Thursday, May 26, 2016

Loving the Loner Life, Happy Hermit, Revelling Recluse and Enneagram 4 with 5 Wing.

The general population is made up of Extroverts, Guardians, and Artisans. Our culture implies it is normal to be politically, economically, socially and spiritually 'connected' to be 'healthy.' Often the definitions of Recluse, Loner or Hermit can be a mixed bag of typically negative assumptions. Thus my main motivation in writing this post. 

My favourite slang dictionary is the Urban Dictionary. It has fun little assumptions mixed in with the current understanding of lingo today. For instance, the top voted definition for Recluse (CLICK) is "Often times a person who rather than being crazy, is merely beyond tired of and fed up with the blatant narcissism, rudeness, ignorance, stupidity, cruelty, fakeness, hatred, etc. of the human race and chooses to detoxify themselves from the vices societies are swimming in to a greater extent than most. Often times recluses have been known to possess extraordinary genius, talent, and/or vision often mistaken as abnormality and eccentricity by the adherents of a culture's status quo. Standard Sheeple #1: "My brother's wanting social life is an embarrassment to our entire family when we all get together for Super Bowl Sunday and he never shows up. An antisocial recluse the man is." Standard Sheeple #2: "Dude, what's his problem? If our brainwashed, plastic, shallow, unhealthy, overly-indulgent, mindless, vacuous, and materialistic culture isn't good enough for him then maybe he should go see a shrink and get on some pills to set him back in line with the rest of us normal and adjusted people."

This quote by Mark Twain resonates,"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority - it's time to pause and reflect." Or Bertrand Russell's,"Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric."

I get a kick out of the Urban definition above. I relate to most of it. I enjoy the biting sarcasm because my harmony co pilot would never allow me to make a statement like that without thoughts of hurting people, but I do THINK stuff like that sometimes...and then I re balance myself. This fact is probably why I blast John Lennon's 'Gimme Some Truth' when I am frustrated, singing at the top of my lungs, "I'm sick to death of  hearing things from uptight, short sighted, narrow minded hypocrites... seeing things from tight lipped, condescending, mamma's little chauvinists." After I calm down, I correct my thinking to embrace all perspectives because perspectives is my driving thought process as an INFJ.

In the end, I come out with the conclusions that each of us need to live our own stories within our personalities while still challenging and growing our best selves. However, I savour being a recluse. "Don't worry about making waves simply by being yourself- the moon does it all the time."- Scott Stable

I want to make it clear that I am harsher on society as a whole than individual people. This sums it up well, " INFJ- INFJs try very hard not to be judgmental towards others. They often judge themselves much harder than they do others, and have a way of being very hard on themselves. INFJs do not want to be seen as judgmental, and have a strong distaste of causing others pain. The only time an INFJ may appear judgmental is if they see that someone is going to hurt themselves or others. Their intentions are purely to help the other person, but people often misunderstand where the INFJ are coming from. INFJs have a strong intuitive sense and often can predict when someone is going down a bad path. Their attempts to reach out to those people, are not from a place of judgment but rather caring. INFJs are more judgmental towards society as a whole than they are towards specific people. They can often see the good in people, but become angry towards the way society behaves." (found HERE.)

How do I manage to live a hermit lifestyle emerged in town life and a family system? I realize I have a unique way of living. Other than my children, husband and best friend I can go weeks without seeing any other human. I stay in my home a lot. When I go out, I generally know which places to go to avoid socialization or recognition. I don't include my children, husband and bestie in my definitions of socialization. To me they are just the fabric of my existence and the needed support in my life. In that I am not completely a hermit but I am a loner (click- love this definition too!) I don't need anyone, including my inner circle, to validate my existence. I KNOW I am worthy to exist.

