It’s that most wonderful time of year again, and introverts everywhere aren’t shivering because of the snowflakes.
Yes, we might be experiencing a tingle of excitement at jingle bells and a a cup of warm spiced cocoa. But we’re also quaking in our boots at the thought of all those Christmas parties.
Yeah, you heard me. The thought of a big party filled with people we don’t know very well (gasp!) can give us a mini heart attack, and that’s even before the stress of the season gets into full swing.
If you’re an extrovert, married to an introverted spouse, you have probably been given the “let’s go home now” look from your spouse at a time when you’re just barely warming up the room!
Home? But we just got here!
I’ve got a few easy things you can do to help your spouse enjoy the party. Do these things, and you just might not get that “let’s go home” look until much later in the evening.
- Stay connected to them. You can do this by simply meeting their eyes over the crowded room, or better yet, holding their hand or putting an arm around them. But the key is to let them know that you’re right there with them and you’re thinking about them.
- Talk. A lot. Go ahead and bust out that inner ham that loves the spotlight! Introverts don’t have to talk to enjoy themselves. Sometimes, if you’re talking, they can just sit back and relax and enjoy listening to the conversations going on around them. But be careful not to talk about them!
- Invite them into your conversations. If they look like they’re relaxing a bit, invite them into the conversation by asking them an open-ended question or by bringing up a hobby or interest they have that someone else in the group is also interested in.
- Sneak them away from everyone else for a quick kiss or hug or to just say you wanted to see how they’re doing. At a long event like a 37-person White-Elephant Gift Exchange, an introvert’s energy levels can drain quickly. You’d be surprised how much a quick moment alone with someone who loves them can help fill that energy back up. My husband sometimes steals me away for a quick stroll around the block, and those little snippets of time are some of my favorite memories now. Plus, these moments made the party more enjoyable when we returned to it.
I’m grateful to my husband for using some of these ideas to help me be more comfortable in large groups of people. It’s a lovely thing when the two of you can work together to enjoy your Christmas season by caring for one another intentionally.
Merry Christmas to all, Extroverts and Introverts alike!