5.07.2014

the secret to being a happy introvert

My time in Denver is typically very social. Even if it's just family time. (My social limits are far greater when I'm with my people. That said, it's still social interaction, and I still need recharge time.) So, that Friday the girls had popcorn for dinner and watched Frozen. We had some extended family in town briefly and they took my dad to a basketball game. Soon after we finished the movie, a friend asked to come over and chat. (And I love this friend. She is delightful, and I am so glad I got to see her.) 

By this time it was late, and I was tired and feeling close to my limits. We sat in the living room and laughed and talked. Then the guys came back. And it was noisy and busy and very high energy. And this introvert reached her limit. My sister could tell and leaned in to tell me it was okay if I wanted to excuse myself. So I did. Want to know the best part? As I stood up this friend gave me a big hug and said, "You're my favorite introvert!!" I sighed relief and literally ran to my parents room where I snuggled up on their big bed and watched TV alone.

You read that right: I ran to my parents' bedroom to watch TV while a whole crowd was having a party in the rest of the house.

So, introverts: you want the know the one secret for how to be happy and maintain your energy balance as an introvert?

Know your limits.

It's so simple, right? 

When I excused myself from the fray, I was so much happier than if I'd have tried to extend myself when I didn't have the mental bandwidth for it. This anecdote also proves that the people who love you will understand. Somewhere you are somebody's favorite introvert! (I can't even tell you how much that delighted me. I felt so accepted and loved, even in my quirks.)

For anyone--and especially for introverts--knowing your limits is key. When you know your limits, you know when to say no and when you can afford to say yes. You know how to budget your energy and how to maximize your recharge time. Limits are everything. And really, they're freeing, because when I know my limits my social decisions are intentional and purposeful. I have the energy to be fully present and can retreat guilt-free when I need to. It's so much better to step back when you need to than to continue exerting yourself. When I choose to go beyond my limits, I almost always regret it, because I'm the one who ultimately suffers for it. I am so much better at my jobs--as wife, mother, church-goer, friend--when I work within my limits.

Introverts, this not-so-secret secret will change your life. Really. Know and accept your limits, and you will be all the happier for it.

4 comments:

Jessica said...

I feel like we need to talk about introvert stuff when I get to Oregon! This year at grad school, living in student housing has been such a learning experience for me socially. I have loved your posts on here and feel like they have helped me a ton at understanding myself! Thanks, you're the best!

michelle said...

Amen and amen. Sometimes I need to be reminded of this!

Ande said...

When I read this I am still so shocked you and Asher came to see me in Seattle! I had no idea you were truly an introvert, I thought it was more of a "home body" thing. (That's what I am, in case anyone is wondering. An extrovert who just loves home. Let's have a party at my house.) Which makes the gesture mean that much more to me.

Kadia Rose said...

All introverts can relate to you running to a room to get away from the crowd.
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