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Yes, Introverts Can Survive — Even Enjoy — the Holiday Season

By HERWriter
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Yes, Introverts Can Survive —  And Enjoy — the Holiday Season kichigin19/Fotolia

Introverts, unite! Well, no, we don't really do that. We'd really prefer not to. And that may be especially true during the holiday season.

Some of us just don't enjoy the overstuffed malls and boisterous holiday parties. Many of us quieter sorts grew up feeling apologetic and a little defensive about it.

We noticed the sidelong looks suggesting something was wrong with us. And any doubt we might have had that it was just our imagination was shattered by those extroverts who thought it was funny to tell us there was something wrong with us.

Well, the fact is, there isn't. We just prefer things to be ... smaller. Cozier. More intimate. Maybe with a little less volume and fewer flashing lights.

The holiday season strides in chock-full of requests and invitations, voluntary and compulsory, that delight the extroverted heart. Holiday parties, pageants, dinners, get-togethers with friends, families, co-workers, are the order of the day. For days on end.

But what about the introvert? Where can the gentler soul find a comfortable nook this time of year?

Rest assured, it can be done. It may just take a little thought and planning.

You may get roped into the annual pageant, but walking home through the lightly falling snow alone or with one good friend can be refreshing and renewing.

Do you like decorating, but you don't enjoy the competition that sometimes happens with other people who have decorating ideas too? I know this may not sound right at first glance but, if you don't like the crowding around the tree or hanging things on the wall — give up.

Yeah, that's right. You can just give up.

Let the ones who are determined to have their way and who enjoy the busy crush of humanity take it over. Sit back and relax. When they're done their magic, you aren't sweating or stewing, and you can enjoy the ambiance they created for you.

My husband says his favorite holiday season memory growing up was sitting with the living room lights off and the lights on the tree the only illumination. His idea of a good time during the holiday season was to sit in the semi-dark dreaming, as he gazed at the lights on the tree.

Got some shopping to do? Does the thought of driving to the mall and fighting mob scenes make you feel faint? Turn your gaze in a different direction.

Seek out the stores that don't have throngs overflowing the aisles. You can find some beautiful and one-of-a-kind items, for instance, in the shelves of a secondhand or vintage store. These places don't tend to be crowded like a shoppping mall this time of year.

Sit in the library, admire the seasonal decorations, read some Charles Dickens.

Being an introvert doesn't necessarily mean you don't have any friends. You just like them in small doses, or not diluted by a host of others in a crowded room. You like to be able to actually enjoy your best friend without distractions.

Have that best friend over for some old classic Christmas movies. Or meet her for hot chocolate.

You don't have to do anything, you know — even the things you feel obligated to attend.

Well. Maybe a few things.

Perhaps you'll go to the children's play with your sister to see your niece or nephew recite a line or two. Maybe it's more important to you to attend the family dinner than it is to feel completely at ease for a couple of hours.

I often have found that the most peaceful place in those situations is washing dishes in the kitchen. You and perhaps a couple of other quiet souls may find this the most pleasant part of the dinner.

Do you have to go caroling? No, you don't.

Do you have to volunteer to make sets for the play or — horrors! — take a speaking role? No. You don't.

Do you have to attend the office party? It might be a politically wise thing to do, and you may feel that you need to make an appearance. But you don't have to stay all night, and it's OK to sit and slowly nurse one drink for the duration.

The holidays weren't exactly designed for introverts but if you make your choices carefully, there's a great deal of joy to be had. Have yourself a quiet, cozy, intimate holiday season this year.

What some other introverts are thinking:

Tips for Introverts – 6 Ways to Reduce Christmas Stress and Anxiety

Visit Jody's website at http://www.ncubator.ca

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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