Social exhaustion is something many refer to as the introvert burnout or introvert hangover. It is basically something that tends to happen to those who are more introverted, they spend too much time around others and end up feeling drained or broken down.
While not everyone experiences this, many of us do and it can be quite frustrating. You see when we spend too much time with others, especially from an introverted perspective we end up feeling like we’re falling apart. We need alone time to get back to normal and the less available that is the worse off we become. Even just a mere thirty minutes can and will help the situation and while some might consider it rude, removing yourself is something you have to do on different occasions.
While you might see extroverts gaining momentum through spending time with others and doing things they normally wouldn’t but the introvert is very different. He or she will not gain through spending time with others, introverts can only gain through relaxing and closing themselves off in the ways that they need to. While the introvert/extrovert difference is peculiar when you consider our differences things begin to make sense.
And socializing is actually draining for everyone eventually, according to a recent study. Researchers found that after three hours after socializing, participants reported higher levels of fatigue. Surprisingly, these effects were found to be hold for both introverts and extroverts. This makes sense because socializing expends energy: You have to talk, listen, and process what’s being said, among other things.
Nevertheless, there are some very real differences between introverts and extroverts, and these differences come down to how they respond to rewards. Rewards are things like getting the phone number of an attractive stranger, getting promoted at work, or even eating a delicious meal.
According to the experts I spoke with when writing my book, The Secret Lives of Introverts, extroverts have a more active dopamine reward system than introverts. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s pleasure and reward centers. Having a more active dopamine reward system means that extroverts get more energized and excited by the possibility of reward than introverts. So extroverts are more driven to strike up a conversation with a stranger or hang out at the bar until last call.
Of course, introverts also care about having relationships, eating, and getting ahead at work. But simply put, introverts just aren’t as interested in pursuing the things that extroverts chase.
If you are someone who needs time to yourself, you are still just human. There is nothing wrong with caring for yourself and you shouldn’t let anyone guilt you into feeling bad overdoing the things you need to do for your own wellbeing. Just because you become socially exhausted from time to time doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the company of the people you care about and remembering that is important.
For tips on overcoming this issue please feel free to check out the video below. Removing yourself from the people around you and closing yourself off even if for a little while will make a serious difference for you. There is nothing wrong with doing all you have to in order to be comfortable in your own mind and body.