World Introvert Day is coming up on January 2 and we think that’s something worth celebrating, so we’ve put together nine ways for you to celebrate World Introvert Day (whether or not you prefer Introversion).
Is it a coincidence that World Introvert Day falls right after New Year’s celebrations? Probably not. Unfortunately, if you tell most people your ideal New Year’s Eve plans don’t involve lots of people, popping champagne and all the external stimuli you can handle (music, flashing lights, SEQUIN EVERYTHING), a lot of them probably won’t understand.
Our culture is just beginning to understand people with Introverted preferences. So why not take some time January 2nd to celebrate the preference of nearly half of the population?
Here are nine easy ways you can celebrate World Introvert Day this year:
Give yourself a break
Whether this means declining a party or get together you really don’t want to attend, or clearing a few extra things from your social schedule this week, go ahead and give yourself the “get out of jail free” card. Take some time (even if it’s only 15 minutes) to slow down the pace. To stop and smell the roses (or maybe the pine trees if no roses are available), the coffee, the fresh-from-the-dryer sheets. You’ve probably been going non-stop since the holiday season with LOTS of time with family and friends, so take a deep breath and give yourself the break, the quiet, and the alone time you deserve. And then don’t beat yourself up about giving yourself a break.
Dig a little deeper into your personality type
There’s so much more to Introversion than meets the eye. In our blog tomorrow, we’ll share some interesting facts about Introversion that you probably didn’t know. Whatever your Myers-Briggs preferences are, it’s more than just Introversion and Extraversion (often wrongly spelled Extroversion). Like the fact that everybody introverts some part of their personality type and everyone extraverts another part of their personality type. Not sure where to start? Check out the Complete Guide to Extraversion and Introversion here. Or this blog. Or this blog.
Practice your favorite introverted activity
What is your favorite introverted activity? More than likely, it’s a solitary one (but not always). Maybe it’s journaling. Taking a quiet walk outside. Reading that magazine subscription over a cup of steaming coffee or tea with no other background noise. Or dancing by yourself to one of your favorite songs. Or watching a movie at home with someone close to you. Make time tomorrow to do one of your favorite introverted activities. Or if you have a preference for Extraversion, try one of the above and see what you think.
Count to 10 after asking a question
Those with preferences for Introversion often think before they speak, while those with preferences for Extraversion often speak as they’re thinking. Which is why you sometimes hear people with extraverted preferences say “I’m just thinking out loud” or “Can I bounce some ideas off of you?” Today, practice counting to 10 in your head after you ask a question. Whether you’re asking someone directly, or you’re in a meeting, or you’re eating dinner with your family, try it. If you’re in a group, try counting to 10 after the last person has given their answer. You’d be surprised how many people with Introverted preferences will start responding closer to the 6, 7 and 8 second timeframe.
Spend some time in your own head
If you have preferences for Introversion, you probably do this already. But today (regardless of your preference), take note of the thoughts you come across. Maybe write some of them down. Maybe just acknowledge them and move on. Take time today to appreciate how your mind works, and how there is a whole incredible world going on that no one else knows about except you.
Do something creative
Make something. It doesn’t matter what it is or how it comes out. Just flex your creative muscles today. Many of those with preferences for Introversion are known for being writers, musicians, artists, chefs, etc. because they’re translating the world in their minds outward in a creative way. No matter your preference, make time to create something today.
Don’t apologize for who you are
Today, embrace your Introversion. Don’t apologize for wanting to spend time alone. For putting in your headphones because you don’t want to hear the background chatter. For taking that solo seat on the bus or airplane. For finding the most quiet corner of the room. For the fact that you’d rather spend time alone, by yourself, WITH yourself, than with other people. It’s OK. Not only is it OK, it’s NORMAL. And it’s actually good for you (so says science!). And half the population feels the same (though we’re not always voicing that opinion). Don’t apologize for it – out loud or in your head. Being alone and being lonely are not the same thing.
Tell someone you have preferences for Introversion
If you have the chance, tell someone who may not already know that you have a preference for Introversion. We’re not talking about a random person, but maybe someone who you work with or a friend or acquaintance. They might ask you what you mean. Or how you know. Either way, you’re starting a conversation about what this personality preference is (you gain energy from being by yourself and are often drained by being around other people) and what it’s not (social anxiety, quiet, lonely, shy, or that you dislike people).
8b. If you have preferences for Extraversion, listen a little more today.
You can’t assume someone has a preference for Introversion, though you can always politely ask if you want to know. But maybe instead of asking today, try to listen just a little bit more. Don’t say the first thing that comes to your mind, instead try letting a few different thoughts float by before you decide to share them. In psychology, this method of trying to emulate behaviors of the opposite preference is called “type flexing.” So today, try to flex a little more to your Introverted side.
Share about Introversion
You can share this blog (which of course is an option we love), or maybe something from the Myers-Briggs Facebook or Instagram pages. Or that really amazing TED talk by Susan Cain about the power of Introverts. Or maybe you write your own words about Introversion and share those. Either way, share something Introvert-related today with someone else. You’ll be helping everyone increase their self-awareness around personality type, which is never a bad thing.