Clarify introvert and extrovert traits before you read another article about what you think you know about the label.
Inherent in the most accurate definitions, all experts agree that the difference between an introvert and an extrovert has to do with one, the flow of energy – from the outside or from inward as well as – and two, how that individual processes that energy – whether it’s depleting or energizing. Got it? Now you can throw away either side of any other definition that characterizes one as better than the other in any way.
When a house guest arrives, or travelling to unknown or even known places, and for holiday celebrations any time of year, there is little doubt that the enjoyment of these situations centers on the use of some social skills.
Each of these, and more situations like them, flow with energy from the outside, and that means a drop in personal energy for the more introverted! What almost every introvert wants to have are some handy options for a personal recovery plan to manage your more extroverted times. Either take your pick from these or let your mind wander to a totally uniquely you idea.
Introvert Welcome Mat for Guests
1. Be happy with who you are, as you are. Many Zen writers say a most important skill to master being learning to be happy with yourself. Consider any situation where you’re almost forced to bring into play more extroverting skills. For example, a situation like having a houseguest calls means more people and more talk. Now if you buy into the misnomer that you think you can’t converse, or have no interest in improving this social side of you, then you’ve pretty much straightjacketed yourself into being just that way – less conversational. How does this help? It doesn’t! So love the you who is a thinker first, and then find other thoughts to move you in the interaction direction.
2. Accept that you are wired to have alone time. It’s pretty simple – needing alone time to be sociable means we cherish our personal space. When I have houseguests, particularly extended stay guests, I find ways to carve out my personal time and space all day long. It’s like a chunking down of a longer scheduled time. And, if the guest wants to kindly invite me along to an event they have been invited to, I usually turn down the invitation. But then again, I’ve got a wild card in my play, because my husband who is an all out extrovert loves taking up that kind of invite.
3. Be sociable over meals. Everyone has to eat. Meals are one of the easiest activities to enjoy with your guests. Which, any or all meals is up to you. You can take charge in the kitchen and that helps a low energy recharge. Even if guests gather there, in all my experiences, most want to gab among themselves anyway. By the time you sit down, you can – take charge again. Either contribute to the conversation where you feel energized, or get up to refill the water, get another helping for the guests, or just get away to a quiet room for 2 ro3 3 minutes.
Introvert Caution Zone for Traveling
1. Zap away those energy vampires. If you are new to a country, and you can afford it, book yourself a private guide. My husband is an extreme extrovert and even he prefers this way of traveling. When we went to Egypt, it was our second trip abroad from the USA with our own guide. I think even our guide was an introvert because he got us in and out of pyramids way before the crowds, albeit his reason was to avoid the heat. The idea is to steer away from large tour groups.
2.Research where you are traveling ahead of time. I don’t mean to map your route out but if apropos, become familiar, with the culture and any must see places. One year we took a cruise to Alaska. I swear our cruise consultant either way a fly by the pants person or incompetent. In the top 6 blunders, yes that many, was not being able to book our most wanted land tour, the dog sled ride. Just as soon as the registration opened it seemed all those tours were booked. So be yourself and plan ahead.
3. Plan in the structure of exercise. If you aren’t a regular exerciser than maybe traveling can help you. I love walking almost anywhere when we travel. Besides avoiding the eyewash of the hustle bustle, just walking from hotel to destination when practical is a way to both stay healthy and boost those endorphins we surely need when traveling.
Introverts Holiday Stress Reducers
1. Keep things in mind, in 30-day chunks. This same idea that I share with introverts about in being able to have some prepared ways of starting conversations in business networking, work for holiday chatter. Be 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 we introverts can manage.
2. Before and after holiday connections. It’s usually about family and business gatherings. Many of us have a love-hate relationship with family during a holiday. Use weeks before any planned get-togethers to slip in a conversation something like, “Yeah, you know, the introvert in me going to be coming early and leaving early. Ha, ha.” You set people up so they won’t be surprised when you actually do this. And, if you are a business networker, focus on the event and either meet new or reconnect with already known people. Then, selectively build into your conversation an invitation to get together one-to one for a time after the holiday. We love planning and this is a tactical way to handle the dread at either end of any holiday.
3. Connect with close friends. Most of us more introverted prefer the more intimate gatherings, with just a few close friends. The thing is, almost any holiday has big crowd gatherings. If there is any place in life you can still balance things, this is one of them. Accept the number of invitations to any large gathering you feel you must – family or business obligations. Then accept the number of invitations that you want to any more intimate events. When you balance what you must with what you want, you’ll find celebrations are welcome.
A bonus tip, whether it’s a houseguest, traveling or a holiday break you need:
Schedule time alone in a beautiful place, just for you. I’m quite fortunate to be a short 7-minute car drive from a private beach. My favorite time to go is at dawn. No one is there, not even the employees who manage the marina. In warmer weather, I park my car in the lot and walk a few hundred feet to the picnic tables and lounge chairs. I sit, get comfortable, and in about 20 to 30 minutes I’m ready for the day whether it’s ready for me or not. About once a quarter I schedule a pamper session of some sort at a spa. These times are truly treasuring me.