‘Tis the season to be extroverted!
From fall family reunions to holiday work parties, as we start to notice our schedules packed with way more social obligations than usual it can only mean one thing — the holiday season is upon us. This can be an overwhelming time for INFJs and introverts in general, but there are plenty of things we can do to minimize our stress and even enjoy this time of year.
Find a “job” at holiday gatherings.
Whether it’s serving drinks, preparing food, or watching the children, having a specific task to do at your next event will alleviate the pressure to mingle. It’s also an excuse to get out of uncomfortable conversations, like when your Aunt Susan asks you for the fourth year in a row why you’re still single.
Get holiday shopping completed early (before Thanksgiving), or better yet, shop online.
The sure way for an introvert to really lose it around the holidays is to wait until the last-minute to holiday shop (or attempt Black Friday shopping, yuck). Set a pre-Thanksgiving date (or anytime pre-December if you’re not from the US) to get as much holiday shopping completed as possible. Or, considering you can buy just about anything online, save yourself the trouble of leaving the couch and make Amazon your best friend.
Prepare conversation starters ahead of time.
Imagine you’re attending a holiday party with a new significant other and you don’t know anyone. As the new person, people will likely ask you questions. For an introvert, constantly having the same conversations about yourself can be draining, but extroverts typically love that kind of stuff. If you have a couple of questions in mind that will turn the conversation to the other person, it will relieve you of having to talk about your job or how you met your significant other quite as often.
Go in with an open mind.
If you arrive at a holiday gathering with a pessimistic attitude, the experience is naturally going to be worse. I’ve found that if I try to convince myself that an event will be a great experience ahead of time, I generally enjoy it a lot more. Being in a good mood upon arrival not only means that you feel better, but that others feel more comfortable around you, which eases the pressure to “perform” and instead means you can just be yourself.
Have an escape plan.
I generally like to go into events that I know will be draining with a plan of escape ahead of time. Let others know that you will need to leave around [specific time], so that way the important things (like meals and gift exchanges) will be completed early and you don’t feel obligated to stick around.
Do you have any go-to methods for surviving the holidays?