We introverts sometimes get a bad rep. Our introversion often gets confused with shyness, which gets mistaken for rudeness or being ‘stuck up’. Really they aren’t mutually exclusive, but neither of them are useful at social events. With introversion, it makes being social difficult because being around other people physically and mentally drains you.
I’m not kidding though – I can leave a night out feeling exhausted because I’ve spoken to three people in a loud, packed room. And large groups can strike fear in any introvert’s heart, so a hen weekend can feel like total overload. I even felt tired at my own hen do, which makes me sound incredibly ungrateful! But If there’s one thing we introverts do love, it’s planning. So here are some actionable tips on how to survive a hen do when you’re an introvert.
Work out what triggers you
The traditional hen do has evolved so much over the years and can end up leaving even the extroverts totally exhausted! (Incidentally, here are some alternative hen do ideas for a more relaxing time).
You probably won’t figure out how to make it easier if you can’t identify what it is about the hen do that makes your introvert senses go into overdrive. Are you worried about talking to new people? Does drinking make you feel uncomfortable? Is being away from home a factor? Take some time to think about what makes you nervous about it and you can work towards making it easier on yourself and able to survive a hen do.
Find someone to ‘buddy’ with
There’s no doubt you’re not the only introvert in the party, so make it your task to find them and ‘buddy up’. When there’s someone else who understands how you feel, it makes it easier to deal with. So, if it all gets overwhelming you can keep each other calm and company – especially when you’re in a large group. You can still be a part of the hen do and take part in the activities, but it’s a great comfort to have someone else you can turn to if you both need a bit of quiet time.
Give yourself breaks
The thing with introverts is that we need a bit of recharge time. We’re like that bunny from the Duracell advert! Give us a while to get away from the intensity that we’re feeling and we’ll come back recharged and ready. This can be really difficult at an activity-packed hen do, so don’t feel like you need to participate in everything if it’s too much – especially if it’s a long weekend with several things each day.
You could ask to attend the parts you feel comfortable with, instead of the entire weekend. Or if you’re staying in a house for the weekend, ask for a single room so you have the space to be alone. Most people will understand if you explain it to them, and then that makes it clear that you’re not being rude.
Remember – you can say no too. If the bride isn’t a really close friend or you just don’t feel like you would enjoy it, it’s okay to decline. So many people already wonder if hen dos are even worth the hassle in the first place. So your wellbeing, mental or physical, must come first.
Brush up on your small talk
Paired with social anxiety, introversion can be a real stumbling block when it comes to keeping up with conversation. And when it’s with a group of people you’ve not met before, it can be even harder. It sounds weird, but before the hen do have a practice of your small talk and note down a few conversation starters or questions to ask those you don’t know. There’s nothing like the pressure to keep small talk, and I’ve even brought on panic attacks thinking about it, so anything to give you a little head start and headspace will really help.
Bookend the hen do with quiet time
If you know you won’t be able to duck out of activities or spend much time alone, make sure you use the days before and after to mentally prepare and relax, so you are better able to survive a hen do. It’ll help you get into the right mindset beforehand, and mean when you get back home you can spend all the time you need to recover. Sometimes sleep doesn’t do all it needs to make me feel refreshed after a particularly stressful event, so I like to spend an afternoon on the sofa with a good book.
Have an exit plan
That title sounds a bit rude, but I mean ‘exit plan’ in the sense of knowing when it’s time to leave. With introversion, it helps to know when and how you’ll be able to leave a party without causing any internal panic. Like I said – we do love a plan! One thing to make sure of is not relying on others to get you back to the flat/house if you’re sharing.
Make sure you have enough spare cash to get your own taxi if you need it, so you won’t feel the pressure to stay out if others prefer to see ‘where the night goes’. And, if you managed to find a hen do buddy, you can chat to them about leaving at the same time so you don’t feel like you stand out.
How do you deal with your introversion in social situations? Share your tips in the comments, and how you would survive a hen do.
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