Does anyone deal with extreme stress or grief by isolating themselves completely, as in not talking about the stress or grief with anyone, even close friends and family?
Most of our extravert-oriented society in the US thinks that voluntary social isolation is always a bad thing and not a good way to deal with things. I'm sure that's true for many people. And, if you read articles on dealing with death and depression, you'll find plenty of supposedly science-based research saying that isolation is a bad thing.
I've done this before myself, but only because there was either no one to talk with or because I knew no one would even begin to understand. But, I always felt better when I could talk with someone when having extreme sadness, grief, and stress. Sometimes I would say I was fine and wanted to be alone and not talk, but really I wanted someone to care enough to break through the shell of my isolation.
I encountered an introvert friend who wanted to be alone, as in completely alone when dealing with grief. I was very concerned and felt that I had to risk the friendship by refusing to accept this, so I "confronted" the friend about the isolation issue. The friend was very appreciative, but stated that they really do prefer to be isolated, and that it works best for them. I have to accept this statement at face value, but I'm having difficulty understanding how being so isolated could be a good thing. I'm still really concerned, and I hope a few would be willing to share their perspective on isolation and how it works for them in extreme grief or stress.