The most basic distinction between introverts and extroverts is from where they draw energy. Introverts draw energy from being alone; being with people drains their energy.
Introverts enjoy spending time with people, but it wears them out rather than energizes them.
Until I read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking this year, my tendency was to go, go, go, pretending I was an extrovert until I burned out.
Now that I’ve come to terms with the fact that I need alone time to recharge, I pay closer attention to my energy levels. Even extroverts might overdo it during this season’s ample social opportunities, so we should all monitor our energy.
With that in mind, here are a few more ways to enjoy holiday parties, if you tend to get drained by them:
- Build buffers into your schedule. Yesterday we had a wedding and an evening party. A few days before, I rescheduled a morning haircut, realizing that a quiet morning at home would help me enjoy the events more than an hour long conversation with my hair stylist, as much as I love her. In between the events, I kept it quiet and low key by taking a nap and answering emails.
- Don’t be afraid to decline some invitations. You really won’t be missed if you don’t make it to every party. Us introverts tend to make better company in small crowds anyway, so make a point to schedule a coffee or dinner date with friends in the new year if you can’t make their party.
- Host your own small gathering, like a dinner party, movie night, cookie swap or gift wrapping party. If you’re the host, you can craft the event around your preferences. Small can still be festive, and you may find it a nice alternative.
- Offer to help. If you serve the host as an extra pair of hands to assemble appetizers or load the dishwasher, you can steal a few quiet moments to yourself away from the main action of the party. The help will surely be appreciated!
What else makes the social parts of the season more enjoyable for those who love their alone time?