Why do introverts find socialising tiring?
Leave me alone! Social situations can be more exhausting for introverts than extroverts.
Asked by: Kate Ward, Canterbury
Apart from the simple fact that introverts prefer to have plenty of time to themselves, and that being denied this can be draining, there’s also evidence that, at a physiological level, introverts respond more strongly to stimulation, such as loud noises, than extroverts do. This means socialising is more likely to leave them exhausted and needing a rest afterwards.
On the Introvert, Dear blog, contributor Shawna Courter even argues that there’s such a thing as an “introvert hangover”, which she describes as “an actual physical reaction to [social] overstimulation. Your ears might ring, your eyes start to blur, and you feel like you’re going to hyperventilate”.
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Dr Christian Jarrett is a cognitive neuroscientist, science writer and author. He is the Deputy Editor of Psyche, the sister magazine to Aeon that illuminates the human condition through psychology, philosophy and the arts. Jarrett also created the British Psychological Society's Research Digest blog and was the first ever staff journalist on the Society's magazine, The Psychologist. He is author of Great Myths of The Brain and Be Who You Want: Unlocking the Science of Personality Change.
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