Being an introvert in an extrovert-friendly world is a challenge. You have people who try to change you or condemn you for the way you function. Even though knowledge of introversion is spreading, it’s far from being widely accepted. Here are a few things I’ve found helpful in staying true to my introverted self.
1. Take care of your body & mind.
Introverts are often very sensitive to and aware of their environments. Loud conversations and constant stimulus drain our energy. If we look after ourselves, our ability to handle these things increases. It’s important to get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, eat healthy nutritious meals, get active, and take care of your mental health. Although this is definitely easier said than done and I’m still working on it 🙂
2. Nurture positive connections.
We all need a connection with others. The best way to show people you care is to spend your time and energy on them. It’s also important to remove toxic people from your life. If this isn’t possible, try to restrict the amount of access they have to you. Surrounding yourself with positive people will lift you up and encourage you.
3. Create and enforce boundaries.
As a recovering people-pleaser, I used to do things to please others, often to my own detriment. Fortunately I’ve been able to make a lot of positive changes since then. By setting and enforcing boundaries, you show others how they’re allowed to treat you. It takes time and practice to get used to, but it makes life a lot easier.
4. Work on good posture.
This is actually something my dance instructor taught us. Upholding a straight posture makes you look more confident, even if you don’t feel it inside. But if you carry yourself with confidence, others will often treat you with more respect.
5. Master the graceful exit.
This comes in handy when you’re in a conversation going nowhere. I’ll usually thank them for their time and mention how it was nice talking with them. Then I’ll give a reason for my departure and head off. Also ensure you have a way to get home if you’re at a party or event. It’s best to travel solo, bring money for a cab, or travel with an introvert with similar energy levels.
6. Create calming rituals for before & after busy events.
I’ve started using a day planner to block out time before and after busy events. This allows me to mentally prepare for an event and recharge after. Plus if it’s in my planner, I’m more likely to actually do it. I’ll usually spend that time with a book and a cup of tea. Or I’ll light a candle and snuggle up with a blanket. Hot baths are always a relaxing option too.
7. Don’t let fear control you.
I’ve had a lot of regrets. Most of the time it was things I regretted not doing. I was afraid of what others would say. Or that someone would make fun of me. Or that I’d fail. I’ve been slowly learning to do things to push me outside my comfort zone. Having a supportive friend really helps. Or sometimes I’ll do research in advance so I’m more mentally prepared. Baby steps are totally acceptable.
What are your survival tips?