Having many friends and social engagements is something most people want out of life and just because you fall on the introverted side doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy being popular. It just means you need to be doubly aware of your unique personality traits and needs.
1. Take time to recharge
Reading Susan Cain’s popular introvert guide Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking there was one anecdote that felt very familiar. A prominent professor spoke each year at a conference held at The Royal Military College Saint-Jean on the Richelieu River. He was a very popular speaker and often invited to social lunches between his morning and afternoon talks. Fearing the detrimental effects of too much small talk, for many years the professor feigned an interest in boat design so he could steal away an hour alone to pace the river and recharge between his sessions. When the conference relocated the professor was forced to hide away in the bathroom just to get his treasured alone time.
There’s something about desiring time by yourself that people associate with being odd or lonely. But for some people, it’s necessary to keep them in good spirits. If you have a busy week coming up make sure to slot in a few hours of time alone so you can recharge. Don’t wait until the busy time is over either. Take time out for yourself in the middle of your busiest period as this will recharge your batteries and give you the energy to enjoy your upcoming engagements.
2. There’s nothing wrong with saying no
When too many social outings are a cause for stress it’s twice as important that you choose which ones really matter to you. It’s a shame that your cousin’s baby shower and your work friend’s birthday fell on the same day. But is it really wise for you to overextend yourself by attending both? Just because they both want you to attend and if you made sure to leave one early you’d still make the other, doesn’t mean that you have too. Learn to prioritise your plans (baby showers happen less often than birthdays for example) and teach yourself to politely decline invitations. You can always make plans with the person you’re declining for another day.
3. Plan activities you enjoy doing
Which brings us to suggestion number 3 – take control of your social life and plan activities you will enjoy doing. A night out on the town is awesome fun every so often, but it’s not your style every single weekend. A schedule full of high energy and overly stimulating activities will drain you very quickly. Become the organiser and you can choose to catch up with friends and family in a way that suits your energy levels at the time.
A few suggestions for when you’re feeling drained:
- Take a morning walk with a friend
- Read a book in the sun
- Host a tea party with your niece
- Enjoy a quiet picnic
- Invite a friend for a relaxing spa day
Most people assume when you’re the life of the party that being the centre of attention is your favourite pastime. Perhaps this is true for someone who feels energised by the constant company of others. But for us introverts, there is a delicate balance to be maintained between constant social engagement and your desire for time alone.