I’m writing this from a hotel in Chicago. I’m here for a work retreat and I can’t help but feel anxious about it. Though I love and appreciate my co-workers, I’ve never felt like I fit in with them. And this has been a recurring them in my life. While I’ve always had “friends”, I’ve never felt close to any of them. Or when I did, they ended up not feeling that way about me. I’m a loner by nature, but there are times when I do want to feel supported and wanted by people around me.
This feeling usually creeps up when I’m surrounded by people who seemingly want to spend all their time together, while I figuratively (or quite literally) stand in the corner by myself. I’m very rarely in this situations and usually only put in them due to circumstances outside of my control. However, I often feel guilty about not wanting to reach out or hang out more. Though I do like to be social, I prefer the comfort of my own home and/or a very small selection of people.
Hence, I find myself writing this, alone in a hotel room. I’ve been talking to a good friend about this situation. He provided me with both comfort and validation about how I was feeling and the actions that I felt were necessary for me to both participate in this retreat and stay true to my nature of needing my own space.
I’m saying all of this to say: be true to your nature. If you need to stand in that corner or sneak away to your room, please do so. Protect your space and your peace of mind.
Your way of being and operating in the world is valid.
Briana Hollis is a licensed social worker and self-care coach. She earned her Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2014 and her Master of Education from Tiffin University in 2019. She has spent the last 5 years working in crisis intervention. Her passion for serving others is the heart of this site. She started Learning To Be Free to assist others in bringing freedom to their lives.