A Guide To Surviving As An Introvert In An Extroverted World

There are basically three types of personality traits to describe a certain person: introverts, extroverts and ambiverts. Extroverts are commonly referred to as lively, outgoing and sociable persons. Ambiverts on the other hand can be both extroverts and introverts. But let’s talk about the introverts instead. Introverts are usually shy, quiet and socially awkward. If you happen to be one of them, it is understandable that surviving in an extroverted world — particularly, living in a city — can be harsh and challenging. So, what can you do about it? Here are some suggestions you can follow:

1) Learn To Say “No”

Saying the word “no” can be difficult for some persons and more so if you are an introvert. For example, your former classmate invites you to an upcoming school reunion. You want to reject the offer but you do not want to offend your classmate either. So, instead of forcing yourself to attend the school reunion, it’s best to turn down (politely, of course) your classmate’s invitation early on. He or she might judge you for being anti-social or such. But even if such a situation happens, it would be better this way than finding yourself both emotionally and socially uncomfortable later on.

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2) Headphones Are Your Best Friend

Wearing a pair of headphones is helpful, especially if you are in public places such as buses, trains or cafes. Your headphones are like a solitary place that maintains your peace. You can turn on the music of your choice or simply wear them just to avoid interacting with others.

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3) Make Use Of Text Messages

Introverts do not like to talk much. So, it is no surprise that they don’t really like to pick up phone calls. To them, phone calls are like a call for attention. Unless the call is important or it’s already part of your job description, you can either choose to ignore the call or send text messages via SMS, WhatsApp or other messaging apps.

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4) Be An Early Bird

Birthday parties or social gatherings can be fun for most people. But for introverts? Not so much. Assuming you agreed to come to a party, it’s best to arrive early rather than fashionably late. With fewer people at the party, you are likely to feel less overwhelmed. You will also survive better at a party by chatting with a small group of people.

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5) Always Have An Escape Plan

This is particularly relatable to No. 4 above. Even if you are at a party earlier than anyone else and you manage to initiate some nice chit-chat with a few people there, you might be socially drained at some point. Which is why you need to prepare an escape plan long before you arrive at a party. Set yourself a time limit on how long you are planning to stay and be firm with it. Just because most people choose to stay at a party doesn’t mean you have to follow suit.

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6) Hang Out With Like-Minded Introverts

So, you are at a party or a corporate event. And you are bound to meet a lot of people there. You may think you are all alone. But the truth is, you are not the only introvert. Chances are they will be a fellow introvert out there. You can normally spot them, say, those who prefer to distance themselves by staying in a corner. Join them instead and start a conversation. That way you wouldn’t feel lonely and are able to counter the nagging sense of anxiety and awkwardness typically related to any type of social gatherings.

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7) Recharge Yourself With Some Me-Time

Everyone needs to take a break once in a while. And that includes introverts as well. For example, you can choose to hang out in a cafe during your lunch break and read a good book. Even a quick bathroom visit or a short walk to the pantry will be able to help you relax and calm your mind.

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