What Is The Introvert "Hangover"?

What Is The Introvert "Hangover"?

Sometimes we just need to be alone.
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Throughout high school, I really wasn't the most social person. I'd much rather spend my time sitting at home binge watching Netflix or reading a book, but occasionally my friends did convince me to go out and do things. Sometimes, that included going to parties. In my town, high school parties are pretty typical-there's a lot of people, loud music, and more often than not there's some form of alcohol being passed around. I've always been a quiet, well-behaved kid, so I wasn't drinking or getting into trouble at the parties. However, I always tried to have fun anyway because my friends were there with me, and I figured I did need to socialize a little more.

Upon arriving to the parties, I was always introduced to new people, pulled into random conversations, and separated from my friends at one point or another. I usually struggled to stay interested in what was going on around me, and at least act as if I was happy. I could stay at least halfway invested in conversation for a little while. But as the crowd grew and people got more excited around me, I just couldn't take it anymore. Usually, I would do whatever I could to get out of whatever room I was in, and slip away to somewhere quieter. I'd consider calling my mother to come pick me up, just for the sake of getting away from everyone.

If you’re an introvert like me, you already know what I’m talking about because you have probably experienced that feeling a lot. If you're more of an extrovert, you might have some trouble understanding this, but chances are you have a friend or two who often feel this way as well. Introverts tend to have limited energy available for socializing, unlike extroverts who seem to thrive off of it. When we are put into a situation that forces us to use up all of that energy and more, we hit a point where we start to feel extremely uncomfortable. For me, the simplest way to explain an introvert "hangover" is the overwhelming desire to be alone and "recharge".

Most people I've met don't understand what I'm going through when I feel this way. An introvert hangover is actually a pretty horrible thing to experience. Usually, I physically react to the social overstimulation. My head starts to hurt, I might get a stomach ache, and I often feel like I'm drowning, unable to breathe. I also have anxiety, so I'm used to the occasional panic attack, but somehow this feeling is different. All I want to do is leave wherever I am, go home, and be alone for a while.

Over time I've learned to leave myself the opportunity to be alone and "recharge" so to speak, but unfortunately that isn't always possible. When I really can’t get solitude when I need it, I start to panic more, and even my anxiety hits me full force. I start to think that maybe I really am no fun to be around, and wonder why I can't just be "normal" and like socializing the way everyone else does. It definitely doesn't help when other people notice my mood and start asking the typical questions. “Why are you being so quiet? Are you upset? Are you feeling alright?” Of course I'm not exactly okay, but I can't explain to them what's going on. And then I just feel worse for possibly ruining their nights, as well.

There is no "cure for an introvert "hangover" (trust me, I've tried to find it). The only way to feel better after so much social interaction is to have some solitude. What my friends and family often don't understand is that It’s not that I don’t want to be around them. I'd give anything to be more extroverted and actually enjoy going to parties often, or even just hanging out a lot. But sometimes I just need to be alone. I need time to readjust, recharge, and prepare for the next social thing.

Normally I don't need much time to "recharge". Often it only takes a little while; watching TV or putting headphones in and ignoring the world around me does wonders. But occasionally I need a lot more time, sometimes up to a day to start feeling like myself again. For example, I recently got back from a week long cruise to Bermuda. While my vacation was fun, I couldn't wait to get home and just be by myself for a while. But I ended up having work the day I got back, so I didn't have the time. Work felt like torture that day, and by the time I could finally be alone in my room, I felt physically sick. For a few days after that, I wanted nothing more than to be by myself, away from friends and even family for the majority of the time.

I've decided that the best way to avoid the "hangover" in the first place is to socialize in moderation. Obviously that's sometimes just not possible, like when I went on the cruise and every day was jam packed of social events. But I still try my best, making sure I don't go over what I know my limit is. If you're an introvert, just remember that it's not the end of the world. You can handle things because you're strong and smart. If you're an extrovert, try to be understanding of your introvert counterparts. We just need some time to ourselves sometimes, and it's definitely not your fault.

Cover Image Credit: Riskology

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.
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It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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The Lazy Girl's Guide To The Gym

Also, everything else you should know if you're a slightly out-of-shape girl (like me).

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With my freshman year coming to an end, I realized a lot of things. I made new friends, I found new hobbies, and I learned a lot of lessons. One of them being that the "Freshman 15" is very real and very scary.

While my friends and family have attempted multiple times to convince me that I'm just being dramatic (I am), I still want to make a change in my lifestyle or I will, in all seriousness, be on track to the "Sophomore 20".

Here is a list of my best gym and healthy lifestyle tips that I am slowly attempting to live by this summer in order to resurrect Emily's 18-year-old body and health.

1. Increase water intake.

2. Find a gym buddy.

3. Start off with cardio.

4. Don't stop on your cardio until you're dripping in sweat.

5. Chug a LOT of water an hour before the gym.

Do not do it right before, or you will be in pain.

6. Eat light beforehand but just enough to hold you over. 

7. Plan out what your routine will be BEFORE you get there.

My routine: Elliptical for a mile, Stairmaster for 10 minutes, ab HIIT workout for 10 minutes, 5 more minutes on Stairmaster.

8. Buy healthy foods while you're feeling motivated.

9. Find a gym that isn't too far from your house. 

10. Don't get mad at yourself if you don't see results in a day.

I know this is a hard one.

11. Try fitness classes. 

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