Are Introverts Lazy?

40H

Has anyone ever told you you’re lazy?

It’s easy for people to interpret an introvert’s low energy as laziness. We don’t have the same kind of gusto for ‘getting out there’ as extroverts do. We tire more easily. We experience burnout faster, and we have days when all we want to do is stay in bed.

It’s not that we’re against joining the busybody club. Believe me, we’ve tried. That’s probably how we became so exhausted in the first place.

Keeping up with the extroverts

For much of our lives we’ve scrambled to keep up with extroverts who are constantly on the go. You know who I’m talking about – the kind of people who wake up early on weekends to go to the market, then meet friends for coffee, then do lawn work, then host a dinner party in the evening. Ugh. Sickening.

Why does everyone feel the need to jam pack their day with activities and errands anyway? Personally, I’m a one outing per day kind of girl.

I recently spent an entire day with a very extroverted girlfriend. We went from place to place, and activity to activity, making stops along the way to pick up this or that. By noon all I wanted to do was take a nap.

When the day was done, so was I. I was toast. No, “mush” is a better word. I was reduced to a brainless pile of soggy flesh – not even fit for zombie food let alone coherent conversation.

It took me nearly two days to recover from my little foray into the dark world of extroverted busybodiness. During that time, things were foggy and heavy. I felt weighed down by an invisible forcefield. Even my eyelids had their own tiny anvils.

It was hard to concentrate on work. Hard to get out of bed. I didn’t want to cook for myself (though I did because my fantasies of having a personal man slave have not yet manifested). I just wanted to lie around like the blob of mush that I felt like.

I was lazy. There’s no denying that.

 

What is laziness, really?

By definition, laziness is an unwillingness to use energy. As an introvert, I *must* be lazy sometimes. My energy is limited. Sure, I can force myself to get out there and do as the extroverts do for a day or two. But eventually my tanks are depleted. And laziness helps restore me.

So, I prefer not to label it as laziness. I’m just on “energy saving mode”.

introvert energy saving mode

Deal with it.

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Love,

 

Michaela-Signature

 

 

 

Michaela Chung

31 Comments

  1. For me, a lot of it has to do with the type of energy being spent. As an introvert I do need to recharge, but even my energy can last longer if the day is filled with more mellow, slow-going, lightly populated activities, as opposed to rushing around with no plan, in the midst of 4 different colors of chaos.

    Reply
    • Great point Ty! I feel the same way.

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    • Yup. Thought energy? All day working on my own projects in solitude? I can go for 48 hours straight without a break.

      I have boundless energy.

      I just do not have boundless energy to waste on smalltalk nonsense that sucks all of my momentum away, that takes the wind out of my sails.

      An extroverted friend actually got upset at me about this. “Howcome you have so much energy to work on this ‘project’ of yours day after day after day, but half an hour after I come over, your eyes glaze over and you’re yawning?”

      I did not say, but should have… “Because you are BORING and haven’t stopped TALKING for a half hour straight, while my project is INTERESTING and doesn’t DRONE ON at me about stuff I don’t care about. But yes, thanks to your having arrived, I need a long nap.”

      Reply
  2. One outing per day? You’re much more ambitious than I am. I get antsy if I have more than one or two events in my calendar in any given week. Any more than that would leave me no time to sort out what else is going on in my life.

    Reply
    • Hi Graeme! By outing I mean leaving the house at all (I work from home). 🙂

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      • That’s a very good point. I suppose going to work counts as an outing—one very long outing filled with social contact! This might explain why I’m so protective of my weekend “me time”.

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  3. In the past ,I felt tremendous guilt & if I were not alone@ the time, I would busy myself with unimportant tasks which depleted my precious energy even faster. I often felt irritable & didn’t understand why. Now, I know myself better. I know if there is something planned for later that day/evening, I conserve my energy during the day & then I am throughly ready to enjoy the event. I only wish I would have had this knowledge/insight when I was younger. It would have spared me the guilt I felt. Keep up the good work Michaela. It sure is comforting to know we are not alone.

    Reply
    • Ah yes, guilt is something a lot of introverts struggle with, especially when we’re young. I’m happy that my work is comforting to you. You’re not alone in your innie ways! 🙂 xo

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  4. Anvils on eyelids – hahaha, awesome analogy Michaela. 🙂 When I was younger, I thought I was much lazier than I am now…probably because now I know it’s due to lower energy levels.

    Interestingly, my energy levels fluctuate. Some days I’m on fire and can take on a whole heap of social stuff (even though I know it will be a long recovery). Others, I’m very sluggish and sensitive and really can’t visualise venturing out.

