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On Being An Introvert: Social Overwhelm

Sometimes the idea of spending any more time with people sounds as awesome as eating glass. I’m talking about social burnout. It’s a real thing for us introverts. I remember when I was young my mother would declare that she was “overstimulated” and that was our cue to give her some time and space. Problem is I have a public job. I spend time with people for a living. I love my work, so I have to do my very best to avoid social burnout. I used to try to hide this really and pretend I would not get overwhelmed after too much “people time.” That was even more exhausting. Sound familiar? Well, I was fed up with hat. I just started telling people when I needed space and found that I was better able to manage my social burnout just by saying “I need some time to decompress.”

Here are my must do’s to stave off social burnout and not be a jerk to everyone

Prioritize Alone Time

This is a bit obvious, but sometimes it is easier said than done. Sunday is key. I set up my week on Sundays. After I get everything scheduled in I that are must do’s, I block out some time to be alone and recharge midweek.

Self awareness

Notice when you are starting to get overwhelmed. For me, I start getting irritable and impatient. Figure out what your warning signs are and pay attention to them. Your daily wellness journal can help you identify these if you don’t know them

Say it out loud

When you are struggling, say it out loud! Talk to the people and relationships in your life and tell them you are trying to manage your social overwhelm better. Most everyone wants to help you; you just have to show them how!