The Introvert Hangover
There are different degrees of introverts, some are clearly uncomfortable in social settings, exchanging awkward glances and look as if they would rather be milking a cow rather than chitchat. Others seem like social butterflies until they are removed from the situation, then turn to solitude to recuperate. This post is going to focus on the latter group.
The differences between introverts and and extroverts are vast, however, the Huffington Post created a simple chart that gives one an idea of what category they may belong to here. Of course there are exceptions to the rule and you may find yourself having conflicting views depending on the situation.
For many people, going to dinner with friends, family functions, work events, seasonal parties are no biggie. You go, socialize and create memories, come home and go about your routine. It's natural right? For many, the "going about your routine" part is far from routine. I yet to figure out how people sustain their social exuberance. Of course it's just part of who they are and there is no special mojo cocktail involved.
I want to explore the introvert hangover to help others, who may not experience them, understand why their friends and/or family may seem lively in person, but are often hard to reach otherwise. This may seem to be a made up condition derived by millennial hypochondriacs, but I assure you, it's legit.
I never heard of the term "introvert hangover" until I read about it in Shawna Courter's piece over at IntrovertDear called YES, THERE IS SUCH A THING AS AN ‘INTROVERT’ HANGOVER. I found the article when I was doing some research on tendencies of highly sensitive people. There is no official definition I could find, although I'm sure Urban Dictionary will take a stab at it at some point. Shawna did a nice job of describing the condition: "Introverts have a more limited ration of energy available for socializing, compared to our more extroverted counterparts. When we push past those reserves, we hit a tipping point where we go from being “fine” to “definitely not okay.” An introvert hangover is, simply put, a withdrawal into oneself brought on by overstimulation."
Although I'm not a full fledged introvert, I definitely suffer from bouts of this. It's important for my family and friends to understand where I'm coming from. I probably seem pretty peppy in person, if not a bit sassy, when I'm out and about socializing. However, when I get home I turn into a sweatpant wearing hermit. Then proceed to rot my brain with the Bravo channel and such.
I used to think that my physical and mental reactions during or after a night out was due to my fondness for mojitos or tiredness. These reactions being ringing in the ears, headaches seemingly caused by overstimulation from sounds, activity, conversation, and scenery. Feeling completely depleted. Constantly going over the outing in my head and overanalyzing my behavior or what I said, wondering if I offended anyone. These are just a few symptoms that people experience, some experience full on anxiety attacks. Well, needless to say, mojitos were not the culprit.
It would take me a couple of days to even entertain the thought of the next event. Obviously my day-to-day errands got done, I don't go off the grid, just simply go offline socially for a bit. I should probably take up meditation, and although I have the clothes for it, I don't have the patience. Solitude and spacing out the social calendar may be the only reprieve.
I hope this post helps readers know that they are not alone regardless of which side of the spectrum they fall on. To understand that if you know someone like this, they are not mad or ignoring you, they only need some downtime. Or, if you experience this yourself, there is nothing wrong with you. Your social energy level just drains quickly, much like my bank account when leaving Target. I highly recommend you read the article mentioned above for more clarity on the topic.