How to Understand Your Friend Who Has an Introvert Hangover
As there’s people who receive hangovers from drinking excessively the night before, there’s people who receive hangovers from socializing too much. Whether it’s from handling an excessive noisy environment, communicating with more people than they expected, or surrounding themselves in a crowd of people, all introverts at some point or another deal with an “introvert hangover.”
For anyone not familiar with the term, signs of an introvert hangover would be struggling with paying attention to other people, becoming silent, being fatigue, and internally shutting down from the rest of the world. It becomes harder to conduct small talk and they’re more driven to be alone. Your mind might shut down as it becomes difficult to be genuine with people.
When I had a large amount of extroverted friends, they would drag me to party after party. Although it was exciting in the first two hours, by the fourth or so, I would be silent and often told I had a mean look on my face. Perhaps I did have a grouchy appearance considering at that point in the evening, I wanted to be at home on my couch watching Sherlock.
But nonetheless, I’ve suffered a variety of nights of dealing with an introvert hangover by the time I got home. I just wanted to shut myself away from the rest of the world and cuddle next to my body pillow. (Which I still see as one of the greatest inventions for the bedroom.)
It can be difficult explaining to someone the true meaning of how an introvert experiences and struggles with an introvert hangover. Compared to our extroverted counterpart, we have a limited source of energy we can use for socializing before we receive that buzzing feeling that resembles a panic attack. Our palms sweat and we feel like we’re minutes from hyperventilating.
Where most people are familiar that too much alcohol can burnout your body the next day, they’re not familiar that too much socializing can cripple an introvert’s mentality for a period of time. Sometimes it can last only a few hours and sometimes even a few days depending on the scale of the event they attended.
Which is why I wanted to show why either you or your introverted friend might be dealing with an introverted hangover after a social event.
Introvert Hangovers Can Occur After a Long Day of Work
Introverts who work in retail, education, or business are one of the type of people who deal with introvert hangovers the most because 80% of their life revolves around speaking to a series of people.
Introverted teachers have to speak to dozens of students a day with a positive attitude. Introverts who work in retail have to speak to nearly 100 customers daily and persuade them to buy products. Introverts whose life revolve around business can be expected to give presentations and meetings on a daily basis.
And after dealing with a variety of people in a short time-frame, an introvert can feel overwhelmed and mentally defeated. They receive a mix feeling of anxiety and intolerance.
This isn’t to say they hate people and want to be a jerk about it. But if you spot your introverted friend is more silent than usual and edging to be alone with some headphones on, they’re trying to recharge their mentality before returning back to society.
All introverts need time to think to themselves, reflect on their inner world, and just breathe to themselves after dealing with a crowd of people. So if you spot your introverted friend being more reserve than usual, they might be okay with you being near them, just don’t directly engage with them yet. They may love your company, but need a time of silence before returning back to normal.
Introvert Hangovers Can Occur After Socializing Longer Than Anticipated
Although an introvert can plan on spending a couple hours socializing, plans often change and they end up spending more time with people than they originally thought. When tipped past a certain point in their socializing level, an introvert can receive too much stimulation from that can trigger negative reactions.
John might plan to only spend two hours at his friend’s party because that’s all he could handle. But the longer he’s there, the more he feels obligated to stay there, thus turning what was supposed to be two hours into six. He may have had fun the entire night, but by the end of the night or next day, he feels mentally drained because of that event. He’ll be more reluctant going out or speaking to anyone because he needs time to himself and time to build his mental focus.
For some introverts, their introvert hangover starts immediately after reaching a certain point of interacting with others. For others, it takes hours or even the next day before their brain triggers the amount of overstimulation they handled the night before and it hits them like a punch to the face. And when such a terrible feeling does suffice, the best form of recovery is isolation and time to themselves.
How is it Possible for an Introvert to Receive an “Introvert Hangover?”
The second biggest question I usually receive when I tell people about the effects of an introvert hangover is how it can occur in the first place. Alcohol has already been shown that a large amount of it can inflict harm upon the body the following day. But how does socializing too much afflict introverts?
Introverts are easily drained after interacting with someone because they’re not only engaging with someone, but they’re engaging with their emotions as well. Where some people are able to communicate with others with no emotional bondage or attachment, introverts have an uncontrollable will to feel the other person’s happiness, pain, or depression.
We look for a deeper understanding in other people and any problems they have can accidentally become a problem we dive into too. Which is why when dealing with a large crowd of people, we’re not only soaking in the environment we’re in, but the people we’re engaging with.
When Joe talks to us about his dog, we dive into his emotions while reflecting on our own. When Jill mentions she has been fired from her job, we dive into her situation as we think about our own. Introverts think too much upon many situations and can easily get lost in their imaginations if they don’t monitor their awareness.
And the more an introvert needs to actively engage with the present while restraining their imaginations, the more energy it requires. It’s like trying to keep hold of a large dog that’s constantly trying to escape your grasp.