One of the most common misconceptions about extroverts and introverts is that extroverts get energy from social interactions, while introverts prefer silent reflection alone. This is not at all true. Introverts, statistically, enjoy social interactions as much as extroverts, spend a considerable amount of time with friends, and find social time to be the most physically and mentally active time of their day.
But not everyone finds being social to be easy. Some people find social time to be difficult, draining, and otherwise a burden on their day. It is often worse when faced with a job or event that requires forced social interaction in a group setting.
Tips to Find Social Situations Less Draining
Social time is good for both your mental AND physical health, which is why it is a good idea to work on your social skills and make social situations more fun. If you struggle with social phobia, or you have relationship difficulties due to your social skills, it may help to see a Long Island psychologist and couples counselor, like Dr. Marc Shulman, to help teach you to feel more confident and outgoing.
But for those that simply find social situations too draining for their liking, consider the following tips:
- Have Smaller Groups – There is really no difference between spending time with big groups and spending time with small groups. If big groups are draining, consider simply spending time with only one or two other people. Often smaller groups are less overwhelming from a mental perspective.
- Activity First – Being social can be challenging. But remember, there are no “right” or “wrong” ways to be social. If you find that you have a hard time with traditional social atmospheres, perhaps you would enjoy hiking groups, gaming groups, or joining organizations that do activities you want to do, and letting the social component be second.
- Go Only When You Want – It’s easy to feel as though you need to go to social events when invited. But if you are not excited about it, then you will not enjoy it. Don’t feel you need to go to events that aren’t really interesting to you.
- Organize Your Own – Related: there’s a tendency for those that feel overwhelmed by social events to be an invitee, not an inviter. If you find yourself skipping too many events because you’re not excited about them, or you are agreeing to too many events because you feel guilty skipping out, organize your own events. This will let your friends feel that they’re wanted, and reduce some of the need to go to unimportant gatherings.
- Prepare Yourself and Others – Being honest with yourself and others, while also framing it in a positive way can help the event feel less like a burden. If you say to yourself “Sure, I get tired, but I’m going to have a good time” and/or you tell others “I do sometimes get a bit overwhelmed in social events. Do you mind if we take a break in about 2 hours, maybe go on a short walk to re-group?” can all make the event something you are emotionally ready for.
These are a few ideas that can have a big impact on your ability to enjoy your social gatherings, and while they are not a cure for those that feel drained socially, they make it so those difficulties feel less unmanageable.