10 Things Introverts Should Start Doing Today to Live a Happier Life

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By Jenn Granneman

It’s not easy being an introvert, because our society seems designed for extroverts. Job interviews favor those who are personable, smooth-talking, and quick-thinking. Classrooms are noisy, busy places that reward the students who raise their hands frequently and dive into group work. The social scene lauds those who are confident, outgoing, and quick to make small talk.

How can an introvert live a happy, fulfilling life in an “extroverted” world? In my book, The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden WorldI explore how introverts can work with their introversion rather than fight against it. Here are 10 ways introverts can do just that.

1. Get over your guilt of leaving the social event early. Have you ever started saying your goodbyes at a social event only to have someone incredulously exclaim, “You’re leaving already? We’re just getting started!” These types of comments used to fill me with guilt. Why was I the only one getting drained and wanting to leave? Was there something wrong with me? Thankfully, I later learned that I’m an introvert, and introverts get worn out by socializing because they respond to rewards differently than extroverts (you can learn more about the science behind introversion in my book). Now, I have no problem calling it an early night and heading for the door.

2. Have more meaningful conversations. Introverts tend to loathe small talk because it feels pointless and inauthentic, but we feel energized by talking about meaningful topics and big ideas. And there’s good news for introverts: research suggests that the happiest people have twice as many meaningful conversations — and do less surface-level chitchat — than the unhappiest. You may even find that big talk doesn’t drain you the way small talk does.

3. Be okay with turning down social invitations that promise little meaningful interaction. We’ve all been there. An acquaintance invites you to such-and-such event. You feel obligated to attend because you don’t want to hurt that person’s feelings or seem rude. But you know that the birthday party for your friend’s niece’s toddler or the guys’ night out won’t be fulfilling. In fact, it will not only lack meaningful interaction but also leave you with an introvert hangover, which is when you feel physically unwell from overextending yourself socially. If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a good chunk of your life saying yes to social invitations out of guilt — then you paid for it later with exhaustion and overstimulation. Of course, there are some things you probably shouldn’t skip, like your good friend’s wedding or your spouse’s birthday dinner with the family. Bottom line, to live a happier life, pass on any unnecessary get-togethers you feel will drain your introvert battery, not energize it.

4. Schedule your alone time to avoid hurt feelings. I had the pleasure of sitting down with introverted Indie rocker jeremy messersmith to interview him for my book. He told me about a smart practice he’s been doing for quite some time: He makes sure he gets enough alone time by scheduling it once a week on the family calendar. That way his extroverted wife won’t feel hurt when he says he wants to be alone, and they can both work together to protect his restorative solitude by not scheduling other obligations at that time.

5. Don’t force yourself to live the “extroverted” life. Research from the University of Maryland suggests that acting falsely extroverted can lead to burnout, stress, and cardiovascular disease. Turns out, embracing your introverted nature isn’t just a feel-good axiom — it’s actually good for your health.

6. Back away from one-sided relationships. Sadly, because introverts listen well and are often content to take the back seat, we can be targets for toxic or emotionally needy people. These relationships — in which one person is taking more than they give — drain our already limited social energy. If there are people in your life who continually exhaust you, consider spending less time with them. You’ll get the bonus of freeing up more time and energy for the people who do fill you up.

7. Stop beating yourself up for that awkward thing you said…3 years ago. Perhaps because introverts have more electrical activity in their brains than extroverts, they tend to ruminate. Our overthinking may take the form of playing embarrassing mistakes over and over in our minds. Sadly, rumination can give way to anxiety and depression — and it rarely helps you solve the problem you’re chewing on. To break free from the rumination cycle, do something to get the powerful engine of your mind chugging down a different track. Try calling to mind a positive memory, putting on music, going for a walk, or doing any different activity than the one you’re currently doing.

8. Give yourself permission to not do it all. I have an extroverted friend who always has her hand in something. If she’s not organizing a get-together with our friends, she’s volunteering at her son’s pre-school or taking on an extra project at work. I’ll admit that I’ve wished for her energy because she really does seem like she’s doing it all. But I have to remind myself that my talents lie in deep analysis, reflective thinking, and quality over quantity — not in running around doing all the things.

9. Occasionally push yourself out of your comfort zone. To my absolute horror, after writing a book about introversion, I learned that people wanted to talk to me about said book. They even wanted me to give interviews, go on podcasts, and give speeches! Let’s just say it was a very real lesson in pushing myself out of my stay-at-home-and-watch-Netflix comfort zone. Honestly, I hated almost every minute of it (I really did!), but I did those things because I knew it would be good for me. Taking the occasional jaunt out of your comfort zone can help you grow, too.

10. Protect your needs. Because introverts tend to be conscientious people who keep their thoughts to themselves, they may find their needs getting overlooked. Most people probably aren’t purposely trying to burden you or take advantage of you — it may be that they simply aren’t aware of what you need! Do you need a few hours to yourself to recharge from a busy week? Say it! Do you need someone to stop talking to you for a few minutes so you can concentrate? Tell them! Your needs matter just as much as everyone else’s.

