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Holiday strategies for the introvert.
Old 12-21-2015, 04:43 PM   #1
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Holiday strategies for the introvert.

This is somewhat similar to the post on introvert holiday hosting, but with a different perspective. I know there are many introverts here, and am looking for some strategies for dealing with the invitations from well-meaning family and friends over Christmas. Honestly, after spending Christmas with my extended family, I feel like I need days of alone time to recharge and recover. Practically all my family and friends are very outgoing and just don't seem to understand that I need alone time. They call me "party pooper" and seem offended if I do not attend their events. And they keep score and will wonder why I attended XXX's party and not theirs. I don't really want to lie and say I have something else going on. Is there a better way to explain to them in a way that they will not be offended? These are folks I truly care about.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:22 PM   #2
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If these people also care about you, simple honesty might be the best approach.

"You know, I've always been an introvert. I know it seems strange to you, but even though I can enjoy being out with a group, I still need time at home afterwards just to recharge my batteries. If you'd like to try to figure out weird people like me, I could loan you one of my favorite books: Amazon.com: introvert "

This worked for my daughter. I think it would have worked for me, if those books had been around when I was younger.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:29 PM   #3
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after spending Christmas with my extended family, I feel like I need days of alone time to recharge and recover.
That sounds like a perfectly fine response to me.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:29 PM   #4
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It's a struggle! Because it's Christmas, NYE, New Year's Day, super bowl parties...

I've learned to just show for a while. Sometimes it's almost easier to go for one hour than try to come up with a justification for not going. I always suffer from guilt when I don't at least show up, which is probably more tiring than going to a few get togethers.

Good luck!


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Old 12-21-2015, 05:31 PM   #5
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I invent sudden illnesses. If you have diarrhea nobody wants you at their party.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:39 PM   #6
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I invent sudden illnesses. If you have diarrhea nobody wants you at their party.
Or in their hot tub...
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:49 PM   #7
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I invent sudden illnesses. If you have diarrhea nobody wants you at their party.
A friend of mine used to joke that dropping a hint of "the big D" when calling out from work was even more effective than the normal fake scratchy throat "I've got a horrible cold" excuse. I remember hearing her use it via phone when she was extending a long weekend on the other side of the country from where she lived/worked. She never got busted.

Back to the topic at hand... I just say I have multiple commitments. (I don't volunteer that they are not on the specific night in question - and that I'll be home recharging.)
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:57 PM   #8
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Back to the topic at hand... I just say I have multiple commitments. (I don't volunteer that they are not on the specific night in question - and that I'll be home recharging.)
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it."
- Groucho Marx
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:04 PM   #9
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I invent sudden illnesses. If you have diarrhea nobody wants you at their party.
Oh, too funny. Never used that excuse.
Hey, introverts aren't the only ones that need strategies for coping with holiday excess. I'm an extrovert and I make excuses to get out of invites. My family doesn't know all my gardening, car, work, hiking friends so no one can compare notes. Make it up and keep it simple.
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:22 AM   #10
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New Year's Eve parties are the worst. This year, our kids have provided us with a great present. The 2 DDs are coming over for the evening with the Sons-in-law and are going to fix a nice meal for us. We'll then spend the evening playing board games or watching a movie. This is their attempt to make up for missing Christmas day by being with the in-laws. So, this year, NYE invites have been met with,"No thanks, we are spending the evening with family."

Of course, DD#2 is very high energy, so the evening will be almost as exhausting as going out, but family time is worth it.
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:45 PM   #11
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"You know, I've always been an introvert. I know it seems strange to you, but even though I can enjoy being out with a group, I still need time at home afterwards just to recharge my batteries. If you'd like to try to figure out weird people like me, I could loan you one of my favorite books: Amazon.com: introvert "
Something along the lines of this sounds like a good idea. Honesty is usually the best policy - in fact, it is one of my New Year's resolutions, to be more upfront with others about this sort of thing, to avoid even more weirdness down the line.

It has been hard for me to deal with the sneaky feeling that my introversion is in some way anti-social or just plain weird but more and more, I am embracing it as being uniquely "me". If others don't like it - oh well, it's a big, big world. They'll get over it and find a way to accept it (or not).
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Old 12-22-2015, 01:51 PM   #12
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It has been hard for me to deal with the sneaky feeling that my introversion is in some way anti-social or just plain weird but more and more, I am embracing it as being uniquely "me". If others don't like it - oh well, it's a big, big world. They'll get over it and find a way to accept it (or not).
You're taking this too personally. If you choose to repeatedly decline invitations to gatherings you don't enjoy because your introversion causes you to feel uncomfortable, or drains you, while participating in them, folks will eventually stop asking you. And that just is what it is. Don't blame others ("They'll get over it and find a way to accept it or not") and don't feel inferior for just being you. Rather, do what you like and don't do what you don't like. There will be consequences, as there are for everything, but so what?

You're not wrong for declining. They're not wrong if eventually they stop asking. It's just people living their own lives and associating with whom they please as they please.
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Old 12-22-2015, 03:19 PM   #13
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"A Christmas Carol" has given a bad name to introverts. The hosts envision the introvert sitting at home eating a slice of cheese and putting one piece of coal on the fire while mumbling to themselves about ghosts. Unfortunately, for us introverts, the situation isn't solved in one evening.
I like my privacy but understand that social obligations are a part of life, so an occasional family gathering and party are taken in stride, spend a little time with the host, then excuse myself politely and leave. Having fulfilled a the obligation I have no trouble simply saying 'no thanks' with no excuses.


Keep in mind that being an introvert doesn't mean being lonely.
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Old 12-22-2015, 03:34 PM   #14
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I've often thought that some extroverts are uncomfortable when they have only their own thoughts to deal with, which is why they need to be with others as often as possible. Of course, that's just my opinion and not based on any studies or facts that I'm aware of. Obviously, there are plenty of extroverts who thrive in a crowd.
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Old 12-22-2015, 03:41 PM   #15
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Most of the strategies presented so far involve avoidance, which I hestitate to label a strategy. This board generally eschews that in other life areas, for example we see problems with the following: "Q. What's your retirement saving strategy?" "A. Avoidance."
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Old 12-22-2015, 04:35 PM   #16
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You're taking this too personally. If you choose to repeatedly decline invitations to gatherings you don't enjoy because your introversion causes you to feel uncomfortable, or drains you, while participating in them, folks will eventually stop asking you. And that just is what it is. Don't blame others ("They'll get over it and find a way to accept it or not") and don't feel inferior for just being you. Rather, do what you like and don't do what you don't like. There will be consequences, as there are for everything, but so what?

You're not wrong for declining. They're not wrong if eventually they stop asking. It's just people living their own lives and associating with whom they please as they please.
You're absolutely right. At the age of 52, I am still learning. I'm pretty close though.
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