Too Much Quiet Time!

quietInfluenceChapter 4 of “Quiet Influence; The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference” by Jennifer Kahnweiler is about the introvert strength of Taking Quiet Time.  The chapter ends with a warning of overuse of Quiet Time.

Say it isn’t so!  We can have too much Quiet Time?  Of course we can.  Kahnweiler says that too much of it can become a weakness, and I have to admit that it’s probably my worst weakness.  I can retreat so far and close myself off so much that it can be… what’s right word?  Destructive?  A little too harsh, but it’s mildly true.  So I’m going to pay close attention to her warning.

As in the other blogs, words in italics are my comments.

Overuse of Quiet Time

Life is about balance.  If you take too much quiet time you can end up with “ideas that languish, lack of motivation, lost perspective, and lost opportunities.”

Ideas that Languish:  Quiet Time is creative time.  Spending too much time alone can generate too many ideas, and deplete your will to act on any of them.  It’s a form of “creative paralysis”.

For me, too much time inside my own head leads to being overwhelmed by my own ideas.  Kahnweiler calls it “creative paralysis”, others call it “paralysis by analysis”.  Either way, I’m prone to it.  The worst part of it is that it usually happens without my conscious awareness.  I’ve had to devise a litmus test and live by it:  I journal every day.  When I stop writing, or just leave brief notes instead of the 500+ words I normally do every morning, then I know I’m in trouble.

Lack of Motivation:  Kahnweiler says we need time to recharge, but when we go beyond that, we get mired down.  That can lead to isolation and depression.

I’ve been through this one, too.  I work from home, which is usually a huge plus.  I’m more productive and responsive.  But if the work gets too mundane, too boring, I detach from work mode mentally.  I can’t detach completely because I do like getting that paycheck, but boredom is the worst kind of mental pain.  When I have too much time to myself during the day, I get lethargic and lose my motivation.tumblr_lokj04eK1y1qinrp8o1_500

Lost Perspective:  Staying inside your head too much can lead you to second guessing yourself.

This does happen to me, but not nearly as often as the other weaknesses.  It’s easier for me to recognize in myself, too.  That’s when I start to go back to the basics, remind myself of what is important to me, simplify things, take a deep breath and start moving forward again.

Lost Opportunities:  When we stay in our quiet place too long, people begin to think that we are snobbish, aloof or angry.  “Out of sight, out of mind” applies to opportunities on the job as well as in our personal lives.  If we don’t come out for air from time to time or stop to smile at people, they begin to reflexively cut us out of discussions, activities, and consideration for assignments and promotions.

I can’t say I’ve had this weakness, but I can see how it could happen.  My biggest challenge is in asking for things I want, but I’m learning to do that now.

Next blog:  Chapter 5 – Quiet Influence Strength #2 – Preparation.

Previous blogs:

1. Quiet Influence for Introverts

2. What Shapes Introverts

3.  Six Strengths of Quiet Influencers

4.  Introvert Strength – Taking Quiet Time

5.  Making More Time For Quiet Time

 Hi.  I’m Chris.  I’m an introvert.  All of my postings tend to reflect my introvert world in some way or another.  Join me and like minded introverts for a special slant on the world.

9 thoughts on “Too Much Quiet Time!

  1. I’m guilty of spending far too much time in my own head. I have to remind myself to step out of my thoughts and into reality. Go out for lunch, go to an event, etc. Preferably with other people. 🙂

    • I just found this blog last night. Carrie, you have nailed it on the head. In 2014 I made it a point to make plans and not back out. I made about 80% of get togethers and hope to do better this year. I still work so that helps along with the grandchildren, but we need to do grown up stuff too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. The other problem with being in my head too much is that after a while, the lack of mental stimulation from other people and other places can be just as bad as being overly stimulated from too much other people and places / experiences. It’s good to have others to keep me sharpened and focused.


  3. I live with someone who won’t allow me to turn into a total recluse, although I’m often tempted to. But, underneath, I know it wouldn’t do me any good. We make a thing of family meal times, sitting around a table for far longer than it takes to eat dinner, just chatting. I’m also expected to leave the house to sing in a couple of groups. And, of course, my dog ensure that I have my daily exercise, which involves a great deal of chatting with other dog walkers.

  4. I have noticed that sometimes when I spend a long time by myself, it’s hard to emerge from it. It’s like I’ve been in a blissful cocoon and reality is startling and I can’t wait to get back to my solitude. But if I let myself engage with the world without re-hibernating, I’m always glad I did and feel more balanced.

  5. My passions are writing and sculpting – both solitary and sedentary, to the dismay of fitness buffs. It’s not interacting with others that I worry about as much as not dying of deep vein thrombosis. I interact with people plenty in the office. I need as much MeTime as I can get!

  6. Pingback: Too Much Quiet Time! | 61 Musings

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