35 Quotes For Introverts

See ThoughtCatalog Article Here
By Christopher Hudspeth
*click link for all 35 quotes

9 Things That Will Absolutely Stress Any INFJ Out

See ThoughtCatalog Article Here
By Christine Chen

1. Trying to keep track of too many details

INFJs are big-picture thinkers and conceptualizers, which means they like to synthesize bits and pieces of essential information in order to form a cohesive image that serves a purpose in the grand scheme of things. They get very overwhelmed when they have to deal with too many little (and oftentimes, frivolous) details because doing so goes against their natural tendency to form a holistic perspective that they understand best.

2. Being compared to other people

This by far causes the most stress for an INFJ. INFJs by their nature are people-pleasers, but at the same time, they’re highly individualistic. Growing up, they’ve been told that they weren’t good enough compared to others, so it’s no wonder why they experience so much anxiety in trying to prove others wrong by forcing themselves to be the exact opposite of who they really are. Whenever they’re compared to others who are conventionally successful, attractive, and well-liked, they believe that they’re somehow innately not as worth much to society, and this buries them deep in depression and guilt.

3. Being deliberately ignored and excluded

Although INFJs love solitude, they also enjoy connecting with people and forming deep friendships. However, when groups of people with cliquish tendencies deliberately ignore them and make them feel like they don’t belong, INFJs feel deeply hurt and even resentful for not being loved or appreciated the way they are.

4. Fear-mongering and controlling authority figures

INFJs don’t deal well with these types of authority figures because they resent being controlled in any manner. As autonomous and individualistic self-starters, INFJs desire the freedom to choose and do what’s best for them, so they despise it when an authority figure takes that power away. They crumble under the pressure of trying to meet the demands of authority figures who only use fear and manipulation to control the way people think, speak, and act.

5. Having ego-centric goals imposed on them

INFJs are compelled to do things out of the joy of their heart, but because they are expected to adhere to conventional standards, they experience a tremendous amount of stress trying to chase after goals that only serve the ego and neglect their inner spirit. They hate being told that their worth is nothing unless they prove that they can somehow be used as a means to an end in a competitive, profit-driven society.

6. Conflict

INFJs tend to avoid conflict of any kind, at all costs, because they are peacemakers and desire connectedness and compromise for the sake of a higher purpose, which would benefit all parties involved. They associate conflict with chaos, aggressive accusations, and scathing remarks used only for insulting the opposing side. Anything that disrupts their inner peace can give them panic attacks and cripple them for days.

7. Any unexpected last-minute change of plans

They love planning ahead, so they tend to hyperventilate whenever something unexpected disrupts their day and makes a dent to their plans. To INFJs, dealing with last-minute changes is equivalent to Post-traumatic stress disorder because their internal world is disrupted, and they take days to recover whenever something doesn’t turn out as planned.

8. Being told they’re worthless

INFJs know how much they’re worth and what they have to offer, but at the same time, they self-deprecate a lot based on conventional ideas of what a “good and successful” person should look like. They struggle with intense feelings of worthlessness because of how people in the past taught them that self-worth is conditional and only given when they achieve certain milestones on a cookie-cutter timeline.

9. Lack of quality me-time

INFJs burn out easily and are extremely sensitive to external pressure, so they need more time to recharge, disconnect from the world, and pursue solitary activities for the sake of joy and personal fulfillment.

Resources For Introverts; Introvert, Dear

Introvert, Dear is a website focusing on..you guessed it, the INTROVERT! It has awesome categories, even a different subsections of the introverted MBTI personality types, which is freaking awesome, in my opinion. You gotta check it out!

A Few Cool Articles:

Why Do Introverts Love Being Alone? Here’s The Science
If You Relate To These 21 Signs, You’re Probably An Introvert
16 Signs You’re An INFJ, The World’s Rarest Personality Type
Why Is It Hard For Introverts To Share A Home With Others?

 

How Learning My MBTI Personality Type Helped Me Understand Myself

The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is available on a few sites completely free & is is an “assessment that was designed to help you better understand what makes you tick, how you relate to others, and how you can benefit from this knowledge in everyday life.”

This site has different options for sites to take the test on. I suggest the HumanMetrics one to start, but none are too long so I chose to do a few to see if the results were the same (they were). It is pretty hard to “doctor” any responses because of the nature of the questions… check it out!

MBTI Site

Free MBTI Test On These Sites

After taking the test, you will be assigned to one of 16 different combinations:

Thera are so many resources to look further into whatever personality type that you fit with, and some are extremely in depth that, (at least in my experience) left me with my mouth hanging open, because they were so relatable.

My Personality Type:
INFJ – Future posts will focus on all things INFJ.