Socializing as an introvert & hsp

FireworksThere’s an overwhelming pressure from society to be social. To be connected to everyone all the time. Social media connects us to our friends, family, and acquaintances 24/7. Being alone is seen as negative. If you aren’t part of the crowd, there’s something wrong with you.

Society’s extrovert ideal (as mentioned in Susan Cain’s book, Quiet) glorifies the social. The big parties, the huge crowds, the loud experiences. When you don’t embrace the social events, you tend to stick out. You get comments like, “but it’ll be fun” and “what’s wrong with you” and “you’ll be missing out”. Trust me, I won’t be missing out on anything. If I go, I’ll become an angry ball of frustration by the end of the night, and nobody wants that.

Introverts don’t find fulfilment the same way extroverts do. Introverts aren’t typically drawn to the same kinds of activities that extroverts are. I prefer a quiet activity with friends. Going for a walk along the river, stopping by a coffee shop, or window shopping along a quaint street. I crave a more personal activity that allows me to connect with my friends. I enjoy seeing them in a relaxed environment and discovering what’s important to them.

But here’s the paradox. Although my preferred environment is quiet and controlled, it doesn’t mean its the only thing I enjoy. I love concerts, conventions, and other people-filled events. I love summer festivals and go to as many as I can. But here’s the difference: I can’t enjoy festivals like an extrovert. I have to do it my own way.

There are a few preparations I need to make before attending a loud/noisy/crowded event. I need to store up energy the day before so I won’t be instantly overwhelmed once I arrive. This usually means hours of alone time and quiet the day before. I need a good night’s sleep and I need to eat a large breakfast/lunch. I’ll plan out breaks if I need to take them and bring snacks and water so I don’t get over-stimulated and hungry (worst combination ever). I also take public transit or my own vehicle to the event. This means I can leave when I need to, rather than waiting on someone else. I’ll usually spend a few hours at the event, then once I’ve filled my “crowd quota”, I’ll head back home to recharge and reflect.

What are your favourite summertime things to do? How do you prepare?

Image credit: “Tsuchiura Fireworks Display” by peaceful-jp-scenery is licensed under CC by 2.0

 

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4 thoughts on “Socializing as an introvert & hsp

  1. sparrowflyfree says:

    My favorite warm weather things to do include reading outside, pool lounging, and concerts. I do have to prepare for activities that involve large crowds, much in the same as you. Sometimes I’ll let the other people I’m with know that they can go get drinks/look at stuff/ etc. so I can sit by myself on the grass or a bench for a little mini recharge session. It helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Robert Thopmpson says:

    This post is so true. People say I’m weird when I refuse to do something with a large crowd, but when I explain they try to say I’m not because I went to a concert last weekend. Just because I did something that had a crowd (even though it was a small crowd) doesn’t mean I can/will every time. They had no idea what I did the day before and after. Heck, they didn’t even know how much alone time I had to have the day of to prepare for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      This is so true. I need hours of uninterrupted alone time before a busy event, and then hours of alone time after. I love spending time with friends, but it really takes a lot out of me. I wish there was an easy way to explain it to others 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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