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An Introvert’s Guide To In-Person Get-Togethers, Conferences & Retreats

blog 5.20

Retreat, festival, and conference season is upon us. And you know what that means…..lots of people, interaction, traveling, and an output of energy.

For some people, this is the most exciting thing ever. But for me (and other introverts) this poses a challenge. How do I still partake in all this awesome stuff going on, while still getting my introvert needs taken care of (such as alone time, down time, ME time)?

And so I wanted to offer a step-by-step guide for any introverts who want to do fun social things this summer.

But first, a quick story.

I never really thought of myself as an introvert. Growing up I had lots of friends and a robust social life. I joined a band in my early twenties and spent most of my days and nights interacting with people, whether that be my band, other bands, club promoters, fans, friends, work, etc.

I was tired all the time but figured it was because I was busy.

Later, when I was in a band in LA I realized that being social and talking to lots of people was not my favorite thing, but rather I loved deep connections with a few close friends, and that I loved “performing.”

I came to understand that our show was my “job.” While on that stage my job was to entertain, show the audience a good time, and be so into what I was doing that other people would FEEL that.

My band was a rock n roll band. Alive. Energetic. Our show was what you might expect from 5 passionate people slinging their long hair around.

However, after the show, we would all go to my house, put on sweatpants, and watch a movie until we all fell asleep in front of the tv. It was a far cry from what you might guess a Jack Daniel’s slinging band might do after a show.

But this was perfect for an introvert like me. On that stage, I was in control of the interaction. I didn’t have to talk to anyone, and most of the time, it was me and the music and my band. Afterwards, we’d hang for a bit, but then go home and fill our cups with quiet time.

This experience has taught me A LOT about how to be an introvert no matter what situation you might find yourself in. How to still have fun, be social, be involved AND not feel totally overwhelmed.

Here are the 4 steps that’ll help your introverted self get through the season, and have fun while doing it.

1) Know what you need

We never get what we want unless we know what that is. So take an inventory of what types of activities make you feel the most fulfilled, and which drain you.

Maybe you like socializing but only for a certain amount of time. Maybe you like one day on one day off.

In order to get the most out of your experience, be aware of what your needs are, and what your socializing threshold is.

2) Tell the people around you what you need

I do this a lot. Before I embark on anything that will involve other people, I’ll say something like “I’d love to go camping with you and your friends! But just so you know I tend to get tired if I’m around people all day long and tend to like to take little breaks for alone time, cool?”

That way you are clear and communicative with the people around you with your needs so that when they show up, both parties know what the deal is.

Plus if you set it up ahead of time, you don’t run the risk of being overwhelmed and feeling guilty for bringing it up in the moment.

3) Put alone time in your schedule ahead of time

If you know you’re going to be in a situation that tends to make you feel overwhelmed or exhausted, plan in scheduled times to be alone.

For example, when I go to WDS, I look for pockets of time where I can go back to the hotel and chill out. When you do it ahead of time, you don’t miss out on the important stuff, and you get yourself recharged for the events ahead.

4) Don’t feel bad for needing what you need (aka there is nothing wrong with you)

This might be the most important one. I find with a lot of introverts, we feel bad for being this way. There is a stigma about being quiet, or not feeling very social.

I know for me, people have thought I was aloof or not friendly, when simply, I was just an introvert. I don’t offer up a lot of details about myself unless asked, but it’s not because I don’t want to share. It’s just because it’s not my style.

So this is important…know who you are and accept that about yourself.

If you know you need alone time, take it. If you know you like to go off by yourself when you’re in big group settings…cool.

There is nothing wrong with you. You just have certain needs and I believe the most Wildheart thing any of us can do is be you are.

As I was writing this guide, I couldn’t help but think of my very own Wildheart LIVE: Montana Retreat. I wondered how many introverts might be wanting to come but were afraid that their introvert nature would get stepped on.

But the way I look at it is that if anyone follows the guide above, you can have a beautiful experience, and create exactly what you want to create.

Just because you’re introverted doesn’t mean you can’t have social experiences. And it doesn’t mean you’re a hermit. (click to tweet that!)

It just means that your cup gets filled by taking some time out to get your need filled. And to me…that’s what Wildheart is all about.

To find out more about the Montana Retreat, CLICK HERE. Doors to registration close in 11 days. Come on in and join the fun.

YEEHAW (from the introvert behind the computer)!

Sally

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7 Responses to An Introvert’s Guide To In-Person Get-Togethers, Conferences & Retreats

  1. Jess says:

    Funnily enough, I consider myself a big extrovert, last man standing, life and soul etc etc yet more and more, recently, in that moment when with a big group of good friends, I very often switch off and really want to be alone. I’ve started to schedule being at home the majority of the week rather than going out every night (this is a BIG first) so that I’m on form when I’m socializing and generally happier about being there because I’ve consciously made that choice. My job means that unless I’m careful, my diary can take care of itself and that’s having less and less appeal nowadays. For this reason, I LOVE both points 2 and 3 – SO important to let people know in advance – for yourself and their expectations of you – what you might need as well as being comfortable with some down time if you know you’ll want it. I’m so much happier accepting that perhaps I am an introvert by heart. LOVE THIS! Thank you x

    • Sally Hope says:

      Ahhh YES!!!! The realization. That happened to me too. When I was like “actually…I’m tired now and want to go home.” :)

      I’m so glad you like 2 and 3. I found them to be SO helpful too!

      Thank you SO SO much for writing in. You’re rad.

  2. Maggie says:

    I thought for a long time that I was an extrovert, and I can definitely still be extroverted at times, but I’ve got introvert needs too :) I feel ya.

    • Sally Hope says:

      Me too! I mean…I’ve always known I was more quiet than I thought I “should” be, and I’m good with “working a room” so I thought that meant I was extroverted too. But nope! Not the case. :)

  3. Susan says:

    Sally-
    I really appreciate your insight and the list. I love connecting, but I really need the alone time to keep perspective and stay sane.
    Thanks for offering up your experience- I was feeling like I was lacking a component of the entrepreneurial biz.
    Kind regards-
    Susan

    • Sally Hope says:

      Hey Susan! Thank you so so much for your comment. I think this conversation is actually lacking a bit in the entrepreneurial world. Which makes things harder because so much of the conversation is about “putting yourself out there.” Which I’m on board with.

      But I’m with you! I needs TONS of alone time to get my cup filled. Thanks so much for your comment.

      Introverts unite!!
      :)

  4. Colleen says:

    As an Introvert myself, this post really spoke to me. I’ve always been quieter and introverted and need time to myself and when I was younger I hated that about myself so much – I always thought I wasn’t good enough because I don’t put myself out there the way some of my friends did. Luckily at some point it clicked that I was ok the way I am and people like me and so what if I don’t have a million friends – who cares?
    I think it’s so important to make sure us introverts know that it’s ok. That we are perfect and enough just the way we are. So Thank You :)

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