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How to deal with social exhaustion if you are an introvert

Do you feel mentally drained when you spent too much time around people? Here’s why you feel socially exhausted and what you can do about it.

While going out and meeting people may be a source of energy for some people, others may feel exhausted. Social exhaustion is a true blue thing! It can drain your energy, especially when you put too much effort, and experience burnout. Also referred to as introvert hangover or introvert burnout, social exhaustion is a type of condition where an individual feels overwhelmed and exhausted after interacting with different types of people in different situations. Here’s what to do if you feel socially exhausted every time you go out.

What is social exhaustion?

“Social exhaustion is a type of condition where the individual feels overwhelmed and exhausted after interacting with different sorts of people and situations in a day,” explains psychiatrist Dr Sonal Anand. These individuals might prefer staying alone or enjoying their own company instead of mingling with others. It might mean some different reactions depending on the kind of personality that one has. It is important to set boundaries and priorities to avoid being socially drained.

people in a party
Social exhaustion is when you don’t feel comfortable around people or social settings. Image courtesy: Freepik

Signs of social exhaustion

A study published in the Journal of Personality found that some people who spend more than 3 hours interacting with people socially may feel more socially exhausted. Social exhaustion can happen to anyone, including extroverts. Here are the telltale signs you are reaching the point of social exhaustion:

  • Fatigue
  • Sleeping problems
  • Irritability
  • Not able to concentrate
  • Headaches or migraine
  • Feeling depressed
  • Emotional meltdown
  • Feeling anxious
  • Not feeling attached to people

If you feel that you are about to reach the brink of burnout, look for these signs:

  • Sleep problems
  • Feeling mentally unwell
  • Low energy
  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Not performing the best

What causes social exhaustion?

There could be various factors behind an individual getting easily drained while interacting socially, as explained by the expert:

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  • Going through tough times at school, college, workplace or relationships can hamper your mental health.
  • If you are empathetic, you easily get involved and absorb other’s pain leading to increased emotional baggage.
  • Being highly empathetic about others can easily make you overwhelmed and tired. Social media is one of the primary sources of interaction, especially among youngsters. The ability to keep up with others can contribute to feelings of being socially drained easily.
  • Unrealistic societal expectations can cause mental exhaustion and add unnecessary stress. It becomes crucial to understand that you should prioritize your peace over other things to create a healthy balance.

How to avoid getting socially exhausted?

Regardless of how stuck you feel, you can try these strategies suggested by Dr Anand to help you avoid getting socially exhausted:

1. Set boundaries

If you are not an extrovert, you don’t have to force yourself to be at a social gathering. Learn to say no to events that you know will drain you out. Choose your priorities and plan accordingly. It ultimately becomes your decision if you want to step out of your comfort zone or not. You can be selective about the people you choose to spend time with. This will help maintain your emotional health and avoid getting socially drained.

Also Read: How to set boundaries with friends and why

2. Avoid people who make you uncomfortable

Spending too much time around people who make you uncomfortable or question your existence can take a toll on your emotional health. This can trigger feelings such as frustration, agitation, humiliation, low self-confidence, and anger, which can also lead to anxiety, stress, and depression. You can try performing deep breathing exercises to manage your stress levels.

3. Choose quality over quantity

Make sure to prioritise quality over quantity. It doesn’t matter how many friends or loved ones you have, what matters is how reliable and understanding they are. Try to be vocal about your feelings and present them firmly with confidence to prove your point. Focus more on creating a safe space or building deeper connections with a few over numerous people. Keeping up with too many friends or people can create a sense of exhaustion in some people.

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Three women laughing
Choose your company wisely. Image courtesy: Freepik

4. Don’t engage yourself in meaningless conversations

During social interaction, if you feel exhausted or socially drained, then taking necessary breaks to recharge your social energy can be helpful. If you get easily distracted then try focusing on meaningful conversations with certain people to avoid an overflow of information. It becomes essential to know when to politely excuse yourself from the crowd to restore your energy and avoid getting anxious.
Make sure to appreciate yourself on constant progress to encourage and motivate yourself.

5. Try to control your emotions

Use non-verbal communication methods like smiling or just nodding to participate in certain conversations without needing to speak. If social interaction starts to hamper your emotional health, try practicing deep breathing exercises to calm your mind.

6. Prepare yourself

Initially try attending smaller social events or interactions to prepare your mind instead of directly starting with large crowds which can spike your anxiety.
When things start to get tough, be honest about your feelings to your friends and family about your situation.

#deal #social #exhaustion #introvert



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