What To Know About Introvert Hangovers And How To Deal With Them

You've probably heard the terms "introvert" and "extrovert" used before, even if you don't know exactly which category you fall into. Usually associated with being quiet, introverts have the qualities of the personality type known as introversion (via WebMD). Typically, introverts naturally focus on their inner thoughts rather than their external worlds, and although they often seem reserved in social situations, this isn't necessarily true for all introverts. Psychologist Carl Jung used the personality types of introversion and extroversion to describe the way people acquire and spend their energy: introverts recharge by turning inward and spending time alone, while extroverts fulfill their energy needs with other people.

You may be an introvert if you are constantly reflecting on your own feelings and experiences (via Simply Psychology). Introverts also tend to be incredibly observant and creative and don't overshare when it comes to the details of their lives. Another hallmark sign of an introvert is the preference to spend time with one or two other people rather than with large crowds. When introverts do socialize, particularly with larger groups of people, the experience often depletes their energy. The exhaustion slump that follows is known as an introvert hangover.

How to identify an introvert hangover

Sometimes described as "social burnout" for introverts, an introvert hangover is the need to rest and recharge after social situations (via Business Insider). If you imagine each person having a battery inside them, introverts experience battery drains from social situations, particularly those with lots of people. An introvert hangover is the need to replenish this battery, and the charger is alone time and reflection. By comparison, an extrovert's battery is drained by too much alone time, and socializing often charges that battery back to full. Speaking to Business Insider, Doctor Perpetua Neo explained that introvert hangovers can give introverts the opportunity to explore who they are and accelerate personal and professional growth.

If you're an introvert, it's fairly easy to identify this kind of hangover when it happens to you. A common sign is a brain fog that makes it difficult to think clearly and make decisions (via Introvert Dear). An introvert hangover might even lead to such fatigue that you begin slurring your speech, feeling physically unwell, and feeling anxious or depressed. Choosing Therapy explains that, ultimately, people experiencing an introvert hangover feel tired, drained, emotionally overwhelmed, and crave alone time. They might also have trouble sleeping, despite being tired and become irritable.

Identifying that you're experiencing an introvert hangover is the first step in boosting your energy back up again. Then there are a few simple things you can do to recharge your internal battery.

Dealing with an introvert hangover

An introvert hangover can last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks (via Psychologies). Psychotherapist Dee Johnson told Psychologies that staying sober is a great way to avoid an introvert hangover, as alcohol can worsen the challenges an introvert may face in a social setting. Additionally, it can help to reduce small talk as much as possible, as this tends to be especially draining for introverts. So, instead of engaging in small talk with a large group, find people with whom you can have one-on-one conversations that will allow you to chat about more meaningful things.

Happier Human explains that setting boundaries around social events is another strategy to protect yourself. For example, if you're already feeling overwhelmed or tired, it's okay to say no to a social event you just don't have the energy for. In this case, attending anyway is likely to exacerbate social burnout afterward. Also, schedule me-time before and after social events as a way to replenish your energy stores. If you do end up with a bad case of introvert hangover, PsychCentral recommends engaging in self-care, which involves prioritizing your own needs. Take the time out to rest and process the feelings and ideas that you need to. Meditation can also help you to recover from feelings of being overwhelmed.

Introvert hangovers are completely normal. Being able to identify them, planning ahead, and allowing your mind the rest it needs will charge up your battery again and get you feeling back to normal.