the introvert’s guide to surviving the holidays

Looking from the outside in, I’m the biggest Scrooge! I hate Christmas music, I don’t like to exchange gifts and I’m not a fan of extended, family visits, and by extended, I mean anything over 24hours. But, if you take the time to see things from the INside out, you will see that I’m not a Scrooge at all, I’m just an INtrovert!*
*See what I did there… INside out… INtrovert. No?

If you’re an introvert and anything like me, chances are the holidays are an extremely stressful time for you! The shopping, crowds, excessive traffic, preparation, constant hype and family visits are all too much, in a short amount of time, and eventually I become thin. Not Kate Moss thin, but thin in energy: nothing left to give. The Christmas music playing EVERYWHERE is just salt in an open wound! By the time New Year’s Eve is over and it’s time to go back to work, I need another vacation.

In the weeks building up to Christmas, I actually become really resentful that I have to spend my hard-earned vacation participating in things that I don’t want to do. I become resentful at being in a relationship because it means that I have to do things I don’t like, more than once! Then the guilt sets in for being such a ungrateful scrooge bitch.

I could be really unfortunate. I could not have a family or not have my boyfriend’s family. I could have no one to care about me, have no kids to share the excitement of Christmas with, have no job to have money for gifts, travel & holiday spirits, so I come to my senses and remember how truly blessed I am. The thought of not having money to buy alcohol, is extremely sobering! I eventually pack my shit and head to stay with my family and his family for beautiful yet ungodly amounts of time!

Having given into the fact that unless I want to be visited by the 3 Ghosts of Christmas and that I must participate in all that is “the holidays,” I have devised a survival guide for introverts to successfully make it out of the holidays, alive and with little or no casualties. May the odds be ever in your favor…

1. Set yourself up for success by limiting the amount of time you visit! Work, traffic and delayed flights are acceptable forms of white lies in this situation! #parentsjustdontunderstand #butBeysuswill #goforthinwhitelies
2. When traveling: headphones in, sunglasses on and no eye contact! The extroverts are dying to tell you who they’re visiting! #nosehablaingles
3. Once you’ve arrived, find fellow introverts and support one another, non-verbally of course! Loud sighs, rolling eyes & shaking your head are all acceptable cues that you too are overwhelmed! #blink2timesforhelp
4. Don’t explain yourself. Extroverts will never understand and you will not only sound self-righteous, but you will also engage them in a debate. No. One. Wants. That. #letjesusbetherighteousone #hesthebdayboyafterall
5. Drink. Heavily. #selfmedicate
6. Take your time getting in & out of bed and in the shower. It’s the perfect, quiet time to recharge. The extroverts just think you’re lazy, can’t handle your alcohol or you have OCD. #lazycrazydrunk

7. Step away for mini breaks! Run a “last-minute” errand, get something from the car or take extra time in the bathroom. #timetodropthekidsoffatthepool

8. Don’t bother with the added stress of last-minute gifts. Give a nice card & a good box of chocolates and make it up on birthdays! #cheapbish
9. Answer questions with brief responses and give short, but sweet, compliments! The extroverts are dying to interview you; get your game-face on! #yes #no #thisisdelicious
10. Get some perspective. When you’re at your wit’s end with the extroverts, remember: spending quality time with family & friends is priceless and as draining as it can be for us introverts, the moments are fleeting & priceless. #costoftheholidays #yoursanity #timewithyourlovedones #priceless

*Bonus Tip: Drink. Heavily. #selfmedicate

Happy Holidays & don’t be naughty like baby Walli! Be nice!

xok

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Kenya Raymer is a writer, blogger, dancer and the hostess of the natural-hair meet up Curls & Cocktails. She is a self-love enthusiast who uses her natural-hair platform as a space to discuss hair and all things beautiful & real. She is loving in Nashville, TN, where she promotes the local eats, animal rescue, self-awareness, personal growth, happiness and finding comfort in your own skin.

14 thoughts on “the introvert’s guide to surviving the holidays

  1. Amazes me how you can know how I feel & not know me from Adam. Peace be with you Kenya during this trying blessed time of year. Blessings for the New Year as well. 😉

  2. This blog seriously has saved me. I have struggled with this ever since I married my husband of 7 years. Bc my family KNOWS I’m like this. I need small doses of people. Every time his mom comes it ends badly. It’s not that I don’t like her I just can’t have her with me 24/7 for 6 days. ITS TOO MUCH. I’m so thankful for this post bc it helps me see I’m human. I’m normal. I was honestly starting to think I was cold hearted or something. But I’m not!!! I have the best heart. I just can’t be around ppl like that. And I always wondered why I am able to be at others ppl house but cringe when they want to be at mine. Reason being, I can leave when I’ve had my fill and when they come I can’t kick them out when they’ve overstayed their welcome! Thanks for the tips. I plan to drink lots of wine tomorrow. I hope that helps 🙂

    Introverts unite
    Xoxoxo

    1. Yes!!!!! Finally someone who understands. You took the words out of my mouth when you said you cringe when you have to have guests at your home. It eliminates our only escape or sanctuary. Thank you for articulating that so well!

