Social Energy Crash!

An excuse for appalling behaviour

One of the things about being both an Aspie and a severe introvert is that you have only a limited amount of social energy.

Social energy may be a bit of an odd concept for the majority of people out there (most of the population being extroverts) but basically it’s a measure of your ability to be around and interact with other people. Extroverts replenish their social energy reserves by being around other people – making them sort of social perpetual motion machines – but we introverts need time alone to recharge before we can go out and do stuff – even with people we like.

This was brought home to me particularly this weekend. By Friday my energy reserves were approaching critical and I intended to spend a quiet weekend in doing chores, chilling out and recharging. Then Fabes called me up and suggested we all (that is to say me, him, Ryan and Paula) get together on Saturday. Against my better judgement I accepted – not to say that it didn’t sound like fun, it’s just that I really needed time off from people.

So I headed over. We had a great time playing Munchkin and running through an really old Dragon Warriors RPG scenario (I controlled a surprisingly intelligent Scottish barbarian named Grignr and an apparently mute Sorcerer named Zzardoz, while Ryan ran a very English Knight named Sir Spiffington and a Mystic by the name of the Comte Merde de Gallo). We then hung around for ages watching late night TV (including the end of The Core which we mocked mercilessly and a promo piece on the Commonwealth Games in Delhi which we also mocked mercilessly then felt guilty about).

Now the plan was to spend the night and head home in the morning but by 1:00am my levels of social energy had completely crashed. As a result I was overcome with an intense need to get the hell out and retreat to my own territory, so I called a cab and bailed.

I spent most of Sunday asleep, getting up only to walk down to the village for some laundry detergent and to watch a couple of episodes of the Boosh (Trapped in a box by a cockney nutjob! ‘ave a cup a tea!). As a consequence my energy levels are now sufficient to see me through the working week, but I’m going to have to spend this weekend being totally anti-social to get back up to an acceptable level.

So, I guess my reasons for recounting this tale are to apologise to the gang for my sudden and rude departure, and to make a plea for understanding and tolerance for all my introverted kin out there. It’s not that we don’t like you – we just need time to recharge!

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