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  • Writer's pictureLaurence Paquette

How to navigate social events as an introvert

Social event
Social event

As someone who identifies as both a social person and an introvert, I often find myself navigating the delicate balance between enjoying the company of others and needing time alone to recharge. Social gatherings, networking events, and team activities can be incredibly draining, even though I might enjoy the interactions in the moment. If you're like me and find that extended periods of social interaction leave you feeling exhausted, you're not alone. Here's my guide to managing these situations and ensuring you leave with your social batteries still intact.

Understanding the Introvert's Dilemma

Introverts are often misunderstood. While many people believe introverts are shy or anti-social, the truth is that introversion refers to a preference for solitary activities and a tendency to feel drained after prolonged social interactions. It's not about disliking people—it's about needing time alone to recharge.

This can pose a challenge at networking events, company gatherings, or customer meet-ups, where the expectation is often to be "on" for extended periods. Here's what I've learned about navigating these situations while maintaining my energy and sanity.

Tips for Surviving Social Events

If you're an introvert attending a large social event, consider these strategies to help you manage your energy and stay grounded:

1. Take Frequent Breaks One of my go-to strategies is to take plenty of bathroom breaks—more than I actually need. This gives me a few moments of solitude to collect my thoughts, take a deep breath, and recharge. These mini-breaks can be a lifesaver when you're feeling overwhelmed.

2. Stick with a Trusted Companion When I find someone I enjoy talking to, I tend to stick with them for a longer period. This reduces the need for constant small talk with new people and allows me to engage in deeper, more meaningful conversations. It's a great way to conserve energy and avoid feeling overwhelmed by the crowd.

3. Switch to a Topic You Enjoy If a conversation starts to bore me or if I'm feeling my energy wane, I switch to a topic I enjoy. This can provide a spark of energy and make the conversation more enjoyable. It also gives me more control over the direction of the interaction, allowing me to steer it toward subjects that invigorate me.

4. Know When to Leave As introverts, we often feel the pressure to stay at social events longer than we'd like. However, when I'm feeling overly tired, I know it's time to leave. It can be challenging, especially if the event is important, but I've learned that it's better to leave early than to push myself to the point of a social hangover—the overwhelming exhaustion that comes from too much social interaction. Recognizing when you've reached your limit is key to maintaining your well-being.

Embracing Your Introversion

Ultimately, it's essential to embrace your introversion and not feel ashamed about needing time alone to recharge. Social interactions can be draining, and it's okay to set boundaries and take care of yourself. By understanding your limits and employing strategies to manage your energy, you can navigate social events more comfortably.

Remember, you're not alone in feeling this way. Many of us experience the same struggle between enjoying social interactions and needing solitude. Embrace who you are, and don't be afraid to take the breaks you need to recharge. In the end, you'll be a happier, healthier version of yourself.


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