I know what I am about. That said, I do need support. I have a sage like presence in my life that I see once a month for balance. I keep the general appointments that are needed to run a basic family. My children see the Dentist, Doctor, Ophthalmologist, Therapist, friends and extended family. (I unschool my children.) However, I make sure that I schedule these in such a way that they are often all in the same week so that for months on end I can be alone. Or I delegate someone else to deal with it. I make myself scarce. For friendships in my children, I often have the friends to our house, so that I can still be in my own world but arrange social interactions for the kids when they need them. Baruch Spinoza wrote,"The more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions, the more you become a lover of what is." I find this true. I LOVE what IS, because I understood what I need to be me.
"I love the person I have become because I fought to become her"- Kaci Diane.
I LOVE this (click) definition of Hermit: "I don't know how a Hermit is synonymous with loser or lazy but whatever. Anyway, Hermits are people who tend to not want to socialize with other humans all the time. Most spend their entire lives wandering the planet. Like they do tend to make friends, and associates, and can pretty much network with anyone, but they choose not to go any further than a hollow friendship. Though they do run in to the best Platonic relationships. Hermits, and loners are not socially inept, but hermits tend to not like to stay in the same place for very long....Thus not permitting the time it actually takes to be in some kind of crappy group or something like that. Hermits are alone. Though they are alone they have no problem with socializing with people, but they chose a life that leaves them alone."
I can network with anyone if I wish to. I realize in order to BE, I have to have some basic interactions. I also see the privileges this day and age brings, wherein my monastery is technically online. My fellow monks that I see from time to time are on my social media. I don't need to walk miles to see another person. I don't have to wait for dedicated silence days to be over to interact if I wish. I simply don't wish to socialize with many people. I like to stay in the same place because of sensory issues but I travel in my mind. I value rootedness. I choose a life that requires many to jump through hoops to get to me. This sways most of the population, which makes me very happy. 
Many assume that loners or the like have given up on humanity. Which could be true in some cases, but generally it's the opposite. Most like minded individuals I know carry deep burdens for society. We are generally Humanitarians. We use our writings to try to make change, garner self acceptance, or validate messy existence. Not all of us are this way of course, but it would be just as ridiculous to assume we are all lazy, self absorbed and unbalanced. 
"A Hermit is someone who enjoys doing things on their own away from groups. Hermits are always busy with so many things they want to do on their own that they rarely make time for social gatherings. Many have high IQ's and are bored and unchallenged in social settings. They want to do what they want to do. Uninterrupted and unbothered. Often driven and very successful in knowledge and achievements in science & arts & philosophy (think Einstein)~ For instance hermits prefer reading a book on the beach then chugging beer at a beach party. ~ They would prefer Riding a horse in the mountains to going to a camp sing-a-long. ~ Internet classes instead of a campus. ~ Cooking a gourmet dinner for a romantic date instead of Going to a Restaurant. ~ Internet surfing instead of myspace/twitter. Albert Einstein Quote: "Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature." " (taken from HERE.)
That list is a huge reflection of my preferences. It can also be a list for most introverts too, who may not be at a level of loner that I may be, but can still relate. There is Introverted and then there is being a Recluse. I choose voluntary seclusion for many reasons. I am not a complete Misanthrope but I agree with some of the philosophies. For instance "Martin Heidegger had also been said to show misanthropy in his concern of the "they"—the tendency of people to conform to one view, which no one has really thought through, but is just followed because, "they say so". This might be thought of as more of a criticism of conformity rather than people in general. Unlike Schopenhauer, Heidegger was opposed to any systematic ethics; however, in some of his later thought he does see the possibility of harmony between people, as part of the four-fold, mortals, gods, earth and sky." 

