It really isn’t. You’re my friend/partner/brother/work colleague. You’re perfectly nice. I may even love you and have known you for years.

But honestly? Really seriously and deeply honestly, I would rather clean out my Eustachian tubes with a length of rubber piping and some cold tea than hear anyone else talk to me right now.

[If this sounds familiar, you may be an introvert like me. Don’t worry. It’s perfectly normal. But you may find people who aren’t introverts may condemn you for it.]

It happens a lot. Especially when I haven’t had enough sleep. Or free time. Or food (all of these things I forget about given half a chance). A friend may call me up on the phone, and my first instinct is weariness. Someone passing me at my desk may choose to tell me about some fascinating aspect of their life. Effort. I may (shock horror) get invited to a party. Full of people I don’t know who will want to talk to me about the weather. Dread.

You see, I spend so much effort every day maintaining a socially acceptable level of human interaction that by the end of it all I’m plum knackered. Only a suitable amount of time in glorious isolation will fix me up.

I love you, my dears, but I don’t want to hear another word on the subject. Any subject.