An Introvert’s Guide to Holiday Survival

You’ve had you’re fill of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, and an even larger helping of people. While you love your friends and family, its hard being an introvert among a diverse cloud of people. Thanksgiving may be over, but with Christmas looming in the back of your mind, its time to take action and prepare yourself so that you can not just survive the holidays, but truly enjoy. Below are three ways that you can balance your introvert nature and your family and friends.

Tip Number One: Knowledge is Power

A necessary aspect of creating harmony between yourself and your surroundings is understanding what it truly means to be an introvert. The number one myth about introversion is that it defines a person’s level of outgoingness. Contrary to popular belief, there are many outgoing introverts out there. The Myers-Briggs definition of introversion, according to Know Your Type, a company devoted to Myers-Briggs testing, is the following:

People who prefer introversion are energized and excited when they are involved with the ideas, images, memories, and reactions that are a part of their inner world. Introverts often prefer solitary activities or spending time with one or two others with whom they feel an affinity, and they often have a calming effect on those around them (Know Your Type)

The best way to know your type is to take the Myers-Briggs test. Many online sites and counselors may charge for the test. One website, www.humanmetrics.com, is free, and when I took it, the results equaled results that I had seen on the written form of the test. One should know that this test is considered the Jung Typology Test, and may be different from the Myers-Briggs test.

Tip Number Two: Make Holiday Time for You

What many people don’t understand about the basic introvert is the intense amount of energy it takes to exists in a crowd. And what happens when this energy is depleted? You find yourself growing crankier and crankier, a feeling that will make your loved ones uncomfortable. It is vital that you take time for yourself while you are surrounded by people. This may seem difficult, but there are all kinds of ways you can steal away time for yourself even if you are hosting family and friends in your home.

1). Get up early. If you set breakfast time for 9:00 AM, get up at 6:30. Give yourself a half an hour or more depending on how much time you need to fix your breakfast feast. In this time, sit quietly. Pray, meditate or just experience your surroundings. Take a moment to tap into your center. This will help you energize for the day.

2). Make the bathroom your sanctuary. Take fifteen minutes longer than you usually would during your getting-ready ritual. Read a book while you soak in a bath of bubbles, or listen to music while you shave. Use the bathroom as a place for solitude throughout the day. People may think you have an overactive bladder, but it will serve the purpose.

3). Kick them out of the kitchen. If you are already pressured by the thoughts of cooking a meal for several people, you are not going to want the added anxiety of them hovering over you while you work. Pass it off as showing hospitality. Serve them an aperitif, set out appetizers and let them entertain themselves.

4). Go to bed early. Extroverts will stay up and talk your ear off all night long if you let them! Explain that you are exhausted, and then curl up in your pajamas, and watch a bit of TV by yourself, read a book, knit, or just be silent. Do anything that will help you wake up prepared for the next day.

Each of these suggestions may be trickier if you have a spouse. The best way to handle him or her is to be honest. Letting your spouse in on the secret will also help in stealing away.

Tip Number Three: The Cure for the Crowd-Induced Hangover

When the crowds finally dissipate, take a day to do whatever you want to do. If you are a man who enjoys sports, yard work, household projects or even playing video games, take the day to enjoy spending time with yourself. Ladies, enjoy a hot bath, do your nails, give yourself a pedicure, etc. Again, the goal is to spend time with you and tap into your energy base.

Conclusion

Regardless of how you maintain your sanity this holiday season, remember to enjoy your family and friends. Using these tips, find a balance between moments of panic and moments of pure happiness.

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