Because you are making such a significant investment in your well-being by getting rehab for your addiction, you will want to make sure that you get the most out of this experience. Addiction treatment requires you to look at the underlying issues that may have led to your addiction. Rehab also provides the opportunity to learn from others who are at various stages of progress in recovering from addiction. To be able to explore your demons and learn from others, you want to be engaged and involved in your treatment. Being antisocial in rehab can have an impact on your treatment. To understand why your behavior in rehab can impact your progress, you may want to explore the characteristics of being an introvert, the traits of being an extrovert, and some of the unique challenges that may occur if you are antisocial during rehab.
Are You an Introvert?
In her post, “Nine Signs You’re Really An Introvert,” Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., a professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst gives insights on how you can determine whether you are an introvert including the following:
- You enjoy having time to yourself – Quiet time is important to your sense of well-being.
- Your best thinking occurs when you’re by yourself – You need some time to work out problems on your own so that you can make the maximum use of your ability to engage in original thought, and to produce results about which you can feel proud.
- You lead best when others are self-starters – If a group is ready to lead itself, then being an introverted leader allows you to draw the most potential out of each person in the group.
- You’re the last to raise your hand when someone asks for something from a group – It’s not that introverts know less than others; they just don’t feel a particular need to be in that limelight.
- Other people must ask you for your opinion – Most often your thoughts and attention are focused inward, so people must repeatedly ask for your thoughts.
- You often wear headphones when you’re in a public situation – In a subtle effort to avoid others, you either avert your eyes or engage in another solitary behavior.
- You prefer not to engage with people who seem angry or upset – People high in introversion don’t want to look at someone who seems mad. This is most likely due to introverts being more sensitive to potentially negative evaluations.
- You receive more calls, texts, and emails than you make – People high in introversion don’t reach out voluntarily to their social circles.
- You don’t initiate small talk with salespeople or others with whom you have casual contact.
There are some advantages to being introverted, such as you’ll be less likely to get bored when you’re alone than someone who needs constant social stimulation. However, often people think introverts are aloof or that they feel superior to everyone else.
Within a rehab setting, being an introvert can cost you the loss of many opportunities you are given to engage with others to learn and progress in your treatment.
Are You an Extrovert?
Just as the behaviors of an introvert are not an all-or-nothing set, the same is true for extroverts. In the post, “5 Signs You Are an Extrovert,” you learn about some of the general characteristics associated with extroversion including the following:
- Numerous, broad interests
- Likes to communicate by talking
- Enjoys being at the center of attention
- Tends to act first before thinking
- Enjoys group work
- Feels isolated by too much time spent alone
- Looks to others and outside sources for ideas and inspiration
- Likes to talk about thoughts and feelings
While some of these characteristics are useful in rehab, others are not. Therefore, it is important for extroverts to learn how to engage without overwhelming others.
Treatment for Introverts
If you tend to be introverted, you may not willingly engage in 12-Step programs because you tend to avoid voluntary engagement or you may be hesitant to speak publicly about personal matters. Therefore, a better treatment environment for you would be inpatient treatment because you are in a more structured environment where you would be able to develop a therapeutic relationship with your counselor. In the post, “Treating the recovering introvert,” the author points out that addiction counselors can offer praise to you to help increase your sense of self. In addition, the counselor can show genuine interest in the patient’s opinions and demonstrate how effortless small talk can be. Also, by exploring your past with the counselor, you may even rediscover times when you enjoyed the social activity.
A counselor can also help you change the way you think about the challenge of recovery. The idea of complete abstinence can be frightening, but with the counselor’s reinforcement, you can alter your thinking to realize that the concept of one day at a time is more manageable. If you are an introvert who relied on drugs or alcohol to improve your social skills, your counselor can help you undo this perception by revisiting past successes and encouraging a new, improved sense of self.