I’m a homebody. I’m not ashamed of it. I’d rather putter around my house, work on my projects, get my chores, done, read some books, dig in my yard, and in general avoid most people.
Depending on who you ask, being a homebody isn’t all that awesome. It might be called boring, lame, anti-social, or uncool.
Naturally, I disagree. Read on, and I’ll explain.
What is a homebody?
Dictionary.com says a homebody is a “person who likes to stay at home.” In general, a homebody is someone who is perceived to be maybe boring or not adventurous.
Is this a bad thing?
I don’t think so.
People in this world in today’s day and age are CONSUMED with appearance. With social status. Not necessarily with being anything good or awesome or valuable, but looking like they are those things.
Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok….all those communities are crammed full of people desperate for attention, and dramatically clamoring for it.
In real life, off of social media, those same people still have the drive and need to be approved of an recognized socially. This pushes them to do things that they might not otherwise want to do.
Or, if they stopped to think about it, they wouldn’t do any of those things in the first place.
The indoctrination into this age of external approval starts early. We learn from an early age that approval feels good, and disapproval does not. So we conform our behavior to what gets approval, so we can feel good.
And this goes on and on for years.
Back to the question about homebodies….
…why does all of this social media psychobabble mean anything?
I think homebodies are special people. I think it takes a special person to embrace who they are, and to reject the pressure of society to see and be seen.
The fact is, human beings are more interactive and social than they have ever been due to social media, and to me it seems they are less happy and quite often, depressed.
Many young people leaving home, entering college or the workforce, are completely lost and have no idea who they are or what they want.
Homebodies are people who know themselves well enough to choose to eschew the societal pressure to spend every minute competing for attention out in the world.
They have enough confidence in themselves to make a choice that is counter to culture.
They have enough self-awareness to realize that what they want is something different from what everyone else wants.
While they might succumb to social media like everyone else, they make the affirmative choice to spend more time in their home than their equally situated counterparts.
In general, homebodies are people who are okay with who they are and where they are, and don’t feel the need or pressure to change that.
Ultimately in today’s day and age, this is a rare commodity.
Someone who actually knows who they are and what they want!?!?!
Other perks of being a homebody
When you are at home more, it is likely that you’ll have time to take care of yourself a little bit better than your more outward counterparts.
It is likely that you’ll get more sleep, have more time to cook for yourself (leading to saving money), and you might even work out more.
You might also have more time to work on improving and mastering skills, such as cooking, crafting, creating, art, and more.
Instead of being out in the world, spending all my money on clothes I don’t need and spending time doing things I don’t really feel like doing, I’ve been investing tons of time lately in my blog, and in bettering myself mentally and emotionally, and in reducing the amount of stress and noise I experience in my life.
Being a homebody helps me do all of those things. And I don’t intend to apologize for that, even though people don’t really understand why.
Are introverts homebodies?
Not always, no. Introverts are people who can and like to be out in the world. They just don’t always feel comfortable in groups or talking with unfamiliar people. It can be easy for introverts to avoid these types of situations by staying at home, but it doesn’t mean that being a homebody makes you an introvert.
I am someone who is very comfortable in social situations, and I don’t have any problems talking to strangers. I just like doing my own thing right now, and I’m more interested in doing it at home.
Can it be bad to be a homebody?
Sure! Like anything, hanging out around the house is about balance, just like dieting, exercising, working, and maintaining relationships. If you neglect other aspects of your life, the balance shifts and suffering occurs.
It is fine and wonderful if you prefer to be at home. But it becomes a problem if you cannot bring yourself to leave home, even if you need to in order to get food or medication.
It is a problem if leaving home causes you significant emotional distress, anxiety, stress, or trauma.
It is a problem if your time spent at home isn’t the result of your choice, like you can’t leave if you wanted to (like your spouse is controlling you physically or emotionally).
It is a problem if you are at home, and home is, for any number of reasons, not where you want to be.
But if you are otherwise happy to be at home, and you are able to function, maintain at least some relationships, pay your bills, and otherwise get by, it seems to me that this is all well and fine.
Homebody vs Recluse: what’s the difference?
A homebody is a person who finds pleasure and enjoyment in staying at home, and doing things at home. A recluse is someone who lives a solitary life and avoids people as much as possible.
I don’t think of every homebody is a recluse. A homebody can be a recluse. You can both take pleasure in your home activities and lead a solitary life.
But I think a recluse is taking this to the next level. The homebodies I know (and I am) are completely comfortable with other people, and being around other people. We aren’t necessarily solitary, though we can be.
We just like being at home. But not necessarily to the point of avoiding any and all other people.
Other people make me feel bad for wanting to say at home.
I’m sorry if this is the case for you. I think it is pretty common for people to think that they way they live is the right way, and it is hard for them to understand that other people don’t see life the same way as you do.
They may go as far as making the homebody feel guilty, inadequate, or self-conscious for how they feel, and for wanting to stay closer to home. They might insinuate that there is something wrong with you, or just come out and tell you to your face.
They may talk behind your back to other family members and friends.
If you like being you, and you are otherwise happy with your life, then don’t worry about this external noise. It has more to do with them than it does with you.
What if I don’t want to be a homebody?
What if you spend all your time at home, and you want to change? Maybe you are at home all the time because you don’t have friends or acquaintances to do things with, or you lack self confidence to venture out into the world.
If there is something holding you back from leaving your home, the first thing you need to do is identify what it is. Is it a money thing? A vanity thing? A confidence thing?
Once you know what it is, you can formulate a plan to try and help deal with it so that it is no longer holding you back.
I need ideas for things to do to get me out of my house.
Sure, let’s brainstorm. Some of these ideas are for you, or for you and groups. Here are some getting out of the house activities for you to try:
- Sign up for a cooking class
- Paint your own pottery
- Paint and sip
- Visit the public library
- Go on local walk/hike
- Visit local art galleries
- Go to a local coffee shop and have a cup of coffee sitting in the shop
- Window show in the downtown area
- Volunteer at the local schools, shelters, food banks
- Try a new restaurant
- Join a book club (or start one)
- Go away for the weekend
- Make cookies for the neighbors
- Go to local meetups for your hobbies
- Start a new hobby
- Enroll in classes at the local community college
- Attend lectures (free or cheap) open to the public on various topics
- Visit with the elderly at the senior center
- Join local advocacy groups (that support foster children for example)
- Join local community groups (Rotary, Junior League, etc)
- Commit to performing a certain number of random acts of kindness (giving strangers flowers, paying for coffee for the car behind in the drive through, etc)
- Join a writing group
- Take your camera out and look for great snaps
- Go for a bike ride
- Go bird watching
- Find a good place to watch the sun set (or rise)
- If you feel like reading, do it someplace out in public, like on a blanket at the park
- Visit the farmers market
- Get a real haircut in a salon (a very social activity)
- Hunt garage/yard/estate sales
- Go to the movies
People don’t understand why I prefer to stay at home. But by now, I’ve been a homebody long enough to cut through the noise, and focus on the things that really matter to me.
I hope that you will be able to as well.
Emily Anderson is a mother of three children, all under the age of 10. Located in the Pacific Northwest of the US, Emily is a mom and part-time blogger, jumping in front of the computer when the kids are sleeping. She started this blog in April of 2019 and is proud that the blog is now paying for itself. If you want to know about her journey as a blogger, check out out her personal digital journal or her post about failing her way to blogging success.