January 2 is World Introvert Day, and yes it comes after ringing in the new year with so much partying. If you're an introvert (as I am), you probably know how nice it is to finally have everything quiet down just so you can enjoy recharging in peace.
World Introvert Day is not just about celebrating a percertage of the population who identify as such, but also helping others understand what this kind of personality is. Here are a few things you need to know about yourself, which you can also share with your friends (after you're done with alone time):
Introverts are not anti-social
According to Introvert, Dear, "an introvert is someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments.
"Introverts tend to feel drained after socializing and regain their energy by spending time alone. This is largely because introverts’ brains respond to dopamine differently than extroverts’ brains. In other words, if you’re an introvert, you were likely born that way."
A feature on Business Insider goes deeper: "An extrovert has a very high threshold for dopamine, so they require constant stimulation. An introvert has a very low threshold, so they reach their limit much sooner."
This means that being an introvert is normal and that you're not anti-social; you do like interacting and even enjoy crowds at times, but you need to disengage after a certain amount of time because these activities drain you, and you need to recover.
Introverts experience "introvert hangover"
Writer and linguist Shawna Courter mentions in an article the "introvert hangover" phenomenon, also known as "social hangover", which stems from overstimulation brought about by extended interactions or chaotic environments. Overstimulation manifests itself physically: "your ears might ring, your eyes start to blur, and you feel like you're going to hyperventilate...and then your mind shuts down."
In order to get rid of it, you need to disengage. If you're in a function and you can't really leave, excuse yourself for a bathroom break, or if possible, a coffee run. What's important is that you find yourself some breathing space in order to gather your thoughts, and maybe a bit of social energy.
Introverts value deep connections.
Introverts tend to steer clear of small-talk, and often just do it out of necessity. Psychology Today notes that you like deeper, one-on-one conversations on topics that interest you (which you have probably reflected on for quite some time). This follows through with the relationships you build: when you find a person worth investing yourself in, you're more often than not in it for the long haul—one reason why you choose the people you become close to carefully.
Note: No one is a pure introvert
As Introvert, Dear explains, introversion, ambiversion, and extroversion "are on a spectrum, meaning, they are not all-or-nothing traits," and you simply lean into one side. That being said, an introvert can't be an extrovert, as studies have shown that these temperaments are expressed from a very young age. So don't worry if you're not as outspoken as your extrovert friends: you're fine the way you are, and your quiet reflection is something that's much needed at this time when everyone is vying to be heard over everyone else.