Christmas reunions? New Year’s celebrations? It’s going to be a wild few weeks for introverts.
Any introvert can tell you how attending one party is enough to drain the social battery, more so several in a short period. So, with the holiday season in full swing, the parties are going to be through the roof as family gatherings, office parties, barkada hangouts, and more fill the busy space of Christmas and New Year. While the season has always been about get-togethers and celebrations, it takes extra effort for introverts to get through the moment.
It’s not inherent in most introverts to thrive in overstimulating environments. But if you’re dreading even more social interaction with people you do not know, don’t sweat, we’ve got you covered. Check out these tips for surviving the holiday rush as shared by our resident introverts.
Office parties, family reunions, school celebrations, friend meet-ups, and more, the invites this season can be so much, it’s overwhelming. Introverts aren’t built for all that social interaction in a short period. So, pick and choose your outings and be selective about which ones you can attend. This doesn’t mean you have to be a recluse, of course. But it does mean not draining yourself to the point where you feel discomfort at an event.
Your social battery can only handle so much, so pace yourself accordingly. Mandatory events from the family, school, or the office are understandable, but if the event isn’t necessary on the social calendar and the pros of not attending outweigh the cons, then don’t go.
IT’S OK TO SAY NO
It’s the season of giving, but introverts can only give so much before tapping out. While people might bring up the holiday spirit as the reason to say yes to everything, you shouldn’t be guilt-tripped into saying no. If you don’t want to attend a gathering or feel uncomfortable doing an activity at a party, then politely decline. Not to mention, you’ll also avoid those awkward moments when your relatives bring up unnecessary comments about you. Their idea of “small talk” becomes anxious chats you would rather not talk about. This Christmas and New Year’s, we are focusing on our mental health and not adjusting our comfort for other people who don’t understand us.
HAVE A GAME PLAN
Introverts don’t get ready for a party, they charge their energy to last it. Before you head out, try coming up with a plan of what you’ll be doing. Be aware of the occasion, location, and people involved so that you know how to situate yourself when you get to the venue. The last thing you want is to get there and freeze up in anxiety. Have a general idea of what you want to do or say so that it becomes easier to navigate the contours of a social gathering.
STICK WITH PEOPLE YOU KNOW
Introverts seeing someone they know and feel comfortable with at a party can tell you that it feels like a weight lifting off their shoulders, especially when they’ve spent most of the party standing at the corner. If you’re going to a party where you don’t know most of the people, find or bring along that person or persons that you’re close enough to be with the entire time. Talking to strangers at a party is not the vibe, so ease that agitation by being with people you already feel comfortable with who can do or initiate all the talking for you.
FIND YOUR SAFE SPACE
Whether it be a person or an actual spot in the venue, it helps to have someone or something to retreat to when the social battery needs a recharge. It can get unnerving to feel like you’re floating at a party with nowhere to go as you feel like an outlier. That is why you have to find a safe space to park to escape the extroverted energy. You deserve that breather and your spot to call your own.
DEFLECT WHEN YOU’RE ASKED TO PERFORM
It’s the moment many introverts dread with a passion, performing at the family or office Christmas party. Whether it be karaoke, a dance number, embarrassing game, or whatever non-introvert-approved activity they think of, it’s enough to get the heart racing just thinking about performing in front of many people. The dread and embarrassment is real.
Yes, these activities are about having fun (and winning some prizes, too), but that doesn’t mean introverts should be put on the spot for something they don’t want to do. Put that mic away. If karaoke or a dance number is part of the program, you can lower your chances of getting called by staying away from the crowd or hiding at the back to let the more willing participants do it. If you know the people hosting the party well, you can also talk to them and set your boundaries of what you want to do and set expectations accordingly.
The goal is to be invisible, look busy, or minimize those uncomfortable moments. And if worse comes to worse and you have to perform, just remember that it’s a one-and-done activity that people will forget about in a couple of hours.
Continue Reading: 6 Things You Can Do If You’re Staying In The City For The Holidays