I am introverted.
To prove it, I will tell you what I am currently doing. Aside from writing this post, I’m sitting at my favorite Fort Collins, CO coffee shop. No, I am not sitting in the middle of the floor plan. I immediately found the first open table that was nestled in the corner and closest to the fire. Lastly, I am composing this piece accompanied by the folk telling Avett Brothers.
For a lot of my introverted friends, the Holidays can feel like a major production. The process of knowing who talk to too, avoid, and having an “escape plan” can seem overwhelming.
The Holidays are a time of fun, joy, family, and copious amounts of food. The Holiday season is not the grim reaper, but it does come for everyone.
I asked some of my introverted friends what they do to prepare for the Holidays. Here is what they had to say:
Introvert’s Guide To Surviving The Holidays
Tell those endorphins whose boss!!! Make them work for you. As most of us know, endorphins help us reduce stress, puts anxiety at bay, boost self-esteem, and improve sleep. One friend recommended working out the day you have to go to a big Holiday event. If it’s a work party, the need to work out may be more urgent. I’ve taken their advice and it has helped tremendously.
2. Take A Day Off Before Your Holiday Event
One of my favorite suggestions came from a friend who, every year, takes a day off the day before Thanksgiving or Christmas. This person doesn’t even tell their family. Genius! Don’t forget to tell your boss. For this person, it’s a full 24 hours of solitude. That sounds like heaven to me! If you have kids, have your spouse or partner take them out for some “holiday fun.” This gives you time to relax and get ready for the party.
3. Know Your “Spot”
This may sound funny to my extroverted friends, but it’s crucial for introverts. Before you go to your Holiday event, know where your “spot” is going to be. I always go straight to the corner of a couch. I have a big family. If you get up, even to go to the restroom, forget about it. Others have suggested to volunteer in the kitchen or another space in the house that is not as occupied. We can serve and still feel like it’s not overcrowded.
4. Know Your “Signal” To Leave
One of my favorite parts of being to married to a fellow introvert is that we have a “signal” to leave our Holiday parties. It wouldn’t be wise for me to share our signal, but you can come up with your own. It could be a raised eye brow, touch on the leg (hopefully your spouse or partner), a phrase, etc. You could take a direct approach by standing up and saying – “I’m out of here! Thank You and Good Night!”(Mic Drop)
5. Be Present And Know It’s Ok To Say NO
Technology makes it easy for us to check out of a socially uncomfortable situations. Who hasn’t been caught looking at Facebook or checking email when we thought no one was looking?
We all have the right to say no to certain holiday events. We can’t do everything, even if you’re reading this and you’re an extrovert. If you say yes to a Holiday party, be fully present. If you say no, don’t allow anxiety, depression, and worry to shackle you to yourself. We are responsible for our emotional reaction to life. We are not responsible how others may respond.
6. Reward Yourself
I love this idea. One friend communicated they “prepare” themselves for a Holiday event knowing they are going to reward themselves with solo time. This may sound trivial to some, but it is rewarding and filling after a fun time with friends and family.
7. Take Breaks
Several of my friends shared they take breaks. They go for walks, step outside with fewer people, find a room no one is occupying, and the list goes on. If you need some time to breathe, take advantage of this idea.
Why does all this matter?
Introverts know they live in an extroverted world. It’s going to take time and conversations for extroverts to realize this. Susan Cain, fellow introvert, wrote a book called Quiet: The Power Of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. She has opened the conversation for our generation. It’s a book that needs to be read by all introverts and extroverts.
Enter Our Blog Contest
We are giving away a free copy of Susan Cain’s book, Quiet.
Here is how you enter to win:
1. Repost and Retweet this post to your social media
2. Leave a comment below about how you survive the Holidays as an introvert.
3. We’ll pick a winner, Friday, at 7 p.m. eastern standard time with the best idea.