I don't buy into one philosopher completely, Heideggar has some aspects I disagree with but his criticisms of conformity are valid if separated from his misguided political ideals. For myself, there are parts of society I completely reject, many I accept for others but not myself, and moments I participate in. I have mystical thoughts spiritually but I am not completely a mystic. 
I also have psychological reasons why I do not participate. Autism affects the sensory social and obviously plays a part but I can honestly say it's a lesser reason than those cited above. Awhile back I was out in a group setting that wasn't my immediate circle or of my making. By the hour mark I was dizzy and exhausted. By the hour and half I was thinking of escape routes because I thought I would throw up. I had to leave. As soon as I came home I felt fifty percent better. After two hours at home I almost became myself again but it took a full night to recover. But sometimes for others- this is WORTH it. Sometimes it is not. I choose it so I have to choose the consequences. I am honoured to be invited and if I accept- it means I am willing to suffer some uncomfortable moments. Sometimes even if someone enters MY house it takes me a couple hours to not feel sick after or calm down. It depends on the day. Some of this is being physically ill of course, but this is the sensory aspect of socialization I despise. Yet if this factor was taken out I would still choose to be alone most of the time.
Personality also contributes to my loner state. Being an INFJ, I have less of an inclination to be part of the masses but a huge inclination to heal when I am able to. I take on people's energies. It sounds frou frou to anyone who is not an INFJ but read up on the type and you will understand why this is. My Enneagram 4 with a 5 wing also explains this well. I have the odds stacked against me to be individual and alone...autism, INFJ, numerology, scorpio, 4/5 wing (with the exception that I am not lonely because I have a built in family system in my home and online) everything I score the individualist and loner. It seems to be my lot and of course I am happy with that.
I can give you a hint to my inner world (because all of this really just skims the surface) by telling you my favourite philosophers. Aspects of self and certain priorities often are shown by people's favourite writers, philosophers ect. A brief skimming list of my top favourites include Alan Watts, Epictetus, Friedrich Nietzsche, Baruch Spinoza, Hipparcharia, Albert Einstein,  Bertrand Russell, Simone De Beauvior, Auguste Comte, Jean- Paul Sarte, Michel De Montaigne, J.K Rowling (yup BRILLIANT fellow INFJ), Anais Nin, Shakespeare, Rainer Marie Rilke, Joss Whedon (yup I think so!), Walt Whitman...ok I added a few Humanists but they can cross over into philosophy. Even those who think they are against philosophers, engage in philosophy from time to time. Philosophy literally means the love of wisdom and covers topics from ethics, thought, existence, values ect. and how we engage with philosophical material can uncover layers of self. My ultimate preferences run along the psychological and sociological but philosophy is obviously part of that. I mentioned it because it helps to give a fuller picture of values.
To some, my existence is assumed as "nothing" simply because I am unencumbered by events. While it is true I have immense freedom on any day to do essentially anything I want besides basic need requirements (like schooling my children, essential chores, nutrition ect.) I AM still DOING stuff. I feel my time is full, but in a way that can be changed and is not dictated by any time or person. Minus the times I have to attend essential appointments. I am sometimes baffled how people run around without personal autonomy to "essential" things. They say they have a choice. That they can stop if they wish. They tell me they are exhausted or stressed or way too busy. That they wish things could just slow down. I look deeply, and for some they THRIVE off of this. For others, they truly believe they can't step off the treadmill. Others do not know how. Others believe it is adding something essential to them or their children. They believe they enjoy it and do not believe they can find alternatives to enjoy. I understand because years ago I was there. It took so many little decisions, strong boundaries, using the word NO a lot, contempt from others and distance to get to where I am today. Not many want or or need to be here. But I did and do. 
Kids don't need the 'socialization' we assume to be 'fun' and 'essential' to be whole. The study of other cultures show us many different ways of being to contradict these assumptions. Soccer can be enjoyed with a small group if wished. Swimming can be taught at a local swimming hole or pool with the guidance of a parent and does not have to be streamlined, categorized lessons. Organized anything can be substituted with creative solutions. Experiences can still be enriched and enlivened without. But that is a whole slew of posts and is covered by intelligent authors more suited for the job than I.
The only aspect of social gatherings that challenges me is the sensory overload. My challenges of person hood and spirit stem from writings, readings, one on one conversations with those in my path, and the uninterrupted passage of time. Time teaches.
I admit I have a stubborn streak too and want to do what I want to do. I come by this well. I see generations of wanna be hermits in my past. My paternal grandmother has some deep friendships and lovely gatherings but she LIVES for her alone time. She gardens, reads, goes to movies by herself and generally leaves her day up to her needs and whims. She is intellectual and Sage. She engages in aspects of science, philosophy and the arts. Those are also some of my favourite genres to teach my children and read up on.
Obviously those who are not Hermits can engage in similar pursuits. It simply is tougher to find the time within society's constraints. Also, there is only so far one can go while meeting other obligations. Perhaps a personality who is amazing at getting things done could meet societal obligations while also doing their own thing, but then we are not really talking about being Hermit or Loner anymore but instead achieving. Achievements are not high on my list. There is a difference between doing art, science and philosophy simply for the fact of engagement, and doing them for the IQ, social status, business swapping or the recognition. I couldn't care less about those factors which involve others defining. I also realize I come from a place of privilege to be a hermit financially. 
Only those who know me will get that this is not a judgment on others. My choosing is highly individual. Being an INFJ, I can separate myself from my own inclinations to understand the perspectives of others. It's funny though how many people feel judged simply by my existence. Maybe because I made the tough choices and it seems easy? Maybe because I make them squirm with a few observations? Or piss them off because I am so contrary to the majority or their own choices? In general, a person like myself is not well liked. Good thing being liked by those not directly in my love path isn't high on my priority list eh? I realize it can sound pompous and while I do think self importance is healthy I have the contradictory questioning side too. "You'd lose your mind trying to understand mine."- Anonymous. Pretty much. I ALMOST can't figure out myself with my contradictions and paradoxes. Almost. I usually can eventually unravel it. In the end, I write my truths for me. I am not out to PROVE anyone wrong or right. That is the difference. I know many who force their lifestyles and beliefs on others. I may write strongly about mine but I dare not subject people to my versions. The world needs a certain level of conformity, institution, tradition and community minded people to give it what it is. They, in truth, also enable me to be like I am, to a certain degree. And in my own way, I (along with other deviants or minorities) also give them the driving need to dictate what needs to be done. Plus, I simply value choice. 
My point is that this is MY story. While I do see aspects of this that could benefit change in society, like less priority on organized functions, I also realize this would never work for everyone. Our children need less pressure, less running around, less of the mommy and daddy achievements forced upon their little bodies and more time in nature, more time imagining, more free time to be bored, and more time to BE. However, the picture should be individualized based on needs, personality ect. I know I don't have all the answers, but I have a few for myself and my family. I don't care to be right. I care to understand. That is the core of my BEING. My husband laughed at all of this and said, "No wonder people are intimidated by you. It takes a brave soul to approach you. You send out those vibes of Scorpio, INFJ, and all that entails- Back off..." I don't mean to be that way or send out any sort of boundary vibes...the natural way I am tends to have this side effect.
If you are an extrovert who enjoys your social interactions- celebrate that! If you are a person who loves organized sports because of team aspect or whatever- go team go. It's important that we look into what matters to us and WHY so that we are not mindless drones of society, but it's equally important to find joy, meaning and a sense of BEING in what we do. This mostly comes out of knowing thyself. I know I am a lover of the loner life, a happy hermit and I revel in the recluse existence. I am also deeper and more intricate than those generalizations but it's a start to my healthy days.

