In which I realise my car is my hamster ball

Queen Emily posted this on FB earlier in the week: Dr Carmella’s Guide to Understanding the Introverted. For anyone who can’t be bothered to click on the link, the gist is that the introverts amongst us (that would be me, the woman who deliberately spent the entire Christmas vacation alone) live in a hamster ball of personal space. Socialising is exhausting, so we have to be lured out of the hamster ball, and there has to be a good reason for it. Then we have to run away and recharge by not talking to anyone.

My immediate thoughts on reading all this were:

1. ZOMG, yes. I’ve always found being around people completely knackering and it’s getting worse as I get older and more selfish. If I have more than two social occasions planned in any one week, it’s too much; it’s really terrible planning if they’re on consecutive nights. I love my friends but I limit my interactions precisely because I’d rather spend less time with them that is enjoyable, than more when I am guiltily aware I’d prefer to be at home with a nutritionally balanced meal bowl of cereal.

2. Where can I get me one of them hamster ball things for reals?

3. Hey, my car is a virtualization of my hamster ball. My home is too, but the car is the only space I own. It’s the ultimate in defensible territory because, unless I get car-jacked on the rough streets of Oxford, I decide who, and when, someone else is in there with me. Most of my journeys are solitary commutes, and even then I sometimes put on a headphone so I can listen to an audio-book and be a step further removed from the exterior world. (Only one headphone; I think both of them might be illegal or something.)

So I ask my fellow introverts (quietly, and non-invasively, and don’t answer if you don’t feel like it, I totally understand): what is your hamster ball?

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I've run out of books. Again.

11 thoughts on “In which I realise my car is my hamster ball”

  1. Yup, fellow introvert here! I saw that diagram a few weeks ago and it was actually very enlightening for myself also. To answer your question – my room. Not a very interesting answer, perhaps, but very true – when I am home, I am always in my room (sometimes I venture out for snacks ;P). As I still live with my parents, it is very nice to have my own little haven, with a door, constructed precisely how I want it.

  2. I’m not sure that I have a hamster ball right now, but I know that I need one. I was too lazy to click on Ms. Emily’s link when I saw it the other day, but the hamster ball/exhaustion from being around people sounds right on target. On the Myers-Brigg test, I always forget what my “type” is for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th types. Every time I’ve taken this, those 3 letters seem interchangable; I score close to the center on all of them. But the E/I continuum? I couldn’t get any more in the “I” space than I am!

  3. Hi Mochabeanie, thanks for stopping by!

    Dedicated RR – Room makes total sense to me. I’ve never stopped needing my own room.

    Cam – Other hamster balls I have known: having my own room; a good cafe, where you can read in peace; a good bar/restaurant, ditto; the Bodleian library. Hope you find yours in time to renew your energy.

    Litlove – Why would you want to leave the house? I leave the house every damn day, believe me, it’s over-rated out here. Plus, if you stay in, you can get everything delivered, and then it’s like getting presents all the time.

  4. My study. When we moved house, I was determined to get a room of my own in the house, and my wish has been granted.
    My job means being available to people all the time and I find it exhausting – when I come home I need silence (or at least my music, not other people’s chatter) to recuperate!

  5. I had to laugh when I read this – I’ll be visiting Emily’s link in a minute – because I try to carry my hamster ball with me wherever I go! I’ve been heard to mutter at work my mantra: “I’m in my hamster ball, nothing can touch me, I’m in my hamster ball, all is well….” So where is my hamster ball? My house. I shut the door, and the world is out there. Then, when my family (whom I adore) get to be too much, I hide in the bedroom, or ask everyone to go into the basement so I can be alone for a bit. The best hamster ball is a book, of course. 🙂

  6. Readingwithtea – Oh, a study. I’d love a study. I know exactly what you mean about being available all day, I am too.

    Susan – I love the idea of your family trooping off to the basement so that you can revel in the peace and quiet above!

    Steve – Nice. I particularly like the hidden staircase idea.

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