Here’s how to cope when people and situations threaten to cramp your wellbeing

If you’re introspective by nature and have been called shy, reserved or withdrawn at various points in life, you belong to the quiet tribe of introverts. They are people-loving folk who also like their solitude. They recharge their batteries with quality alone-time and usually keep their opinions to themselves. Life can be tough for an introvert, since emotional sensitivity is part of the territory and a heightened perception for the feelings of others comes naturally. Here’s how to cope when people and situations threaten to cramp your wellbeing.

Schedule some cave time
Set aside at least three to four hours a week, either on a single day or over a span of a few days to ‘hang out’ by yourself. When parties beckon, it will be tough to explain cave time to your friends. Do this for a few weeks, however, and you’ll realise its importance in recharging your batteries and peace of mind.

Avoid FOMO
Decide on the precious activities for cave time. It’s easy to get wrapped up in FOMO (fear of missing out) if all you do in cave time is go through the wall posts and travel pictures of your social media friends. If you’re planning on cooking, decide exactly what will be on the menu. Ditto for watching movies and discovering new music. Pin it down to make it stick! Introverts with a creative streak would do well to paint, sketch, write, even knit.

Make people time count
Do you feel tired after attending a gathering? Introverts are attuned to the emotions of people around them, the ones they have a close relationship with. This level of passive attentiveness can get emotionally draining. So, be selective about the people you spend time with, ensure they are positive, happy people.

Avoid social burnout
Being introverted doesn’t have to mean being afraid of people. Take Hollywood actress Helen Hunt, for instance. “I’m a weird combination of deeply introverted and very daring,” she says. So socialising is great as long as you don’t overdo it. Social burnout is a top motivation killer for introverts. So, design your social life in such a way that you enjoy it and look forward to meeting people.

Emma Watson: “I’m an introverted kind of person just by nature, it’s not like a conscious choice that I’m making necessarily. Coming to realise that about myself was very empowering.”

Keanu Reeves: “I was kinda shy in school, but I also had the class-clown element about me. I was removed, but I was involved.”