It is a common misconception that introverts are meek and quiet people. Truth is that introverts can be just as outgoing and outspoken as an extrovert. The only difference is that while extroverts thrive on being in social situations, introverts can find them draining. However, as long as an introvert can recharge for a bit, they can be as much of a socialite as anyone else.
So, how do you know if an introvert like you needs recharge.
5 Signs An Introvert Needs To Recharge
Introversion is a spectrum. Thus how long an introvert can last during a social gathering varies from person to person. Some introverts might get tired after an hour of socializing, while others can last for four or five hours.
There isn’t a way of measuring when an introvert needs to recharge. However, if you notice the following changes in your behavior, it may indicate that you’ve reached the limits of socializing capacity and need some time to be alone.
1. Feeling Irritated By Everything
One sure sign that an introvert needs to recharge is feeling irritated by everything. If you are an introvert who has been in a social gathering far past your comfort limit, you may get irritated by everything around you. Whether a friend is talking nonstop about something you find boring or a slight breeze passes your leg, you will find it all unbearable.
If you notice everything around you getting on your nerves, take it as a sign that you need to go home. If you continue socializing in this state you may end up snapping at someone out of irritation. This will only make you feel guilty later and induce a fear of social gatherings.
2. Feeling Overwhelmed Or Anxious
Another sign that you need to recharge is anxiety. There is nothing worse than feeling overwhelmed or anxious at a social gathering. When you feel anxious, your brain releases a lot of adrenaline. This heightens all your senses and makes you feel even worse than you normally would.
If you start feeling overwhelmed or anxious at a social event, consider taking a small break to calm yourself down. Even if you can’t go home, sitting in a quiet place by yourself for a few minutes will let you gather your nerves and feel a lot better than you did before. However, if you feel too anxious, tell a close friend you aren’t feeling well and go home and rest.
3. Feeling Depressed
Along with anxiety, you may also feel depressed if you are socializing beyond your limit. Unlike anxiety which heightens your senses, depression makes you feel numb. You may feel a sense of emptiness from being outside and talking to people. If such is the case, it is best to call it a day and go home. Mental states such as anxiety or depression aren’t visible on the outside.
So, if you’re in large social gatherings, your friends may not notice how you’re feeling. So, instead of waiting for someone to end the meeting, let at least one friend know if you aren’t feeling well. You may feel like you’re dampening the party. However, true friends will understand your struggles and won’t take them personally if you decide to go home early.
4. Feeling Extremely Tired
Along with mental effects, there are also physical repercussions to having an introvert hangover. In most cases, introverts who socialize beyond their limit, start feeling physically drained. You may feel sleepy or find keeping up conversations to be very difficult.
This side effect of an introvert hangover is particularly common in activities where you have to physically exert yourself. For instance, if you are out clubbing or bar hopping with your friends. If you start feeling tired, try sitting down somewhere for a while. You may also want to engage in a smaller crowd rather than forcing yourself to engage in larger group conversations.
5. Zoning Out During Conversations
A sure sign that you’ve had enough is zoning out. If you start zoning out during conversations, it is a sign from your brain that you no longer want to be here. If you find it difficult to put sentences together or keep track of what people are saying, then you should consider taking a break to recharge yourself.
When you zone out, your mind flees to other places while your body is stuck in place. Not being present in the moment can ruin the experience of socializing. Additionally, you could also accidentally hurt someone’s feelings by not paying attention to them. Thus if you start to zone out, take a small break from the crowd so that you can come back fresh and energized.
What Should An Introvert Do To Recharge?
When you are at a social gathering, it can be very difficult to excuse yourself to recharge. Sometimes, if you spend a long time sitting by yourself at a party, you could bring down the mood or hurt the host’s feelings. Thus it is important to be strategic when you recharge yourself at a gathering.
If your situation is too severe to handle, it is best to go home. However, never leave a gathering without saying goodbye to your friends. You can use excuses such as having worked in the morning. Or you could be upfront and tell your friends you aren’t feeling well and need some rest. Either way, make sure to be polite and not hurt anyone’s feelings.
However, if you only feel a little tired, taking a small break can help you feel recharged as well. You can excuse yourself to the bathroom and take a few minutes to gather your thoughts. Or, you could step outside for a bit and go back in when you feel better. Just let someone know where you’re going so that no one is worried or thinks you left without saying goodbye.
All Good But Why Do Introverts Need To Recharge?
Despite the stereotype that introverts hate socializing, and enjoy living as loners who watch old movies and drink lots of coffee, most introverts are quite social beings. The only difference between an introvert and an extrovert is that extroverts gain energy from being around people while introverts lose energy from being in these social situations.
This fundamental difference occurs due to the lengths in neurological pathways. In social situations, an extrovert’s brain follows a short neurological pathway called the Dopamine pathway. On the other hand, introverts’ brains follow the much longer Acetylcholine pathway. This longer pathway makes introverts more anxious during social gatherings.
Since introverts have a much longer neurological pathway, it takes them much longer to feel rewarded by social interactions. Additionally, since the introvert’s pathway is longer, they also have to spend more energy to cope during social situations.
Thus introverts have to recharge every once in a while to give their brains a break from all the work it does while socializing. Taking time to recharge is integral to an introvert’s well-being. It may not seem like a big deal on the surface. However, forcing an introvert to socialize beyond their capacity may lead them to develop extreme anxiety, depression, or aphasia. So, if you are an introvert, make sure you do not neglect to recharge yourself if you notice signs of an “introvert hangover”.
If you are an introvert needing recharge, I hope this article addressed some of your concerns. Just because you are an introvert, doesn’t mean you have to hate socializing. As long as you take breaks and recharge a little, you can be the life of the party just as much as anyone else can.