spend your time wisely by doing something you find nurturing to either your interests or intellect, and see it as a positive that you don't need others to feel content in yourself.

Now you extroverts, please don't assume I'm having a go at you because I'm definitely not. It is simply a matter of how we all thrive individually. Extroverts thrive on the energy of others but us introverts function well with our own minds. Of course if you're someone like me who has bad anxiety, sometimes being alone with your own thoughts isn't the best, but I think that's normal for every person now and again. The trick is is that you accept that being alone is okay, it's normal, and it's actually a benefit to you. Don't feel obliged to make plans and push yourself out of your comfort zone all of the time. Of course pushing yourself can be a huge life-changer and can change people and their mindsets/personalities for the better but for the most part, I know where my boundaries lie and I'm happy that they don't stray too far from my doorstep. However I also love to travel. I love visiting somewhere new and different and recently I've started to do this more and more when I visit family during breaks from work and I'm hoping to keep pushing myself until I can visit a different country alone too. Just because I like being at home and not out in a bar or busy environment does not mean I am limited to home. I can enjoy my own company where ever it takes me.

I guess my main point here is that you shouldn't feel alone in this lifestyle. So many of us succeed and gain happiness in this homebody/introvert way and you should be proud of it - just like you extroverts or social butterflies should be comfortable with saying "hey I like being around other people because it makes me feel great". Blogging and online communities have a big part to play in this for us introverts because I feel that the blogging community has given us such a sense of security and normality. It's no longer "weird" or "boring" to like what we like and it's becoming a norm so thanks blogging community. You've paved the way for my lifestyle being acceptable and relevant. Maybe it's because I'm older now and therefore it strangely becomes more acceptable, but everyone should be happy in themselves and their interests because at the end of the day, we live subjective lives because it would be utterly boring if we were all the same.

- A.
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