Sometimes nights out throw me into scenes like this: large, dim rooms reeking of smoke and sweat and sordid human desire; music so loud you can’t hear yourself think; knots of strangers heaving through the darkness, flickering in and out of blinding strobes; judgmental eyes scanning you as you force conversation and fail to fill awkward silences. I think it sounds like a perfect night to stay in.
Some people can go to a sleazy club and grind with the crowd and scream over ear-throbbing music until the wee hours of the morning, and still be dancing and going hard on the car ride home. I don’t know where these people get their overflowing energy, but good for them I suppose. After an evening of such revelry, I often feel the need (and I’m sure my fellow introverts understand) to hibernate for a week, which I often do.
But I think there is also such a thing as over-charging your batteries. Of course, sometimes you need time away from energy-guzzling friends, but over-charging can be an easy trap to get caught in: You fall into apathy, you fall into laziness. You take the low road and let slip the habit of enhancing social skills. Here are some signs you’re spending too much time in your own head.
1. You haven’t had a true interaction with a person in days. And five minutes of small talk with the person sitting next to you in class doesn’t count. You run from the parking lot to work/class and then back again. Truly, it might be better to stick around sometimes and make an effort to have a real conversation with someone.
2. There’s a lack of desire to have a true interaction with someone. Especially for introverts, it’s so easy to fall into that snare of not pushing yourself to interact with people. Often I find myself scurrying back into my shell, wanting to get out of forced conversation as soon as possible. Sometimes you can’t fight the natural instinct to keep to yourself.
3. When an interaction occurs, you forget how to talk to people. Sometimes you’re just awkward, and that’s okay. You can’t be on your game all the time. But personally, when I find myself excessively stumbling over words or saying completely stupid and embarrassing things, that’s when I know I’m out of practice.
4. There’s an intense thought reel going in your head. All day. It’s exhausting but you can’t help it. Without sufficient distractions, thoughts spin without order or control – some normal, some unhealthy, some in between. It’s a constant battle between your mind and your sanity.
5. You forget how to keep busy. You get home from work at 5:30 and have no idea what to do with your life. I actually made a list specifically for moments like that- what can I do to occupy my mind? It could be as simple as calling a friend, trying a new restaurant or finally writing a ThoughtCatalog article. It’s always difficult to get started – that feeling of unparalleled laziness is irresistible but can be dangerous. You know it’s keeping you stuck in four walls and away from living life. You can’t always just sit in a room and wait for opportunities to flock to you; you have to go chase them.
6. You make a list like this. Self-explanatory. Remember that insane thought reel I mentioned? Welcome to the product. I find that three things help me get out of my head: talking about things that matter to people who matter, accepting new opportunities to which I would normally never agree to try, and spewing feelings through some creative outlet. Throwing yourself back into life is usually the best way.