Olivia Marlene was born as an introvert. She's a lawyer but she argues with grace. She finds life in silence and solitude.
Avoid Energy-Draining Events
Crowds buzzing like busy bees sap my energy. Silence is golden. Solitude is heaven. I'm willing to pay a little premium to to avoid my social anxiety. However, over the years, I discovered that I won't have to pay a little more. I have developed some introvert hacks to stay in my own comfort zone.
If you are like me, let me share with you some introvert ways that I observe for years. With the minimized energy-sapping crowd, you can have your moment. You can enjoy the things that you are supposed to enjoy.
Here my introvert hacks to avoid crowds:
1. Say No to Birthday Parties
We celebrate our birthdays, but we don't do the loud music, glittering decors, and funny clowns. Parties require at least 3 weeks of preparation which will give you a 3-hour party, and leave you with 3-days worth of cleaning.
I'm not against parties. I know how to have fun. It's just that, as an introvert, entertaining and conversations are not for me. I let my kids experience children's parties mostly with family and close friends until age 4 but it stops by the time they turn 5.
So what are great ways we do in lieu of parties? We travel. We go to places near or far. We set our foot to cities that were ones on our wish list, we visit churches and museums.
With these, no more mom post-birthday party cleaning stress. No more small talk to guests some of whom you don’t even like [be honest].
It's easy to reminisce birthdays associated with places. The kids can easily enumerate where they were during their birthdays. It can be in a serene beach that we had to ourselves because we booked during an off-peak season. It can also be in the happiest place on earth - Disneyland. Then in the historical Angkor Wat. Who would forget those?
Travels brings you to new places and enables you meet and establish connections to new people who have the same level of energy like you. Travels leave unforgettable traces in the mind and heart. Birthday parties or travel? What to chose? It depends. Again, it's just me, because I'm not an extrovert who loves entertaining.
[This year, we had to pause our travels though. We had celebrated one birthday and the lockdowns ensued. Hoping to resume this family tradition in the coming years.]
2. Travel When Others Usually Stay at Home
We hit the road early on Christmas or New Year’s Day when others are usually at home with their family. Go out early to take advantage of the time while others recoup sleep from their past midnight celebration. With this, you have the peaceful long winding road to yourself.
3. Do Christmas shopping after the Holidays
This is a known money-saving hack but I use it as an introvert hack. Shop on days near Christmas day and you can gather more stress before getting the gifts you want to give.
People flock to malls as if they've just opened yesterday and everyone's curious. Your phone's battery started blinking red while you wait for your turn in the dressing room queue. And finally, your phone's dead and you are still lining up the cashier to pay for the colorful knick-knacks on your cart. How could your husband whose shopping on the other side call you?
My hack? I'll go after Christmas when everyone's done with their shopping. I shop on 1st of January. Hit the malls when everyone is sleeping because they joined the New Year countdown. I shop when feel like the shopping districts been prepared for the savers and the introverts.
The mall is peaceful. You can see your reflection on their tiled floor while you stride to the empty dressing room. You can fit all you want without worrying that there is a queue behind you. Mull over your gifts. Compare. Choose the best quality with the least price. Head over to the gift wrapping section and have all the staff's attention.
Result: Your family and friends will be delighted to receive a nice gift when they are not expecting anymore.
4. When You Have Important Transactions with Government Offices, Do it a Day Before Christmas or Any Special Holiday
If you have non-urgent personal transactions with government offices, let it wait and visit their office a day before any holiday. You will have less competition for attention because people are usually busy shopping for Christmas or preparing for their holiday vacations. Very few would take that it's a good idea to renew their passports or get certified copies of land titles when the time actually calls for shopping.
You will then finish your transactions in half the time and you will be dealing with cheerful frontline employees who are imbued with holiday cheer.
5. Don’t Dine Out on Special Occasions
Special occasions have been highly commercialized that large crowds [including me before] have to hitch the bandwagon. We endure the traffic, the restaurant wait, and the contest for the waiters' attention.
Pre-Covid, we squeeze ourselves in the crowd and we endeavor to hear what our companions say in a space full of noise from fellow diners. And it makes me crazy so dining out on special occasions became a no-no to me.
The hack? Eat out a day after the occasion. You will have a peaceful place. Remember that any day can be Christmas or Valentines day. What's important is you enjoy the day which is any day with the people you want to be with.
There you go folks, my life hacks. They may be boring but I find life in them.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Olivia Marlene