Family reunions can crop up at any time, especially during holidays. You love your relatives, but the crowds can be draining for those of us who are introverts and gather our energy from solitude or quiet. We are like the battery in your phone -plug us in, leave us alone, and we will recharge.
Here are a few tips to help an introvert at a family reunion.
~ Remember why you are at the reunion. If you are there to get to know people, have a goal to better understand at least one of your relatives. After you have accomplished this task, consider the event a success and go home.
~ If you are on the reunion committee, use your influence to suggest quiet times, more breaks between scheduled programs, or help to create quiet corners in the event space.
~ Even if you are not on the reunion committee, and it is an informal reunion, volunteer to help behind the scenes where there tends to be more work going on and less chatter.
~ Take a break from people when you need to do so. Self-care is not rude.
~ If the reunion is at or near a hotel, rent a room there. Quietly steal away to decompress in the room when needed.
~ If the reunion is in a more rustic area and you are camping, rise before everyone else, drink in the beautiful vista, and enjoy the quiet by yourself before the events start.
~ Help other introverts. As you understand your relatives more, you will learn who also needs quiet time; help them find it. You might need to run interference for an introverted relative by distracting Aunt Fern with chit chat so that Cousin Chad may escape to solitude.
At a recent reunion, I discovered that one of my younger cousins does not like crowds and would cry whenever too many people engaged with him. His parents, however, were there to socialize. I volunteered to supervise him away from crowds and he seemed perfectly contented.
~ Have a long talk with a relative that you like. The familiarity tends to ease the frustration of crowds. Before you know it, the event will be over.
~ Arrive in your own mode of transportation so that you can leave when needed.
~ If you carpool to the event, choose to ride with two relatives who love to chat with each other. Engage in the conversation only when you feel like doing so.
Peace be with you,