“Introvert hangover”: what to do when there is too much communication
Man among people
At the word “introvert” many people have the image of an unsociable beech tree, spending time alone with a book or wandering around the back streets of the park. As for me, I am friendly and open, I enjoy communicating with interesting and pleasant people, I value friendship and cherish loved ones. And while I’m an introvert. This means that the resources to restore internal balance, I draw in solitude. And also – that I am well acquainted with the so-called “introvert hangover”.
What is it, you ask. This is the feeling when in the middle of a pleasant party or concert of a beloved musician we begin to feel tired, exhausted, and a desire to be alone and in silence. And after a party or gatherings, you may even feel like a hangover – even if on the eve we did not drink a drop of alcohol.
Introvert online community blogger dear Maria says that she also has a similar feeling: “It all depends on the circumstances and nature of the communication, but sometimes this feeling is absolutely exhausting. So much so that my bones hurt and I need rest and rest all the next day. To extroverts this may even seem strange – can such a pleasant occupation as socialization really influence someone? ”
Both introverts and extroverts can get tired of socialization from time to time and need peace
“You spent the whole day with your family and are now so exhausted that you don’t even have the strength to keep your gaze at one point. You feel mental and physical fatigue and a total lack of energy, while the rest of these signs are not observed. What is wrong with you? – Jenn Grannemann, the author of The Secret Lives of Introverts, suggests thinking. – This does not mean that you do not love your family. During the day spent with my family, there were many wonderful moments. But after a long conversation, there is a feeling that I had to run a marathon. If this happens to you, you are not alone. Although there is no “introvert hangover” among medical diagnoses, it is familiar to many. This is a form of fatigue with tangible mental and physical manifestations. “
Yes, communication, even the most fascinating and enriching, takes power. Both introverts and extroverts from time to time can get tired of socialization and need peace. According to the author, introverts are more prone to social burnout, because for their type of nervous system, communication can be over-stimulation.
“This is due to how we are arranged. Compared to extroverts, we are more sensitive to noise and other forms of stimulation. The mechanism for the production of dopamine, the “hormone of pleasure”, is somewhat different for introverts than extroverts, which determines the ability of the latter to withstand noise and tension during communication more and longer. ”
What to do
Each of us from time to time needs to replenish the spent reserves of forces and energy. Burnout associated with communication does not bring joy to anyone who no longer has the strength to talk, nor to others. Without even realizing what is happening with the interlocutor, people will experience discomfort.
“About three hours passed, and I caught myself thinking that the party was pleasant and fun, but I was ready to say goodbye to the guests,” recalls Maria. – These thoughts were unpleasant to me myself, but I seemed to be on the verge. Communication with me for today was enough. Of course, being a welcoming hostess, I was not going to really put guests out the door, and my husband also enjoyed talking. What was left for me to do? ”
The phone screen is a convenient window that you can look into while remaining physically in a communication situation
Frankly, I found myself often hiding in a smartphone in such situations. Not that there was anything more interesting or more enjoyable than my company at the moment. And I also do not observe an unhealthy dependence on the gadget. It’s just that in a situation where you need a short pause alone with you, the screen of my phone is a too convenient window to look into, while remaining physically in a communication situation.
Methods of self-regulation can be very different. For example, you can take a dog for an evening walk. For others there is nothing impolite or strange, but there is a short break and the opportunity to free your head.
“This is a great reason to start asking yourself questions.”
Anastasia Gurneva, gestalt therapist
As in the case of a hangover from alcohol, with the appearance of a “hangover” from communication, it is worth first thinking about the following issues:
- Weren’t you “drunk” yesterday? Was the communication excessive in the number of interlocutors or the duration?
- Could it be that you have little “snack” or “too often attached to a glass”? In other words, were there any pauses in communication that made it possible to comprehend what was happening, whether the pace of communication was right for you, were you comfortable, did you manage to enjoy the conversation.
- Did you “drink” something of poor quality? Whether the communication partner was aggressive, a manipulator, or simply unpleasant to you.
- Have you chosen to communicate? Did you have the opportunity to refuse the meeting as a whole or a specific topic in the conversation? Were you in the mood and ready to talk?
There are many questions both within the metaphor and outside it. Answering them, you can think about the directions of changes, if you feel the need for them: the choice of people to communicate with, the duration of communication in the comfort zone, the pace, the voluntary entry and exit to the communication situation.
Communication vs privacy
Sometimes upbringing or the desire to follow social norms of behavior or to comply with a company makes us remain deaf to ourselves. Seeking to support those who suffer from a social hangover, Jenn Grannemann recalls: “Our needs are important too. In a society that supports extraversion, it’s easy to think that something is wrong with us. We may worry that we hurt others. This forces us to hide our feelings or pretend that everything is in order – and, accordingly, suffer. If you leave the party early, everything is in order. If you need to be alone with yourself – this is normal. Your needs are important. ”
We live in a society and are connected to each other, and social ties are really important. It is the responsibility of each of us to seek a balance between our characteristics and communication with others, between the “hangover” and the desire to be with significant people.
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Finally, justice has triumphed for the introverts: over the past few years, being calm and internally directed has become not only acceptable, but also fashionable. But introversion is often mistaken for its more limited, shy, but treatable “relative” – social anxiety.
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