  3. This really hit home! My anxiety levels always skyrocket once Thanksgiving hits because I know hell month is about to begin. Its especially hard when I don’t celebrate Christmas and my boyfriend’s parents still impose tons of pressure for me to participate in every activity, in addition to coming to stay in our 1 bedroom 600 sq. ft apartment… For several days at a time…. Beysus be a xanax

  4. OMG Camille!!!! Yessss. We are suffering from the SAME circumstances. I hate when November approaches bc it’s the start of a not fun time for me. His family does gift exchange. Christmas lists. All that jazz. Constantly talking about the next “meet up” since we are all in different states. I was tolerable the first few years but now I am an EXTREME introvert bc of them. I am literally afraid bc every time I speak to them it’s about planning another thing. I need like a 6-12 month break of everyone !!! Hahaha. I’m so glad u can relate. When I tell u I was praying for God to change my heart bc I feel I’ve gotten so mean. But I really can’t help who I am. I can only learn to manage it better and maybe now that I understand I’m this way I can communicate this to my husband more so he can help keep them away a little lol wishful thinking.

    1. Yes!!! Things were tolerable at first but like you said, years of this has made me an extreme introvert too!!! Its to the point where I let my phone go to voicemail because once I answer, I know they are gonna be planning the next event. I really was beginning to question whether or not I was a mean or cold hearted person because it didn’t seem “normal” to feel this way. Especially when my boyfriend’s brother is married to a woman that will invite my in laws to stay at her house for a month, complete with FB updates like “so happy my in laws are here, I wish they lived with us! Love you mom and dad!”…. Like girl, bye. (But thats a whole other issue haha)
      I feel like I have barely recovered from Christmas last year, and its already here again. I really need that 6-12 month break you mentioned. I love my in-laws they are wonderful loving people. However, that doesnt mean I wanna be couped up with them for multiple days…or even multiple hours haha.

      1. Wow!! We are the same person. Reading your posts makes me feel like I’m writing them myself. Unreal. Today has been awesome for the fact that I know I’m not mean, crazy or alone in my feelings. Cheers to that! I’ll be praying for you tomorrow! I don’t know if you’re hosting anyone. But please pray for me bc I am 😩😩😩😩😩 and it’s taken me a long time to accept that LOL. #BeysusBeAGlassOfWineOrBetterYetABottle

  5. All this time I thought i was a scrooge bitch as you so eloquently put it lol, but im just an introvert! You have helped me figure some things about myself that I didn’t know existed or maybe I just didn’t want to acknowledge. Anyway thank you for this post I needed to read this to help me cope with this time of year which I secretly despise. Haha

    #Introvertsunited
    #InthenameofBeysus

  6. Kenny,
    You amaze me! I never would have imagined you to be this way. I fear you’ve covered for so long much better than I. I have daydreams of a more extroverted self and spent years in self loathing pity pots for not being like everyone else. It has taken years to accept this part of me and the extroverts closest to me still don’t understand the anxiety I feel when hosting guests or visiting others. Thank you for your words and “normalizing” my experiences. Merry Christmas my dear and God bless! xo

  7. God, I’m so thankful you speak on introvert “issues”. I’m in my mid-twenties and up until I followed you on IG, I thought I was a HUGE, heartless biotch. Regarding your post, I don’t necessarily have an issue with family (I live in the Midwest and my extended family on the east coast), it’s more so an issue with my coworkers. It never fails, my boss gets all up in my face telling me how his daughter sh*t on the floor and his wife vacuumed it up. THEN, he expects me to divulge all my holiday glory. I simply blink and smile, while I’m SCREAMING on the inside “GET OUT OF MY FACE!!!!”. Lol. I had an instance couple months ago, I was out of the office for about a month. My first day back, he has me sitting in his office while talking to me for SIX (6) HOURS (I work 8 hours a day) and he’s not talking about ANYTHING. I went home shaking, pissed off, and crying. NOT bc he hurt my feelings, but bc I was SO depleted of any energy I armored myself with when I woke up. Mentally, I was exhausted. I couldn’t handle it. I try to remember to take DEEP breaths and walk it off. And you’re completely right, DO. NOT. try to explain. Lol

    Please keep these posts coming.

    Thank you!!!

    nic

  8. God, I’m so thankful you speak on introvert “issues”. I’m in my mid-twenties and up until I followed you on IG, I thought I was a HUGE, heartless biotch. Regarding your post, I don’t necessarily have an issue with family (I live in the Midwest and my extended family on the east coast), it’s more so an issue with my coworkers. It never fails, my boss gets all up in my face telling me how his daughter sh*t on the floor and his wife vacuumed it up. THEN, he expects me to divulge all my holiday glory. I simply blink and smile, while I’m SCREAMING on the inside “GET OUT OF MY FACE!!!!”. Lol. I had an instance couple months ago, I was out of the office for about a month. My first day back, he has me sitting in his office while talking to me for SIX (6) HOURS (I work 8 hours a day) and he’s not talking about ANYTHING. I went home shaking, pissed off, and crying. NOT bc he hurt my feelings, but bc I was SO depleted of any energy I armored myself with when I woke up. Mentally, I was exhausted. I couldn’t handle it. I try to remember to take DEEP breaths and walk it off. And you’re completely right, DO. NOT. try to explain. Lol

    Please keep these posts coming.

    Thank you!!!

    nic

  9. It’s true, we extroverts are nosey mo-fo’s, we love to drag it out of you. But here’s a tip: when you inny’s give more of yourself I feel satisfied and therefore will leave you alone in exchange of my next victim, I’m just looking for a little connection. Give me a little bit of your goodness, I promos I won’t suck you dry. I just need to know that you see me. I’m so glad you do, and that you’ve found a way to tolerate the extra-takers in your life. You know what they say, it takes the yin and the yang, or the inward and the exward.Love you.

  10. OMG!!! I have found my introvert sisters! You all feel my pain! I hate September because that’s when the hell holiday talk starts. My husband just thinks I lack patience and am standoffish. Both true but that’s besides the point. Lol. Just one year I would love to stay home the entire holiday season. Sigh…a girl can dream….

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