an introvert's guide to the 4th of July

If the fourth of July includes a large get together (or several) and you are an extreme introvert, I have a few suggestions for survival.

1. Try to lay low and fuel your fire a few days before.  From past experience, I know that two days with intentionally low stimulation prior to a big day of festivities works best.

2. Pare down your plans.  My husband is an extreme extrovert and he has a tendency to over-schedule and over-commit himself.  If you can't take separate vehicles, come to some sort of compromise.  

3. Set time frames.  Know your limit.  Round down.  Be conservative.  If you have extra energy for more, well, that's a bonus for all!

4. Have a code word or a sign (especially if you are attending with your partner, an extreme extrovert, who may have a natural tendency to get carried away and forget to watch the time).

5. At the party or gathering: choose small groups to sit with rather than attempting to stand and mingle in a sea of people.  Trust me.  You can get an extra hour in by using this tactic.

6. Bring a few supplies.  Along with a host/hostess gift and all the other party possibilities, make sure to bring a book, a journal, your camera, music, your phone charger, earbuds, a blanket, a pillow and your own chair.  This year, I left the party, taking place on one side of the house and went to the opposite side where I took a short time out.  I spread out my blanket and listened to music while looking up at the sky.  

7. If you are attending different events, make sure you have some down time planned out for in between.  Three hours in the quiet of my own home is an ideal time and place for me to rejuvenate.

8.  Don't be surprised if you are a little run down post holiday.  Once again, intentionally schedule some time that has little or no stimulation.  Give yourself a break.  Cut yourself some slack.  It may look like the rest of the world can't wait for the next big shin dig.  Trust that you are not alone.  

9.  Make mental notes.  What worked?  What didn't?  What might you want to try next time?

10. Most importantly: don't apologize.  You are who you are.  If you listen to your inner guide and take good care of yourself, everyone wins.

For more posts about being an introvert, visit these:
the responsibility of being authentic
me, the INFJ
an introvert's guide to holidays: Thanksgiving is here
quiet influence, a quiz

For more information on introverts or for support as an introvert, I have found it quite helpful to follow Quiet Revolution or the Introvert Entrepeneur.


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