Believe me when I say that I’m a fan of the holidays. The food, the fireside reading, the catchy music — I love it all... most of the time. But as an introvert, I can also say with confidence that there are a few things introverts hate about the holidays. Like, really hate. As much as the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, they’re also the most exhausting.
To be fair, I think the holidays are an exhausting time for everyone, but they’re especially trying for introverts like myself. I celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas — so I get a double dose of holiday anxiety and stress every year. There are a lot of misconceptions about introverts that seem to circulate around this season, since this time of year really puts introverts through the grinder. Just to be clear — introverts don’t hate people, nor do we hate fun. We know how to relax, and we don’t want to be alone all the time. Introverts just operate a little differently from extroverts. We’re not big on small talk, we like to have our social interactions spaced out, and we prefer to operate alone or in small groups — all the things the holidays don’t really afford us.
So, this one goes out to all my fellow introverts this holiday season: stay sane out there! Here's what we hate most about the holidays.
The thought of having to brave the mall for an hour to find gifts for your friends and family is enough to give any introvert anxiety. Crowded stores, pushy sales people, and long lines are not our — or really anybody’s — idea of a good time.
2. Running errands
Even when you’re not out buying presents, running errands is equally as stressful. The grocery store is busy, the doctor’s office will be packed, and even getting a haircut will be a trial.
3. Office holiday parties
No matter how much you like your job or the people you work for and work with — office holiday parties are nightmares for introverted people. Making small talk with people you might not really know is awkward enough without having to also worry about not making a fool of yourself in front of your boss.
4. Holiday parties in general
Introverts don’t hate people or fun or parties, but it’s a lot harder to enjoy some holiday cheer when you’d rather be at home with your cats. But, of course, you’re bound to get a few invitations and you can’t blow them all off.
5. Family visits
Don’t get me wrong — I love my family. But as an introvert, prolonged interaction with people is exhausting. So, seeing your family for a few days can put a bit of a damper on your holiday spirit. Again, it has nothing to do with not loving your family or not wanting to spend time with them. You’d probably just rather have it more spaced out.
6. Having houseguests
And if your family is coming to you for the holidays… that’s a whole other beast. At least if you’re staying with them, you can make an excuse to take a drive or wait for them to go out for wrapping paper so you can sit in your room in silence. But when you’re the one hosting houseguests, you kind of have to be “on” all the time. By the time the holidays are over, you’re gonna need like a week’s worth of naps.
7. All of the damn questions
Speaking of family visits, once you’re with them, you know they’re going to ask you a bunch of questions. Questions you’d probably rather not answer or have answered 10 times already — not exactly how you really want to spend Christmas Day.
Stay strong, introverts. The best part about the holidays is that they'll be over soon.
Looking for more holiday cheer? Check out Bustle on YouTube.
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