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Noun. When one is so drained/exhausted from social interactions that retreat to recharge is necessary. From "socio," meaning "social," and "lassus," meaning "weary, tired, exhaused, aweary, beat, bush."

By Stephanie HoogstadPublished 4 months ago 1 min read
Runner-Up in the Neolomicro Challenge
Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

Freedom. She almost had it.

She waved to the last of the partygoers as they departed. The disappearing headlights served as twin lighthouses in the night, assuring her that the farther they got, the farther she was from the rocky shore of social obligations.

Her guests finally gone, she closed the door and rushed for her bedroom. She passed by her husband, who lounged with a beer on the couch, surrounded by the mess left over by the party. He frowned as she shut the door to their bedroom, but he was accustomed to how she handled these events.

Sociolassus, she called it. Social exhaustion.

Avoidance and antisocial, he called it, but he let her have her time. He had no choice in the matter, really. Not if he wanted to get his wife back.

* * *

Peace. Quiet. She finally had it.

No more idle chatter. No more wearing one mask for one person and then switching masks when someone new joined the conversation. No more being the chameleon, blending into the background of whatever group she was in but draining herself to do so.

She set her phone on the bedside table and grabbed her current favorite book, The Bell Jar. She plopped down on the bed and settled in for a few hours of escape.

Then she heard it.




Against her better judgment, she reached for her phone. It was her mother.

Come get the kids, the message read. Sophie had a nightmare.


About the Creator

Stephanie Hoogstad

With a BA in English and MSc in Creative Writing, writing is my life. I have edited and ghost written for years with some published stories and poems of my own.

Learn more about me:

Support my writing: Patreon

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Comments (7)

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  • D.K. Shepard3 months ago

    Very relatable and a great read!

  • Alison McBain3 months ago

    I certainly experience this - nothing like silence to recharge the batteries. Loved the word.

  • Very cleverly written… brilliant word.

  • Brin J.3 months ago

    Okay, so I'm a sociolassus.😅 I love this word and the story that went with it. So relatable. It perfectly captures my exhaustion right now as I come home and unwind.

  • Teresa Renton3 months ago

    Congratulations for placing! 🥳 Great word that resonates with me entirely 😉

  • Kelly Sibley 4 months ago

    Yep! Nailed it! Well done.

  • Omgggg, I totally experience that all the time! I just get so exhausted! That recharge is soooo needed! Loved your word and story!

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