If you search the Internet on how to deal with living as an introvert, you will quickly find millions upon millions of results with some great (and some bad) tips. While dealing as being an introvert can be hard and stressful, it doesn’t have to be if you’re willing to apply a few pro tips I’ve used in the past. Using these tips will allow you to help better understand yourself and even enjoy life a bit more.
#1 Understand your brain chemistry
To make things short, studies have shown introverts are sensitive to dopamine, and when we get too much, we tend to feel a bit overstimulated. The most dominant pathway will be acetylcholine, the part of us which affects our learning and attention; it can also help us sustain a calm and alert feeling. Extroverts, on the other hand, have a lower sensitivity to dopamine and won’t get enough unless they get help from their adrenaline system. The lesson here is to understand your brain chemistry and know what’s causing you to be you. I could go on and on, but like school, take the time to educate yourself about your situation because it will make you feel a lot better – trust me.
#2 Recharge the right way
Introverts will need a quiet space to recharge their brains and comprehend all the events they saw for the day. You may read that some say to recharge in a stimulated environment, but this, as you know, probably won’t help much. Don’t force yourself into a situation where you feel uncomfortable; instead, pick a place that’s comfortable for you.
#3 Lose the negative meaning
Look up the word “introvert” and what you do see? For example, if I Google it, I see “A shy, reticent, and typically self-centered person.” We all know this isn’t true. Try to lose this negative association, and again, follow the first pro tip – know it’s in your brain chemistry. Don’t let a definition define you. You are who you are.
#4 Educate yourself
I highly recommend the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. She does a wonderful job explaining how your brain chemistry works and will do a lot better than job than I can do in a few hundred words. By educating yourself, you learn more about what it means being an introvert and how your body works. Also, there are a lot of tips, information and advice you can apply in life. Again, educating yourself is a very powerful thing to do.
#5 Schedule downtime in your life
It’s okay to have downtime in your life where you do absolutely nothing. Each week, try to create a schedule where you will be able to do just this. On this day, you can do anything from sleeping in bed all day or reading a book. Remember, this is just a day to unwind, helping restore your natural energy. If people don’t understand it, let them know this is a way to help you feel great again.
#6 Noise-cancelling headphones
Need I say more? If you don’t have a great pair, I would suggest buying a set. This is a great way to drown out the sounds around you, no matter where you may be.
#7 Know when to break
Yes, parties and noisy events aren’t your thing – that’s fine. While most can handle these situations for a limited time, you will want to make sure you know where your quiet place is no matter where you’re going. For example, if you’re at a sporting event, is there a lobby or quiet eating area nearby? If you know where these places are ahead of time, it will make it easier for you to escape for a bit.
#8 Don’t apologize
Lastly, don’t feel as if you have to explain your situation every time you’re out – most people won’t get it or listen anyways. If you feel you want to leave something, just do it; no one is stopping you. You never have to feel as if you have to explain or apologize because doing so will just make the situation worse.
Stephanie Lynch is an introvert who has converted her lifestyle to work from home, giving her the opportunity to work in peace and enjoy the finer things in life. You can check out her project here.