Is there such a thing as an “Introvert’s hangover”?
Taken from an article about “Introvert hangovers” in Psychologies magazine, February 15 2022.
Can you relate to this? Psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, first hit upon the concept of introvert and extrovert personalities way back in 1921. Since then, a fair bit has been said about it. One of the most notable differences seems to be how each personality responds to social situations.
Alison Rice, an introvert coach, gives an excellent analogy to explain. Imagine an introvert wakes up each day with five coins. When they are met with a social encounter, it is as though they are spending one of the metaphorical coins. Too many interactions and they are depleted – like low batteries. However, as human beings, there are other consequences. Anxiety, stress, hormones, elevated heart rate… All these things can lead to headaches, upset stomach, the feeling of weakness, and feeling exhausted. On the contrary, extroverts start their days with no coins and feel energised with social interactions.
The effect on the mind and body varies from person-to-person and according to the scope and size of the social interaction in question, as well as how long it lasted. Some people actually need a few days to recover from it. It really is like a hangover or jet lag. Once this happens, even a phone call or text message can feel like an uphill struggle.
And it’s not like all introverts find socialising distasteful or repulsive, it simply has an effect on them. Perhaps it’s also important to remember that neither personality type is superior to the other, we are just different. Labelling yourself as inferior and ruminating about the things you ‘cannot do’ (or cannot do without a bit of a struggle) can lead to self-shaming and lock you into a negative thought cycle.
Should you be stuck with an unhealthy and persistent monologue, it has been shown to be a good idea to make your inner voice more nurturing. Take a note of the inner thoughts you’ve been having to beat yourself up, then question each one. How can you act differently? What could be a different perspective? Physically plan your days off ‘to recover and reboot’. Introverts energise in a different way. Perhaps you need a ‘duvet day’ to relax with a good book or some other calming activity? Go out for a walk by yourself to be alone with your thoughts?
So, what do you think about the Introverts article?
What is your opinion on the 5 coins example? How do different personalities cope with social situations? Have you ever experienced an "introvert's hangover"?
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