How I Learned To Own My Introversion

I have never felt recharged after spending time with a group of people. At social gatherings it often takes all my energy to keep myself from going home to read a book or watch a movie alone. There’s something about this that has always felt shameful. I can fake enjoy being at a party, often to the point that other’s don’t realize how uncomfortable I am. However, at the end of the day my battery is on empty if I haven’t had my alone time. I’ve learned a lot about how to accept that I don’t like big groups or loud enviornment’s.

 

  • I love MY people

When I spend time with my closest friends one on one I can avoid feeling drained. I choose to have coffee dates or watch movies with my friends individually. Occasionally, I can handle having a few people over at a time without feeling their welcome is overstayed as they enter the door. Changing the way I extend my energy in my relationships helps me value the time we are together. I value the authentic interactions and my ability to be really present with my friends that is often lost in the chaos of larger gatherings. Learning to be mindful about my social time has been so helpful in feeling connected to the people I love.

 

  • I prioritize self-care

Self-care for me is less about bath bombs and face masks and more about giving myself adequate time to unwind. Sure, sometimes it’s nice to paint my nails but most days I want to just scroll mindlessly through social media in bed. I notice having much more energy in the mornings when I stick to my routine and give myself time to be alone before and after social activities.

 

  • I ask myself what I really want

Sometimes I feel the urge to hide my introverted ways. I will push myself to the limits by going out with friends to the bar or attending parties. At the end of these events I am left feeling guilty for fighting what I want and for putting on a mask to be perceived as outgoing. A friend of mine who practices Zen Buddhism shared a tip with me. When I share the desire to conform to social pressures of extroversion she asks me, “Who is this?” While obviously, it is still me, this poses the question of where is this motivation coming from. I have continued to ask myself the same question frequently to discern what I really want to do.

 

On my most recent birthday I almost planned myself a party. I was set on going out drinking with friends and being out all night. There was a part of me fighting tooth and nail to just spend my birthday alone. I asked myself what was making me feel like I needed to celebrate in a way that didn’t make me comfortable. The biggest thing I realized was that I wanted to present myself as an extrovert on social media. FOMO is so real! I was about to plan a party I didn’t want so I could post a picture on social media. Instead, I ended up ordering a pizza and binge watching some Netflix with my partner. I can assure you I was so much happier this way. When I’m able to remind myself why I am acting out of character, I can take care of my needs more often.

 

For all of my introverted friends, it is normal to enjoy time alone. You will feel better if you just embrace these tendencies and curl up on your couch and love every second of it!