Introverts: Push Past ‘Power Hour’

Here we go again. I RSVPed to attend a large social event tonight where I won’t know many people. Once again, I’m fighting the urge to cancel.

It’s a typical battle for an introvert and for many shy people – should I exert the energy to be social, or play it safe and stay home?

ScaredI was excited about the party a few days ago. But after a long week, I am tired. More importantly, I’m nervous about being around a lot of people. I rreeaallllllyy want to skip the event and just go home to watch British sitcoms on Hulu.

This is the time before going to a social event when I waiver back and forth between wanting to bravely venture out and proudly stay in. Do you have this same struggle?

This time of indecision, fear, and confusion – this is the Power Hour.

The Power Hour is sometime 60 minutes or longer; sometimes it is about 10 minutes. And sometimes it’s just a quick thought. We all enter the Power hour before an event – at least all of us introverts do.

The Power Hour is when we choose to psych ourselves up to go out, be social and have a (hopefully) good time. Or we choose to go home, allow ourselves some quiet time to rest and recharge, and get ready for another day.

This Power Hour is often when we chose to send a text or make a phone call with an excuse to cancel our plans. Or we simply don’t show up, and convince ourselves no one will miss us (but they do).

The Power Hour is time to make a different choice.

hourglassThe next time you enter the Power Hour, choose to push past feeling tired or nervous. Those negative feeling are only temporary. Choose to be social. Choose to connect with people instead of going into an emotional cocoon.

We can be intentional about our introversion – recognize that being around people drains our energy. We can also acknowledge all the positives of being social. In the Power Hour, we can do both.

Instead of choosing to avoid people — or life — use the Power Hour to get ready to go:

  • Recharge. Take a few minutes of quiet solitude to energize yourself.
  • Make a plan. “I will introduce myself to three people.”
  • Give yourself a time limit. Don’t leave the party too soon, and don’t feel obligated to stay too long.
  • Be a taskmaster. Volunteer to help the host or find another way to “give yourself something to do.”
  • Pick a buddy. Either go to the event with someone you know, or try to connect with a friendly person after you arrive.
  • Take a break. Allow yourself a moment alone. It’s OK to take a moment to regroup in the restroom or a quiet hallway.

Yes, there will be times when you legitimately need to get some rest or be alone. But it’s more likely that you can push past the Power Hour and choose to be social.

No man is an island, and introverts need to show up for our friends, families and networking contacts.

When you look back on your life, it’s the dinners, happy hours, and parties that you will remember, not the marathon viewing of “The I.T. Crowd.”

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