Navigating social spaces as an introvert
Summer brings warm weather. And the warm weather brings people together as many want to enjoy the sun, longer days and being outdoors. When people get together, often it is with family and friends. Being with people we know is comfortable. What if your roommates or romantic partner wants to entertain people and you’re introverted? How can you be a gracious host when you prefer to be discreet?
An introvert is a personality trait where you are more comfortable and prefer to recharge on your own without much external stimulation like parties or large gatherings. An introvert is very happy to be with a select few people. Too much external stimulation is exhausting for an introvert. After spending too much time with others or in a group, introverts need alone or quiet time to recharge.
Generally, it’s not a problem if you and your romantic partner or you and your roommates are all introverted. It’s when one person is an extrovert who thrives on being around people and lots of external stimulation, and the other is an introvert when problems arise. It can be helpful to limit the number of new people on your guest list when possible. When entertaining, talk to one or two new faces at a time. This will help minimize sensory overload. And take a 5-10 minute break to be alone when you need to recharge. It can be discreet when passing through the kitchen to store the cocktail or catering area. Or tell your romantic partner or roommates that you’re going to take a few minutes for yourself. Make sure it’s a few minutes, and when you join the party, you’re back in your host mode.
It can be hard for your partner or roommates to figure out why you just can’t be the life of the party. They might think you’re rude because you’re not as social or engaged with guests as they’d like you to be or them to be. Try not to take it personally, even if that’s how you feel. Sometimes it’s hard for an extrovert to understand that you need social interactions in doses. Before or after the meeting, ask them how they envision the party. Get their expectations, then talk to them about what might or might not work for you. Get their help when you need some time to yourself during your meeting. Find a non-verbal cue or catchphrase you can say to let them know you need a few minutes.
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