An Introvert's Happy Thanksgiving

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As an introvert poet, I express all my anxieties through the written word, so on one of the most anxiety-ridden days of the year, I wrote a poem for everyone who just want to let go of all the emotional baggage and have a day filled with peace and gratitude. For everyone who is anxious about the holiday, especially my fellow introverts, this poem is for you, as well as some survival tips.




Thanksgiving

No guilt

No regrets

No loneliness

No doubt

No envy 

No fear

No politics

No religious divide

No expectations

No judgment

Just gratitude

for being 

a part of

the universe.

Remember that you already possess everything that you need to have a joyful Thanksgiving Day. Love. Peace. Patience. Gratitude. The only thing that is really required of you is to bless your loved ones with these gifts on Thanksgiving Day.

We love people and we are grateful to be invited to gatherings, however, we run out of steam so much faster than extroverts, and large crowds can be overwhelming. Introverts are energized by internal forces; yes, we can be very social but we also need time for quiet thought and reflection and the peaceful flow of energy, so that we can recharge our batteries.

For everyone who has to survive many hours of small talk during the holidays without giving the appearance of being anti-social, here are a few tricks to make you seem like the really cool person that you are.

  • Arrive early and make that connection with the host before everyone arrives.  

  • Offer to assist (wash dishes, play with the pets, entertain the kids, hang up coats) because when you are busy doing, you are not busy making small talk.

  • Identify a few friends or family members that you would love to have a longer conversation with.

  • Greet guests! Yes, I know that this is surprising but if you meet guests at the door and welcome them in, you have already exchanged pleasantries and don’t have to feel guilty about not chatting with someone later at the dinner when your energy is depleted.

  • You need a prop - drink in one hand, small plate of food in the other.  Everyone understands the need to exit a conversation to refill a drink or get another piece of sweet potato pie. 

  • Be prepared to smile and nod, often.

  • Find that other introvert in the room.  I wish that we had a special nod or handshake but we can be easily found lurking around the buffet, on the outskirts of a conversation, getting to know the pets or with beads of sweat on our forehead because we are afraid that someone will ask us to make a speech, pray over the food or introduce ourselves to everyone at the table. 

  • Take mini breaks to recharge.  I am sure that you already know where to find the bathroom, after all you are an introvert, it is where we go to recharge our batteries when escape is not possible.

Have a great time!  It is Thanksgiving Day and you have so much to give thanks for, including being loved enough to be welcomed with open arms to a gathering of friends and family.  Count your blessings because not everyone is so fortunate. 

Don’t wait until you are completely depleted to say goodbye.  Give yourself 30 minutes to exit because sometimes the goodbyes can be long.  Hug, wave, blow kisses and express sincere gratitude.  Mention that you have a project that you are working on (calculating how much sleep you will need to recover) but so thankful for the opportunity to fellowship with everyone. If you are not guilt-ridden about leaving early like most of us, just say that you are completely wiped out and that you look forward to seeing everyone next year.

Happy Thanksgiving, my soulmates!