    Reply
    • Thanks Katherine. I am the same with fluctuating energy, though when I stick to a schedule with lots of solitude and one-on-one activities it’s more even. 🙂

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  5. Michaela, my “outside” seems to be very boring to some people (no actions, no hurry ups, no events, no brandnew car, no brandnew styling etc.). I’m getting old, losing my hair and people doesn’t see any exciting “highlights” for years and so they might think I would be lazy, but that’s just a “materialistic view” and I don’t care that much about it. – The real evil is this: “mental laziness” ! – and that kind of laziness you can often watch “outside”: very busy, activ and driving brandnew cars and always in a hurry!!! 😛
    Matthias

    PS: Here’s a nice quote of Marilyn Monroe:
    “….I really don’t think I can go as fast as other people.
    They get in their cars, they run into each other,
    they never stop. I don’t think mankind was in tended to be like machines….”
    ( Interview with Georges Belmont, 1960)

    So better go in “energy-saving mode” ! 🙂

    Reply
    • Oh, love the Marilyn Monroe quote, Matthias! Thanks for sharing. Always great to hear your thoughts. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Loved this article had me smiling all the way, so me in every way. I’m a total grump after a period outside not good company. I used to think I had an illness because the draining effect was so powerful I felt depressed and worried that I had some kind of vitamin or minerial defiency until I discovered i was simply introverted and needed to recharge; alone!

    Reply
    • I used to think the exact same thing, Paul! I’ve found that on top of being alone more, diet and exercise really does make a big difference.

      Reply
  7. I so agree!for me just having company for a couple days wears me out. I stay home a lot and it feels solo good.

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    • Having company is definitely exhausting!

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  8. My one outing a day is usually work, but I am married to an extroverted woman who just loves to go out to lunch and dinner with friends. It’s not that I don’t like our friends but it can be very taxing on me. I want to relax but feel bad if i don’t go. It’s not everyday but a few times a week. I am working on just having her schedule the dinner dates for the weekend.

    Reply
    • Sounds like a common introvert/extrovert relationship problem. I hope you can find a compromise that works for both of you! xo

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  9. I really enjoyed reading this article and the comments that followed,because this is a topic that really hits home with all of us innies. As usual excellent work Michaela.

    Reply
    • Thanks Lu! Glad you liked it. 🙂

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    • This hit home 100%….spelled me out to a tea…..im not as different as i thought i was….there are more like me? I thought. …WOW!!!tnx….

      Reply
  10. I have a friend just like that – it’s normal for her to fit in 3 different activities/social events into an evening. If I go to dance class, that’s a big outing for me. I’m not going to then go across town to meet my friends for a drink. I marvel at how they can be bothered for all this activity.

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  11. yes, tho. i agree with this post. why do most people in society perceive introverts as a lazy people. no, we’re not that lazy like what they think of us, most times we’re just on energy-saving mode, and you’re right when you’re said like that. that’s what they don’t understand from us. actually we can be a very enthusiast when it comes to doing our real passions.

    Reply
  12. Wow, this is such an aha moment for me! I’ve felt so guilty for not being as active as some others I know, and I’ve thought that I’m just lazy, unmotivated and boring. It’s so comforting to read this post, and the comments, because I realize that it’s not laziness, and I’m not alone. I’m just a little different than some people, and that’s ok! 🙂

    Reply
  13. You should try watching Hyouka!

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  14. Glad to see that I really am an introvert, esp after reading some of these articles.

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  15. I LOVE this! For 35 years, I have been married to a VERY energetic Extrovert, from a family of mostly Extroverts. Twenty years in, I had a meltdown when we took 4 little boys on a vacation with extended family. That lead me to understand what an Introvert was AND realize that’s what I am. Ten more years when we started to learn how to accept each other’s way of being. Now, we have an awesome balance. We have one Innie son, and because of our experience, he has a lot of insight.

    Reply
    • That is wonderful to hear Barbara! So glad you finally found a way to strike a balance. I’m sure this will save your innie son from a lot of the pain other introverts experience growing up. 🙂 xo

      Reply
  16. Have you found a man slave yet? If not, where do I sign up!?

    Reply
  17. This hit the nail on the head. At times I feel guilty for my laziness, inadequate even. This was a nice reminder that just because I don’t have as much energy as extroverts, It doesn’t mean i’m worthless.

    Reply
  18. I live in a remote rural village which I left to go to the nearest town 15 miles away exactly twice (2 times only) last year. Just saying………..

    Reply

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