The Introvert’s Guide To Surviving the Holidays

surviving the holidays as an introvert

When I was younger, I felt like an alien at times.  I didn’t understand why I preferred playing alone or why I would retreat to the back room of my grandma’s house to watch t.v or take a nap when my entire family was in the living room having fun.

When I got older and went to college, all my friends wanted to do was go to partying or hang out on the yard.  I would go but I always hated it. It never felt natural. I would have to force myself to go or have a few drinks (read almost drunk) to ‘loosen’ up to have fun.

I’m not sure how I first heard of the term ‘introvert’ but learning that I was one changed my life – “You mean, I’m not weird??? There are other people out there that are just like me???” 

In case you’ve never heard of what an extrovert or introvert is – extroversion and introversion is all about energy and how we give, receive, and create it.

Introverts have to create their energy.  This is done through introspection and rest.  Extroverts take energy – they’re little energy thieves (lol).  They can’t create their own energy, so they take others.  

Introversion and extroversion can be looked at on a scale.  Most people aren’t completely one thing or the other, but rather, they fall somewhere on the continuum. 

introvert scale

I’m not 100% introverted. I fall somewhere towards the middle of the scale.  (even though my friends would probably disagree).

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR….OR IS IT??

For introverts, the holidays can be stressful. 

All the social gatherings leave me feeling drained, spiraling me into a bad mood.  The Grinch who stole Christmas ain’t got nothing on me when I’m tired and out of energy.  And now that I think about it – The Grinch was probably a little misunderstood – what if he was an introvert in a town full of extroverts!  Poor fella – I feel his pain.

It’s not that introverts don’t like people.  On the contrary, we love people – we’re just super selective about who we share our energy with.

So if you are wondering how to survive this holiday season as an introvert, I’ve got 5 tips to help you get through.

5 TIPS TO HELP YOU SURVIVE THE HOLIDAYS AS AN INTROVERT

Get A Good Night’s Sleep

With all the social gatherings you may have to attend, you will need all the energy you can get.   When I’m tired, all I want to do is lock myself in a room alone and lay on the bed.

Try to get around 7-8 hours of sleep the night before an event.  You won’t feel like socializing if you’re feeling tired. 

Find a Safe Zone 

We introverts need a place where we can retreat when feeling overwhelmed. Find a space where you can go and rejuvenate.  This could be a restroom at an event or a spare room in a house. You just need a place to get away from all of the energy suckers.

When I’m at family functions, I’ll find a room I can retreat too when I feel overwhelmed or drained.  And if I can’t find a room, I’ll go sit in the car for a few minutes.

Plan Out Your Answers To Commonly Asked Questions

My family loves to ask me when am I getting married or having kids, etc…having an answer already planned takes a little stress off of my shoulders as I don’t have to fumble around for my words.

Introverts hate small talk, especially with people we don’t know so think about some questions that come up in small talk and have some pre-planned answers

Have an Escape Plan

When you are feeling totally drained or overwhelmed – leave.  Remove yourself completely from the situation, go home and rejuvenate.

Lately, I’ve been upfront with people – I just tell them I’m ready to go.  No other explanation is needed after that statement. However, I know that can be hard to do for some people.  So if you aren’t quite ready to say, “See ya…I’ll catch you on the flip side”, here are a few excuses I’ve used in the past to leave early:

‘I’ve got to get up early for work tomorrow.’  

‘I’m tired and need to go get some rest.’

“I have another party to attend” – which technically isn’t a lie.  You do have another party to attend – a party on your couch or in your bed recuperating.

I have a friend who is an extreme extrovert.  She loves staying till the end of parties to talk to everyone and I mean EVERYONE!!  She will stay until she is the last person left. On the contrary, I like leaving parties early, probably so I can avoid all the small talk.  Because of this, I always drive separately when going to events with her. That way she can stay and be her extroverted self and I can sneak out early!

Bring A Friend

Going to holiday gatherings or events with other introverts makes me feel at ease.  I know that I will always have someone to talk to (or not talk to). I also have a partner in crime when it comes time to escape.  

The holidays should be filled with fun and laughter – not anxiety. 

I hope these tips help my fellow introverts.

Go forth and survive the holidays.

surviving the holidays as an introvert

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