*My life has immense freedom in my days but I also have committed to a few key aspects of living that are crucial to me. Those commitments are also my freedom ironically. My family, the way we are in educating, eating, wisdom pursuits and husband, children and those directly in my path. Everything else is up for debate. My point is commitment is also freeing and gives a path worthy...but the rest of the societal commitments? It's individual and could go either way:)

Post EDIT to those that know me: I don't want friends or relatives I have not engaged with in awhile to read this and think they are not welcome in my home. Generally I prefer my home to be the place to engage in, but that said, it is nice to be able to end something when I need to, when I go out. I have had to become more comfortable with not asking people to stay longer out of politeness and allowing them to leave when they suggest it. My natural inclination is to offer them to stay longer. My husband is teaching me otherwise. Health wise I pay for anything later than 10:00/10:30 at night. There are exceptions to this like my cousins and close personal people who are asked to stay over. I DO enjoy people in my home, offering comfort ect. It depends on the person and my mood and health. I love watching movies and episodes because it passes time with someone without the obligation to talk for long periods or have undivided attention. Certain people are easier to have in my home because they allow me to be comfortable enough to change plans, be honest or leave me to my own bits of time when I need that. Anyway, if I invited you- it's authentic. If you receive regular emails or updates, every one of my videos, or instagrams of me- or emailed blog posts:) you are obviously considered one of my tribe. You don't need to worry about my loner ness affecting how I regard you. I will be honest, genuine and true to you. If I have initiated- it means something- to either my husband or children (whom I sacrifice some of my ideals for of course) or myself. My son was concerned I would isolate all my friends by writing this to which I told him I have a post edit plus those that know me should not feel isolated by me:) My theory anyway.

American Idiot- Green Day


Quiet Contemplation said...

I'm an INFJ, too. I get.:)

Quiet Contemplation said...

