As we approach the holidays there is more and more, well, extroverting going on. Parties, business gatherings, maybe Christmas caroling. So what IS someone more introverted to do? Introversion isn’t a disease and it isn’t wrong. Apply any of these ideas to your holiday season for a happier time.
1. Ignore the label. Everyone introverts and extroverts all day long. Do you read books? That is more introversion. Have you attended a party? That is more extroversion. We all do all things and more and just tend to have a preference.
2. Rid yourself of energy vampires. Introverts need more time alone to recharge. Particularly during the holidays, when it’s a time for more extroverting activities, be certain to make and take time for yourself.
3. Take your time to answer. If someone asks you a question, being yourself, just be prepared. You could take a sip from your drink to buy a few seconds and then impress someone with your thoughtful reply. You could also go prepared with the 30-day rule: talk about impersonal happenings to you in the next 30 days or the past 30 days. It’s small talk that introverts can manage.
4. Be self-sufficient. If you want to host a small party, it puts you in the leaders seat. You set the start and end time and you are in charge. Or offer the host or hostess of a party you attend to help them in some way. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t welcome some help during a party where they are the host.
5. Continue to learn by listening. People love talking about themselves. Extroverts in particular – no offense meant; that’s just the reality. You’ll be a breath of fresh air to many people if you engage your preference to listen rather than jump into a conversation.
6. Explore ideas in depth. Parties are exhausting so before they get going, get going yourself with ideas of how to take time out for yourself before, during and after. The holiday season being in sixth gear, just means for you to spend time in neutral before you get going to plan for your energy breaks.
7. Stay focused. Think about the cause of your stress. Is it the parties, the shopping, the dinners? If you can identify the particular causes you will be able to more easily plan how to deal with things better.
8. Provide yourself some structure. Yes introverts are social but to a limit. What’s our motto, “Two is a crowd.” Remember things like enough sleep, eating healthy, and keeping up your exercise routine all help keep our energy going during a hectic holiday.
9. Yes, be more sensitive. Highly sensitive people can be either introverts or extroverts. The distinction is, if as an introvert you stay sensitive you will be aware of more clues from your environment to help you manage things. If you know your limits you can help yourself.
10. Celebrate on January 2; it’s Introvert Day! The truth is everyone needs a break from weeks of parties, in particular introverts. Mark your calendar for something special: totally alone, appreciating and celebrating yourself.
Holidays and introverts may seem like an oxymoron but think of it this way. A holiday is generally a time to relax. Add this with an introvert’s contemplative nature and you can have the environment needed to recharge. It can be a time of joy and love if you plan first to remain true to yourself. You aren’t alone during the holidays with the craving of wanting peace, reflection and celebration. Even your extrovert friends are seeking some tranquility, so lead the way, be the role model and in the process you will satisfy your true nature.
A version of this article was on Embracing My Journey in November and I felt compelled to finally bring it here.
What other being happy tips for the introvert during the holidays do you have?