Imagine this: you’re at a party. You know the host, but no one else. You’ve been interacting with your new acquaintances for a few hours. How do you feel? Are you energized by the prospect of so many new friends? Or are you itching to go home?
In this article, I will be sharing some thoughts that introverts have after socializing.
“I need a nap.”
Socializing is like exercising– it’s exhilarating and (mostly) enjoyable at first, but progressively becomes exhausting and you eventually can’t wait to cool down. More surface-level interactions–such as those at parties and larger social events– are particularly draining for us. Even though we love meeting new people, it takes significantly more energy to play the “get-to-know-you” game.
Every introvert has their unique methods of “recharging” in solitude. My friend Laila, for instance, takes naps. My other friend, Chelsea, reads books. For me, I enjoy spending time cuddling with my dog. For us, our alone time is sacred– we are able to temporarily step away from the noisiness of our busy world and simply reflect. During and after socializing, we can’t wait to decompress. After we’ve rejuvenated, we’re ready to take on the world.
“Uh oh. I’m getting cranky.”
Crankiness from mental and emotional exhaustion is most easily comparable to feeling “hangry.” I consider myself a relatively patient person, but I am 1000 times more susceptible to agitation when I haven’t had any “alone time.” (I would like to take this time to apologize to my roommate and significant other for my snappy behavior during my emotional exhaustion-induced outbursts.)
“Why did I say THAT?!”
In less comfortable settings–especially those with new acquaintances, I some of us become hyper aware of our actions. Our “Spidey Senses” go haywire as we attempt to micromanage our behavior: our reactions, how many times we’ve checked my phone, how many times we’ve spoken, etc. Our Number One priority, however, is ensuring knows that–after a certain point– we’re “faking” our outgoingness. When we’re emotionally exhausted at a social function, the last thing that we want to do is crash the fun. When others are enjoying themselves, we put on our “happy face” until we find an appropriate time to leave. After socializing, a slew of anxiety floods our thoughts as we begin to analyze every moment of the interaction. Was I awkward? Was that one thing that I said at that one time passive aggressive? Why did I say THAT? Did they notice I wanted to leave? Do they want to hang out with me again? While overthinking is not an exclusive introvert characteristic, it can appear amplified when you’re stuck at a social event and just want to be alone.
“I hope others don’t think that I dislike them.”
Even though we may withdraw, we–by no means– intend to insinuate that we dislike our acquaintances and friends’ company! Rather, we need time alone to “recharge.” However, some of us continue to fear that our solitude could be interpreted as a disinterest in my relationships. Personally, I have made an extra effort to communicate with my peers about my experiences and preferences as an introvert. That way, they understand that I am not averse to them, but rather need time to refuel.
What do you think?
Do you agree with this list? Are there thoughts that you have that weren’t included? Tells us down below!
Special thanks to Laila Z. and Chelsea A. for their help.
Hall, Alena. “10 Ways Introverts Interact Differently With The World.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 7 Dec. 2017.