I Shut Down & Don't Talk To People For Days (Please Don't Take It Personally)

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woman sitting alone at home

I'm a big fan of personal space — especially when life gets stressful. 

Some people need to surround themselves with a big support system when everything seems too much — and that's totally okay. It does help to talk it out with peers. 

But for me, it's almost like the more people I have around, the more stressed I get. 

In these situations, the best thing I can do for myself (and for everyone in my life) is to check out for a couple of days. It's not like I'm going on some extended mountain retreat to stare off into the sunset and think about life, though that would be awesome. For some people that actually works, and I don't blame them one bit. But in reality, everyone is different. 

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But really, I just need to sit on my couch, take long baths and think about nothing for a change. It's amazing how many thoughts can go through your brain in just a single day, an hour, or even seconds at a time. 

No matter much I try to explain it to people who aren't like this, they don't seem to get it.

They want to take it personally and blow up my phone with a million messages demanding me to talk to them and make some huge decision on a whim (which no one can do).

And that's not who I am. 

I have to take time, move slow and think things through. I have to process; we wouldn't be human if we didn't take time to process information, requests, and decisions. And I owe it to myself to give myself that time. 

When I don't, I make some really shitty emotionally-driven decisions. Don't get me wrong, there are times when your emotions take over, but better decisions are made with logic. And besides, you shouldn't make a promise or commitment you can't keep. 

So this is my final plea, and I hope my fellow space-needers can back me up. 

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When I say I need time to be alone, I really need some time to be alone.

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Don't call me. Don't text me. Don't send a carrier pigeon. Please, just respect that, that's all I ask. The truth is, some people just need to be without their phone for a while; it not only saves you screen time but it also makes a difference in your mental health and overall wellness. 

Anyone who doesn't respect what you personally need — especially when it comes to your mental health — then they don't need to be in your life.

Make room for people who want to understand. No one has time for people who criticize your personal decisions. 

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Emily Blackwood is a writer and editor focused on relationships and pop culture. Follow her on Twitter.