First of all, I’ve told a lot of people about the ’introvert hangover’ and the usual response I get is ‘you’re joking, that’s not a thing’. Except it is, Google it.
So you’re at a summer festival, or on a summer holiday with your family and it gets to about day 4, you’re with people non-stop and you’re having a great time. Then you do something by yourself, like go to the toilet or walk to the shops and you suddenly feel like your internal battery is charging, even if you didn’t know it was getting flat. This might not resonate with you one bit, but for myself and many other introverts, this is the beginning of an introvert hangover.
Introverts are very sensitive people and they tend to process a lot more than the average person. They observe and feel like they absorb every word that is said, every thought that they have, every taste in their mouth and every light they see. An introvert brain can be a very messy place, with things coming in and out of it at a quick pace. Introverts are also used to being very inward and spending lots of time alone, so when it comes to spending days on end with other people, naturally this can be very draining, tiring and at times challenging.
I’m always curious as to how extroverts always seem up to socialising, how they can go out almost every evening and recharge more or less instantly. The actual answer to this is that introverts and extroverts are actually just wired differently. Extroverts thrive off people and socialising and need much smaller amounts of alone time than introverts do. But when extroverts socialise for long periods of times they don’t tend to experience trouble concentrating, difficulty stringing a sentence together or end up going into a trance-like state. This can be the reality for many introverts when they do too much of what comes naturally to extroverts.
I always get to a point in the evening, if I’m out with people, when I feel an introvert hangover coming on. Two things usually come into my mind. The first is ‘when can I leave?!’, and the second is, ‘everyone here must think I’m incredibly rude’. I’m not rude. Well, not normally anyway. At this point in the evening, my brain is beginning to shut down, it wants to get rid of everyone else in the room. So I tend to just stop talking. I feel like I suddenly need a sign that says ‘Rebooting, please try again in the morning’.
For lots of introverts, an introvert hangover can just feel like a normal hangover. You tend to feel grouchy, just want to be by yourself and only time by yourself will make you feel better. Physical symptoms of an introvert hangover can include:
- Aching muscles
- Knots in your stomach
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions
- Mood swings
Personally, when I have an introvert hangover, I just need to be by myself, with no interuptions, reading a book, watching TV and probably staying indoors for the whole day. I try to avoid getting an introvert hangover by not saying yes to lots of social activities during the week. Ideally, I’d love to have things on during the day and my evenings completely free.
If you’re an introvert, you may have experienced an introvert hangover or you may not, even extroverts get them sometimes. The best thing to do, is the only thing you can do. Make sure you regularly take to to be by yourself, to relax and not get too overwhelmed. And if all else fails, go and live in a cave – no one will bother you there!