Embrace Being an Introvert – 5 Ways to Let Go of Guilt That Does Not Serve You

If you are an introvert that puts others before yourself, then feeling guilty is an everyday struggle. Prioritizing yourself is no easy task. 

No one wants to let others down, especially friends, family, or coworkers. Guilt can be overwhelming & push you to go to a networking event or end up at a bar on a Wednesday. You wish you genuinely wanted to be there. But really, you’re just there to avoid feeling like a bad friend/family member/coworker.

Before you start becoming a hermit, first focus on these 5 ways to conquer the guilt of choosing solitude over socializing. These are great first steps to find the ways you’re allowing guilt to drive your decisions.

 

1. Ask yourself, “How would I feel if my friends chose to stay home instead of hanging out?”

Easy answer, right? You can probably think of a million reasons why they’d want to stay home. You wouldn’t be hard on them, so why are you so hard on yourself?

Sometimes it’s difficult to give yourself the benefit of the doubt you so often give to others. If they know you, they should understand & respect that you have your own reasons.

 

2. Brainstorm what truly makes you happy

My favorite way to do this is by using the MindNode app. If you don’t have an iPad, you can easily mind map on a piece of paper or a whiteboard. It can be anything from a low-key hangout to scrolling through Pinterest for hours.

If you know you’re spending time doing what makes you happy, then it’s hard to feel like you’re making the wrong decision.

Maybe you just don’t like bars cause it’s too loud to catch up with friends. If you’d rather meet up at a new restaurant, that’s perfectly valid. Find those activities that give you long-term value & fulfillment from multiple sources (your friends, family, coworkers, classmates, and especially from within).

Make sure your weeks are filled with a good variety & balance of these activities, so you don’t feel guilty for choosing yourself every now and then.

 

Sometimes it's difficult to give yourself the benefit of the doubt you so often give to others.

 

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3. Plan something adventurous once a week

Follow through with those plans & reflect on how you felt.

Did you feel like you were forcing it? Or did you genuinely have fun & just needed a little push out of your comfort zone?

Although I enjoy solitude, there are times I’ve pushed myself to go out & ended up saying, “Man, I’m glad I went to this (party, conference, get together, networking event, etc.).”

Reflecting on the benefits of social activities can drive you to go out when you normally wouldn’t. This leads to healthy decision-making. You no longer just do it because you’re afraid of losing people. You do it because you want to.

 

4. Find a community online that shares your love for at-home activities

Whether it be planning, DIY projects, or cooking up a storm–find people that help you dive into what you love. Doing this will also prove you are not alone as an introvert.

I used to feel like there was something wrong with me because I truly enjoyed a quiet apartment while my friends were always out, posting on social media about how much fun they were having. It’s easy to feel this way when you get lost in the comparison game.

But remember, there’s a whole lot more to the internet than scrolling through beautiful pictures of your friends on vacation.

The internet can connect you with people that truly get you. You can find studygrams, YouTube videos of people living the #hermitlife (shout out to Rowena Tsai), and blogs that focus on highly specific interests like vegan & gluten-free cooking. Community and a sense of belonging are strong and essential parts of being human, so find others that share your passion–whatever it may be!

 

Community and a sense of belonging are strong and essential parts of being human.

 

5. Understand the difference between guilt and shame

Dig deep into your feelings of guilt. Is this guilt helping you? Or is it connected to your self-worth?

This is the hardest but most integral part of overcoming guilt that does not serve you. When feelings are connected to your self-worth, it might actually be shame instead of guilt.

Maybe in the past, someone said you’re selfish when you prioritized yourself. Maybe you were labeled weird for choosing to stay home instead of going clubbing. These are instances where others have shamed you for being yourself.

Don’t let others’ opinions act as a measuring stick for your self-worth. You’ll only end up making others happy at your expense.

My favorite resource on the subject of guilt vs shame is everything from Brene BrownBrene Brown is a beautiful person who has written tons of books and held TED Talks about guilt vs shame.

I recommend her audiobooks because they’re narrated by her. I listen to them while I’m doing chores around the house. It literally feels like I’m meditating.

My favorite so far is Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Her books have been truly transformational–you’ll want to recommend them to everyone you know!

 

Don’t let others’ opinions act as a measuring stick for your self-worth.

 

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Do your classmates or coworkers say you're too quiet or antisocial? Have you felt guilty for choosing to stay home instead of going out with your friends or attending that networking event? This guide introduces you to steps you can take to find what truly makes you happy--even if you choose a Netflix binge over a party! #guilt #introvert #homebody

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6 Comments

  1. February 26, 2018 / 5:18 am

    Great list! I especially love how you emphasize reflection, and being able to consciously identify what things make you HAPPY. I’m still going through the stage of accepting I don’t like certain things others do – like wild parties, etc lmao – but it helps to be real with myself and know that I would feel uncomfortable if I went to a wild club ha!

    • steadyblooming
      February 27, 2018 / 1:36 am

      Thanks so much!!

      It really is a process to find what makes you happy when everyone else is telling you what should make you happy. That’s awesome you’re finding your own path! Who needs a wild club when there’s so much more out there, right?!

  2. April 3, 2018 / 10:04 pm

    Hi alexis, I am an ambivert but I am glad you are creating content to inspire and encourage introverts like you! I can’t tell you to totally come out of the shell but i just hope you live happily as you are without being pressured by others to be what you are not. Best of luck in your blog!

    • April 6, 2018 / 5:19 pm

      Thanks Czar! My boyfriend is an ambivert, too. He helps me go out every now and then lol thanks so much for the well wishes! 🙂 best of luck to you, too!!

  3. April 19, 2018 / 8:07 pm

    Your blog just gave me a total insight! Today I have been struggling with NOT going to PR events that I know could really boost my career. I could not quite place the guilt I feel for not taking advantage of these amazing opportunities — but it is totally FOMO! FOMO of the career advantages I would be getting if only I would push myself to go lol. Thanks for helping me recognize a goal for myself of cultivating more self-acceptance.

    • steadyblooming
      April 19, 2018 / 8:21 pm

      omg thank you so much for reaching out <3 this made my day!! It really is hard to place a finger on it & I'm so glad I can be of help :''') it's great to recognize where the guilt comes from cause now you can strategically make a networking schedule that fits YOUR needs 🙂 you just have to trust that the effort you put into the networking events you do go to is just the right amount!

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