If you're an introvert, you might understand this thought:
I look forward to the holiday… but so few people understand my need for quiet time!
And of course, the feelings that go with it. Reluctance, inner conflict, maybe anxiety or dread about all the social interaction ahead.
This topic always comes to mind for me around holidays. I have been working almost exclusively with introverts for the past few years, and I am one too. I intimately understand the challenges of navigating the different needs that introverts and extroverts have.
A little background on Introversion
Some people erroneously think all introverts are shy and don't like people. That's simply not the case. Shyness has more to do with social anxiety and fear of being judged or criticised. Both introverts and extroverts can have that challenge.
The main difference between introverts and extroverts are in how they recharge. Introverts need quiet time, solitude and silence to recharge their batteries, while extroverts need people, and sensory input to recharge. I've heard this lovely distinction: Introverts are like rechargeable batteries (and the charger is silence and solitude), while extroverts are like solar panels - getting their charge from outside sources, like contact with people.
These different and rather opposite needs can create challenges around holidays. Families and groups of friends go away together for long periods, where the expectation might be to spend every minute in each other's company.
That's fantastic for an extrovert, who will beam like the sun after a few days…. While an introvert starts to droop because they hadn't had enough recharge time away from the stimulation. It can be difficult to explain to family and friends. I've had people look at me with total incomprehension and a frown on their face at this seeming "flaw" and indiscretion!
What to do, dear introverts?
First: my empathy.
You're not alone in the quest to educate our social circles that it's truly okay to spend time on your own. Not only is it okay - it is absolutely necessary for our wellbeing and mental health.
Second: we can ask for what we need!
It truly IS up to us to learn to ask for our needs to be met. A few points are important here:
- We need first of all to be aware of our need for quiet time
- Then we need to feel okay about it, and give ourselves permission to have it
- And, we need to convey this need to others in a way that they will "hear" us
And third: we can tap!
Of course! I understand…. It can be challenging if we're not used to asking for what we need. That's where tapping can come in so very handy. It can help us get past the emotional obstacles to conveying our needs. We can have the best intentions in the world, but if our insides are screaming
They will judge me! Someone will be angry! They will think I'm weird!
the words are not going to pass our lips.
Here are a few ideas to tap with.
Please remember (like we are taught on any EFTi training course) - "scripts" are not the best way to make progress with your unique situation. However - it can be a starting point. Whilst you are exploring these ideas below, memories might pop up for you. Jot them down, and work through them one by one. Either by yourself, or with a great practitioner.
Substitute your own words when appropriate.
Even though I dread asking my family for alone time - they won't understand, I can love and accept myself anyway.
this dread, they won't understand…..
(alternate on the points, or use one of them for a full round, and then a full round on the other)
Even though they will think I'm weird if I say I need time by myself every day, and that will make me feel judged and isolated, (substitute what you might feel), I can love and accept myself anyway.
they'll think I'm weird, they'll judge me, I'll feel isolated, I'll feel judged.
Even though someone might be angry, annoyed or irritated if I say I don't want to spend every minute with them, and I don't like conflict, I love and accept myself anyway.
someone might be angry, someone might be annoyed, they might be irritated, I don't like conflict, I'd rather keep quiet than invite conflict.
Note: If conflict is a really big sticking point for you, please consider working with a practitioner on this particular issue. It's important to find the roots!
Even though they will think I'm antisocial, I'll be misunderstood and someone will be mean about it, I love and accept myself anyway.
They'll think I'm antisocial, I'll be misunderstood, someone will be mean, I'll never be invited back.
There are so many ways to approach this with tapping! The above are a few ideas you can start with, and perhaps some of your own memories and feelings have already popped up for you.
Jot them down, tap down the fears, anxieties and concerns until you feel calmer, before broaching the subject of quiet time with anyone.
Then, there's also HOW to ask.
There's a lot to say about this point. For now, I will only add this very short and important piece.
Ask in a way that states your desire, not what you don't want.
I'd be happy to spend the evening with the family, after I've had my quiet time in the afternoon.
I'm looking forward to having an exciting trip with the family, and just a reminder that I need at least an hour walk by myself every day.
Whether you're an innie or an exxie, I wish you a wonderful holiday in the company of people you love connecting with!
Liesel Teversham supports introverts and other sensitive people to go beyond what they thought was possible for them. She’s an Advanced EFT Practitioner and GallupStrengths Coach.