10 Tips for Surviving the Holidays If You're an Introvert
Hint: It's OK to say no
The parties. The gift exchanges. The endless family visits. If you’re an introvert, the holidays don’t fill you with joy…they totally drain you. But that doesn’t mean you should hide under the covers until January. Try these ten helpful tricks (and take deep breaths) instead.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s totally possible to be an introvert and enjoy the holidays—but it all comes down to self-care. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, building in extra me-time and doing things you genuinely love. Yes, that can mean putting on a facemask, lying on the couch and meditating a little.
Know Your Limits
During the holidays, you’re bound to have more social engagements than usual. Be honest with yourself and know when to say no to an invite. Remember that you don’t have to go to everything, and take time to really think about how much you can (or want to) handle over the next several weeks. We give you full permission to call out sick from that friend-of-a-friend’s Secret Santa party.
Prep for Conversation
Before going to a party, think of some open-ended questions that will get other people talking and take the focus off of you. Doing this puts the onus on them to carry the conversation (and, let’s face it, most people like talking about themselves). Think ahead about your own answers to questions you might be asked so that you don’t get frazzled in the heat of the moment.
Offer to Help
Whether it’s setting the table, tossing the salad or doing dishes after dinner, lending a hand at a holiday party gives you a purpose, so you aren’t just standing or wandering around feeling like you have to make conversation.
Decide When You’re Leaving Before You Arrive
Obviously, if you’re having a good time you should stay, but giving yourself a limit of, say, two hours might help you relax. You could also set a goal of talking to four new people before leaving. Try to avoid carpooling with friends so that you don’t have to rely on their timeline for a ride home. (Uber to the rescue.)
Seek Out Extroverts
It might be more intuitive to gravitate toward people like you, but it’s a safer bet to stick with extroverts who are comfortable being in the spotlight and carrying the conversation. So sit back, relax and laugh as Bob regales you with his Tinder date horror stories.
Wear Something You’re Totally Comfortable In
This is important for everyone, but especially for introverts. Don’t use a holiday party to debut a new dress or sky-high heels unless you’re totally sure you feel like a million bucks wearing them. Stick with the skirt you rocked last year instead.
Don’t Drink Too Much
A few glasses of wine might make you feel more comfortable (and that’s great), but drinking too much to overcompensate and acting like an extrovert might make you feel weird about it the next day.
Hang Out at the Kids’ Table
Here’s the deal: Kids are fun and they’re usually so much in their own world that they don’t care (or even notice) if you say something awkward.
Try to Have Your Own Space
If you’re traveling for the holidays, make it a point to stay in a hotel instead of at a relative’s or friend’s house. If someone really presses you to stay with them, tell them that getting a hotel room is like a relaxing little vacation. Chances are they’ll understand (and be a little jealous).