Welcome to Episode 134 of the Sheep Dressed Like Wolves Podcast. In this episode we consider ways to approach the inevitable social hangovers that we all experience as introverts and highly sensitive people.
I share a number of Don’ts that I have learned over the years from times like these.
When I first watched her brilliant TED talk from 2010, I was really grabbed by Brené Brown’s concept of a vulnerability hangover. Her research is based around this notion that “vulnerability is good for us, it’s “our most accurate measure of courage’. In a world where exposing your fears and uncertainties and taking emotional risks is considered weakness.
But Brené’s research reveals that that very point WHEN we do expose ourselves, at work or in relationships that ‘we have experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives’.
But this can come at a price: the vulnerability hangover.
When you make those steps into doing something that is emotionally risky or uncertain then it’s pretty likely you will wake up thinking something like: ‘Oh my God! Why did I share that? What was I thinking?’ She even says, in fact, “if you don’t feel any vulnerability hangover, then maybe you didn’t go far enough”.
Hangover = Message
A hangover is communication. Like pain. It’s telling us something about something deeper going on beneath the surface. An over-stimulant of some kind that is extra-ordinary to the every day functioning of the mind and body.
When I heard Brené Brown talk about a vulnerability hangover I drew a parallel to the effects of socialising or over-arousal on introverts and highly sensitive people. We may well suffer this kind of reaction and and not realise why. Perhaps we just think it’s us being us. We’re tired, we’re weak, we’re an insomniac, depressed, anxious, irritable, sad or whatever.
But as Newton’s 3rd law says: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Things catch up with you. For introverted beings it is natural that there is a reaction that takes place when we act in the opposite way to where we regain energy.
In this episode I look at 7 mistakes that I’ve made in responding unknowingly to social hangovers:
1. Don’t Make Big Decisions
2. Don’t ‘Plough On Regardless’
3. Don’t Be Hard On Yourself
4. Don’t Quit
5. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
6. Don’t Leave Your Comfort Zone for a While
7. Don’t All the Hangover to Define the Memory
If we don’t accept and understanding our own processes we may find ourselves sabotaging our own dreams and our own happiness. We will opt for the easy way that perpetually numbs us rather than the more difficult path that brings both a deep, intrinsic joy along side the temporary, fleeting pain.
Over to You
What symptoms do you experience most when suffering from a social hangover? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.