Meant to say I get it.

Kmarie said...

Lol:) Awesome:) Im glad you get it:) Hello fellow INFJ!!!

S said...

Such a well written post ! I am a hermit too and I understand. In our country, a hermit and a loner is not socially acceptable, if she is a woman. But strangely enough, men, in our society can pass off as a "hermit" because there is a socially accepted and agreed upon image of majority men being hermit and loner, since time immemorial, even if he is married. So female hermits are not at all acceptable in our country ,more so if you are married or have kids , yet male hermits are totally acceptable. I am talking about the general trend/acceptability rate of my country, I do not know much about other countries.

When I was young and unmarried, being a hermit was not much of a problem because I was in the academic field ( higher education ) and I disguised my hermit mentalities by sitting in the library, studying for hours, writing research papers for hours, and doing all those academic work (including field surveys, interviewing people for sociological research ) -work that required me to be a 'hermit " and that enabled me to stay away from a normal chit-chatting, partying kind of society for a while.

However, after working hours or worse, while still at work, I had to deal with a world that consisted of people who would rather form groups and gossip, spread malice, talk endlessly about other people in a judging manner, talk on the latest fashion, celebrity, back-stabbing, scheming, manipulations, passing insensitive remarks, office politics, etc.etc. . I found it very difficult to be a part of this group and became more aware of my hermit like tendencies.
At that point of my life, I attempted to understand these two almost opposite worlds , the hermit and the non-hermit world. I could understand why people lead a hermit like existence and also why some don't.

Yes, we live in two different worlds. I had to adjust. Yet, all said and done, I want to say that a hermit is a born hermit. So, is a non-hermit. A non hermit will lead a pathetic life if forced to live a hermit's life and vice versa. Also, nobody is superior or inferior. Hermits will find faults with non-hermits and vice versa. It is like looking at things from two different view points.

We are born with certain tendencies. This is my inherent belief. Yet, these tendencies cannot be altered...altered to a certain extent yes, but not completely. Because I have noticed that one is happiest in one's own skin/personality. If one is forced to change, then that person may turn violent and depressed. This is not good for the individual person even if such alteration is good for the society.

As years are rolling by, I am coming to the conclusion that when we do not know ourselves, particularly at an young age ( even if we are hermits), it may lead to self destruction and discomfort...the beginning of an uncomfortable journey. But as we age and grow wiser, and when we know ourselves better or as we come to believe in the existence of a soul apart from our mind and body, we become better equipped to deal with our hermit like existence (even at the cost of a disapproving society ) ...
Hermit is a state of existence. We are more than our "hermit" label...we are souls...spirits.. We have an existence /influence far beyond our labels...labels which are created by society/psychologists to either segregate/understand/analyze where we are going wrong. A label itself is not wrong as long as it enables us to understand/ leads to self enquiry...but it is not the end. We are far more beautiful beyond not only what society tells us who we are but also what we know of ourselves, our limited perception of our selves...

Anonymous said...

ESFJ 6w7 here. I do not feel a need to achieve normality or the lack thereof. Purposefully going against majority norms is just following another set of norms, but going in the other direction. I abhor the idea of needing to look and act a certain way in order to be accepted as yourself. I need to be liked and paid attention to by others in order to feel my happiest and that's something seen as shallow, and thus inferior, in today's society.

I get it. I really do. My MBTI-enneagram combo may suggest otherwise, but I do. Even if I am in the majority, I still get what it's like to be attacked for something that can never be truly controlled.

Kmarie said...

S: I LOVE your thoughts. Yes gender also plays a significant part...and scholastic roles ect. I completely agree that on needs to be nappies in their own roles...and that is what is good for society. Each of us living out our differences in confidence and humility- the yin yang of it all. I COMPLETELY agree with the assessment that when one doesn't know themselves they are destructive. My most destructive years were that of young motherhood when i lost myself for awhile. Tis hard. I love my state of existence but I am more...yes not the end...what beautiful thoughts. xo

