Guys, I've held my first EVER workshop. That's right, a few weeks ago, standing up in front of a group of people, all eyes on me, trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about and imparting some (hopefully) useful knowledge! For a certified introvert, like myself, it's kind of a big deal.
Let me preface this by reminding you that an introvert isn't always someone who is just shy. It simply means that you respond differently to groups of people and what you find relaxing and/or energy-giving.
Think of it as introverts getting their energy (replenishing, calming, thriving) from doing things alone; having some me-time. So, things like reading, having a luxurious bath, even painting their nails can all give an introvert the energy they require to get up and carry on with the next task. Its how they refresh their batteries. Big groups of people, or new people, can be over-stimulating for introverts. But it doesn't mean they don't enjoy socialising!
Extroverts on the other hand, find spending time with groups of people, new people and/or being centre stage all gives them the energy they require; they can keep going and going with people all around them to socialise with! Being alone is often too boring for them and they thrive on socialising and meeting new people. Extroverts get their energy from others and being around others.
Actually, when I stood up in front of that group of people to talk to them, I wasn't that nervous at all. I think because I felt prepared and knew what I was talking about, the order in which I was going to talk about them and was confident that I could satisfyingly answer any questions thrown at me (it's all about knowing your subject matter!), the nervous energy I was expecting didn't really materialise.
That being said, there are always some physical responses from doing something like this for an introvert, whether its a workshop, a networking event or just generally being 'on the go' for a lengthy period of time.
The first thing I've noticed in situations like these, is that it really wears me out! My whole body just feels drained and, after the buzz of having a successful workshop or meeting new connections has died down, all I want to do is sleep.
Another side-effect that kind of ties in with feeling drained is that I get really hungry. It's obvious that I would use more energy when socialising and, that having made me tired, my body now feels the need to re-fuel so craves food more than I normally would.
It's also not unheard of that I would get a headache at some point after all this socialising.
Now, I've come across a really interesting theory; the Introvert Hangover. It's basically all of the effects an introvert experiences after a bout of socialising. Some people experience symptoms like nausea, anxiety, decreased brain function (being unable to string a sentence together, for example) and can feel pretty horrible after things like a big party full of people they've not met before. Introverts are more sensitive to noise and other stimuli.
Science-wise, this has a lot to do with neurotransmitters and the 'feel-good chemicals in our brains. Introverts are literally just wired differently. Some scientists think that introverts have a low dopamine threshold, so we don't need as much to feel good; getting too much stimulation means too much dopamine and then we need to go and lie down! Extroverts, conversely, have a higher threshold, so they're able to party for much longer to keep topping that dopamine up!
Some scientists, however, think that extroverts have a more active dopamine system, meaning they get boosts of it when socialising, which helps them overcome the tiredness everyone feels in such situations and feel much less fatigued.
Read more about the science behind the Introvert Hangover here.
I'd love to know what you guys think! Have you ever felt post-socialising symptoms after a party or event? Are big groups of new people your happy place? Or are you more of a blanket and a good book kind of person?
Check out some highlights from my workshop on my Instagram!