Monday, 30 March 2015

How Can I Stop Isolating?

I naturally isolate myself. The truth is that I'm quiet and I'm shy. Socialising scares me. It always has. And isolating myself suited my shyness because it meant I never went out of my comfort zone.

It's something my friends have all gotten used to. I'm at that time in my life when I will probably decline hanging out with you this weekend because I have 4 loads of laundry to get through. To me, it's a legitimate excuse.
But if you have legitimate excuses every single day then you're left with complete isolation.

That's why on March 1st I set myself a 30 Day Challenge to combat this. To encourage me to spend less time alone I was tasked with recording a worthy act (or two) of socialising every day.

And it worked. I didn't feel alone. I'd have tea with my friends. We'd catch up regularly. I stopped isolating myself, and stopped feeling so isolated.

And I didn't feel overwhelmed. Before going into the 30 Day Challenge I was worried that I would want time to be alone. That I would regret having to commit to being social every single day. What if I was down? What if I just wanted to go to bed early and watch Netflix?

But none of that happened. Yes, of course there were days when I just wanted to crawl into bed and binge on Once Upon A Time. But I could always send out a quick 'How are you?' to a friend beforehand.
Maybe it was because I never felt alone, or socially isolated, but I didn't get down. I felt more safe and secure in myself and with the people around than I have in a long, long time.

And now, here I am on Day 30 of the challenge (yes, yes I know March has 31 days...) And I feel great.

But how should I continue this? How do I train myself not to retreat and hideaway? Especially when that comes so naturally to me?
As much I love keeping lists, I honestly get sick at the thought of having to track who I've spoken to/hung out with every single day to ensure I don't cut myself off from the world.
There must be some other way to change my behaviour...

Partly, the 30 Day Challenge has done this. It's shown me that I still have time to do everything else I could possibly want to or have to do AND have time for my friends and family.

Keeping it up from April 1st on? Well, that's the real challenge.


  1. Remember that friendships are give AND take! SO don't pressure yourself to constantly organise things, allow them to make an effort too and you won't feel like connecting with people is as much of a struggle because it won't all be on you to sort out!

    Well done on the challenge, it's a great idea! :)

    1. You're so right. That's often why it has felt like so much of a struggle in the past. I actually hadn't thought of that once during the 30 Day Challenge; I just keep putting the responsibility on me, when it shouldn't have been such a task! Great advice! x

  2. This post has really made me think! Although I'm not a shy person normally, in certain situations I shut down or isolate myself...especially if I'm feeling down! I ought to try this too, great post x