Annon: Yes it totally can be...or one can live parallel culturally so not purposefully going against but trying to harmonize with what can be and being ones own self. That is usually my goal not be counter cultural in everything but if something matters to be fine with that aspect...but to be parallel to culture. Yes those ideas are abhorrent. Tis sad when people equate acceptance with conformity. Our society sends mixed messages. On one hand the judea christian values are huge such as humility, turning the other cheek, compassion ect...and on the other hand achievement, getting ahead and being happy despite the costs to others ( more ancient greek or spartan values) and BOTH are constantly in our media. So in some groups being liked and needed to be happy that way would be considered normal and in others it would be considered shallow ( probably the judea christian would think more shallow or those who hold to those values more) But I feel it is in the middle. If its what you need its what you need. Its neither good or bad and could be used either way depending on the situation or your choices....and that is what makes all the difference.
I see that you get it...sometimes even if we are in the majority we can understand minorities in a different aspect of life.:)

Ashe Skyler said...

I always enjoy your posts that bring up the INFJ thing. I don't know how good a reflection I am for INTJs, but it's a lot of fun comparing us based on those points. As an INTJ, I don't mind folks knowing I'm judgmental, but I don't have the patience for any whining that is bound to follow. Momma always said "don't do the crime if you don't wanna do the time". I need to get in touch with my inner evil mad scientist and make a portable trapdoor so I can just pull the lever and drop them outta earshot when I wish to talk comfortably. If they don't wanna go down the chute, well, that saying swings both ways. ;)

A lot of those points on hermitude and introversion definitely ring true in my case as well. Preferring a hands-on and intellectual approach (cooking and the joys of doing what is pretty much chemistry, rather than simply being served). The delightful pleasure of squirreling off to some quiet place and having a good think. The amazing treasure that a good book can be. I don't really see how so many extroverts don't get it. It's simple enough logic. Take that feeling they get when surrounded by people and chaos, and apply that when us introverts get alone time. Euphoria is euphoria regardless of how it comes about.

That social sickness is rather hard to explain. A lot of people like to just write it off as plain ol' anxiety. But "anxiety" implies "fear", and I'm sure you're no more scared of being around people than I am. As over-dramatic as it may sound, "poison" is my best explanation at the moment. Like when you eat too many cookies and get the infamous sugary tummy ache blues, or when some people drink too much and are officially poisoned, being in the sun too long and getting sunburned (or that strange "sun poisoning" phenomenon), riding theme park rides to the point of nausea, and other "overdose" scenarios.

My last Enneagram test tied between 6/loyalist and 9/peacemaker. I'm more of a 6/loyalist though, minus the crippling self-doubt and rampant fear. Definitely the "rebellious" strain of a 6. I'm gonna do what I'm gonna do, whether it's mainstream or socially acceptable or neither. Sometimes it's mainstream because it actually is fun, sometimes its mainstream because somebody set a standard who was not responsible enough to do so. Although I'll admit that the majority of things considered popular or what should be done just leaves me wondering if something is seriously wrong with society. Like how you mentioned kids are run half to death and over scheduled these days with no time to really just enjoy being a kid while they are a kid. It's nice to have various programs like swim classes, but some people start believing that classes and professionals are The One Way and that not only can you not do anything on your own, you are being an irresponsible, reckless endangerment to your children to attempt to handles something yourself. I find my battlecry to be more of "the only absolute in the universe is that there are no absolutes". Every thing has a time and a place. Getting people to understand what time and which place based on their individual needs is the hard part! Promptly followed by convincing them that their unique requirements should not be made the rule for everybody else. There's enough people out there that love football that it is quite unnecessary to drag me into the middle of that mess!

Kmarie said...

Ashe; your comment cracked me up about the football and secret door- my bestie is an intj like tou and has said simply last statements. Ha ha ha- so perhaps it is an intj thing?! I'm glad you like my infj posts:) I totally agree with your points on discourse and no absolutes. I like be your refreshing statements and how you present your thoughts;) it's always a pleasure reading your comments;) I hope you are doing well carrying a babe within and your little one keeping you busy out!❤️

Kmarie said...

I meant similar statements:) I guess every society is both blessed and messed:) And that is why we have those that speak out on different ways of being...we need a few for every society...and I believe I am one of them- simply because I can not live like did society also make me because I am unable to live within some of the rules - did my environment create who I am or did I become what I am and create the change needed for me and mine to thrive?? Either way, I know there are many others with other ways out there to help with the diverse tapestry.