Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Tradition

I've posted this link the last two years, so I guess it's becoming a tradition.  With the holiday season upon us, I know a lot of introverts are hoping for some strategies for surviving all the extroverted onslaught.  Families descend upon us, office parties inundate us, and shopping malls taunt us.  So first is a link that promises this too will pass:

Happy Introvert Day (January 2nd)

Second, here are a few suggestions for navigating the holiday season:

1. Take time for your inner life.  The holiday season in the US is notoriously outward focused, which may be one of the reasons a lot of people lament the loss of meaning.  I find Advent liturgies, candles, and the prophecies foretelling the advent of the Messiah, and the birth narratives of Jesus, to be particularly poignant.  Take time to read, pray, and reflect.

2. Learn how to say "no."  Some of us are naturally "yes" people - our default response when given an invitation - but that can be particularly damaging to us when the invitations are furious and constant.  When we learn how to say no we say yes to God who created us as introverts and to our true selves.  I usually say "no" to parties that are loaded with strangers, unless I have a real purpose for being there. When my closest friends call, though, I'm there. 

3. When you attend a party, find one or two people that you know or want to know, and see if you can engage them in conversation.  Listen.  Ask questions.  Try to concentrate your energies there instead of being distracted by all the other action in the room (I read recently that introverts actually take in too much of their environment, whereas extroverts let most of it wash over them). 

4. When you need a break, try one or more of these ideas: Peruse a person's bookshelf. Take a walk outside. Wander the house like you're just taking a tour. Hang out in the bathroom for a while.  Sit on the side and watch.

Here's a link to the Psychology Today website with more ideas:

Party Survival Tactics for Introverts

Other ideas for holiday survival?