Have you ever made the mistake of staying at an event 30 minutes too long? Forget 30. How about 5?
If you’re an introvert, you probably just had heart palpitations or a traumatic flashback. It’s the worst.
You start off chatting and engaged in what’s happening around you. You’re yelling over music or other voices with no problem. Your cup runneth over. Then next thing you know, your sail is windless. You’re zorbed out and would love nothing more than to be on your couch. You just wanna click your heels and be out that b*tch.
I completely understand. However, you could’ve avoided this. The signs were there way before your tank hit E. You just didn’t recognize them. (Or you ignored them)
Here are four signs it’s time to take your ass home.
Your sentences get shorter. And shorter. Shorter. Short. Sh. .
Now this could happen on a bad date, but that’s not what we’re talking about today. This is that moment when you’re amongst a group of people and realize you no longer feel like talking. If it’s really too late, you’ve switched to sound language. Yes. Sound language. You know those forced low energy laughs and “mm” sounds when you can’t muscle out any other words?
I rest my face.
You’re suddenly addicted to the light on your phone.
I know we’re programmed to check our phones when we have nothing better to do. But when you’re out with people, that’s supposed to be better than nothing.
When you start checking your phone once every 60 seconds, it’s time to take your ass home. It’s way better to leave than to tweet about your escape route. Even though it’s not your intention, it’s painfully clear you’re going into your cocoon and no longer wanna be present.
People start asking you “what’s wrong?” or looping you back into conversations by name.
You’re conspicuously aloof. No one is gonna understand enough about introversion to get that your battery is at 1%, and you’re actually fine as long as no one bothers you. But they’re already bothering you. “Rich, what do you think?”
I think I’m gonna sit here and not say sh*t.
Better yet, just hold on. I’m going home.
Your brain feels like a Las Vegas casino.
Introvert brains are prone to overstimulation. This blurb from a Psychologies article sums it up:
In short, introverts react more strongly to stimulus and therefore need much less of it or they rapidly become overstimulated. ‘When overstimulated, an introvert’s mind can essentially shut down,’ says life coach Nancy Okerlund of introvertenergy.com. ‘It becomes hard to think, hard to make light conversation, hard to feel comfortable, even in a room full of close friends.’
You thought I was exaggerating about the Las Vegas casino thing? Nah, it’s real. And when this happens, it’s time to go home. Or, at the very least, step outside and get some air. I say go home though.
In all seriousness, self-awareness is sexy. It’s important to know when you’re doing yourself and those around you a disservice. If you’re not at your best because your energy isn’t right, acknowledge the signs and head home. You’re more productive on the couch reading a book than being out 30 minutes too long and hating it. This is applicable whether you’re out with colleagues, friends, or family.
Changing your world can be as simple as changing your venue. Remember that.