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Are You Really a Homebody? The Hidden Form of Self-Sabotage

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

After high school, I attributed my newfound sense of homebody-ness to the result of getting older (yes, apparently at age 18 I was basically teetering on the edge of being a senior citizen). I brushed it off as the process of finally settling into myself — as finding my “true character.”

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The worst part? I felt like there was an implicit negative connotation with identifying as a homebody, especially in college. People who label themselves as a homebody often find themselves having to explain it to others, using the label to defend themselves against people who don’t understand why they would rather stay in than go out to a party.

I guess I just wasn’t meant to linger outside of my comfort zone for too long, I thought. Sigh.

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There was a sense of reluctant acceptance and almost a feeling of weakness that came with giving into the fact that I might be a homebody. I hated the feeling of doing anything out of my comfort zone and would avoid it at all costs.

Deep down, I knew that I was making it worse for myself by not addressing the deeper reasons for my sudden desire to avoid anything besides being comfortable. 

And even so, I eventually realized: Isn’t being uncomfortable the point of venturing outside of your comfort zone? Isn’t it implied in the very meaning of “comfort zone” that there’s comfort and safety within it, and therefore you are inherently going to experience discomfort when outside of it? Being uncomfortable isn’t the result of being an absolute “homebody.” Being uncomfortable is normal.

Still, I wondered, why do other people find it so much easier than me? The short answer is: they don’t.

In my experience, there are two main reasons for this:

  1. Some people are just better at disguising themselves and their discomfort. There are more people than you think that are uncomfortable in the same environment as you are.
  2. Not everyone has the same “comfort zone.” Some people might find comfort in the chaos of a party: loud music, dim lights, dancing. Others might find comfort in the quiet atmosphere of a bedroom: cozy blankets, a good book, a cup of coffee.
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The truth is, I do love a good adventure in other ways. I love doing fall festivities with my friends and boyfriend, I love getting dinner with my family and planning our next beach vacations. That doesn’t make me a “homebody” necessarily, and even if it does, then why should I view that as a bad thing? Why is society always trying to shove us into little boxes when we are constantly growing out of them? Our “true character” is constantly changing. We don’t suddenly become the person we are going to be for the rest of our lives once we reach adulthood. In a few months from now, you might not enjoy the same things you enjoy today, or you might enjoy things that you did not enjoy previously. And that’s okay. It’s a part of life and growth. 

So, if you identify as being a “homebody,” I have two pieces of advice for you:

  1. First, stop subconsciously viewing it as a bad thing. Deciding you want to stay in instead of going out and potentially getting no sleep before school or work the next day is not a bad thing — it’s self-care. Once you start accepting the importance of prioritizing yourself instead of fighting against it, a weight will be lifted from your shoulders. With that being said…
  2. Make sure you know the deeper reason, or the root of your desire to confine yourself to your room and reluctance to leave your comfort zone. A lot of the time, it is not for the reason you’re claiming it is. Underlying reasons, for myself at least, can be rooted in issues of self-esteem and anxiety.
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It is okay to be different than the people who choose to go out every chance that they get. It is okay to have different concepts of fun, to prefer getting food at a cute restaurant with your friends to staying out all night. Once you start accepting that, you might even find yourself more excited to do those other things. But first and foremost, make sure you address underlying reasons for wanting to stay in your comfort zone. Are you anxious about what will happen? Insecure about how people will view you? There’s a lot of inner work that can be done . You don’t have to feel that way your whole life, and you certainly don’t have to shove yourself into a small “homebody” box. 

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Lauren Saloio

U Mass Amherst '23

Lauren is junior at UMass Amherst and is majoring in English. She loves reading, writing, and spending way too much money in coffee shops and book stores.
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