Hi, I’m Deb. I’m an Introvert Houseguest.
Can I be honest about something? Shh, don’t tell anyone. I don’t like being a houseguest. It doesn’t matter if I’m staying with close family or my very best friends. It doesn’t even matter if a talking candlestick choreographs a song and dance over dinner. I love them all, and truly treasure our time together, but I’m also thinking of reasons to sneak away for a few minutes by the second day. I’m your typical introvert houseguest.
Introverts like myself need and crave privacy. We’re drained from being around people for long periods of time. So staying in someone else’s home, with no real privacy or alone time, is a struuuuugle.
But it can’t be avoided, can it? Because almost no one has the luxury of having every single family member and friend live near them. And even if you spring for a hotel, which gets pricey fast, you’re still spending entire days in someone else’s company.
So if we have to occasionally be that introvert houseguest, what can we do to make our visit feel more manageable?
Crucial Secrets For the Introvert Houseguest
- First, avoid being a houseguest whenever possible. Every introvert knows that having their own space to wake up each morning, wind down each evening, and retreat to periodically, is the best possible plan. If you can’t swing the entire trip in a hotel, try spending a small portion of your trip in a hotel. My mom often spends half of her visit staying at my brother’s house, and the other half at a budget motel.
- Maintain your own routine as much as possible. What parts of your daily routine make you feel grounded and at peace? I like to start every morning waking up before my family to read my Bible and pray in our living room. It’s dead silent, with the blinds cracked just enough for reading light, and just…peaceful. It sets the tone for my entire day. I’ve replicated this routine while visiting others by either waking up before my hosts and using their living room…or waking up early to read from my Bible app as I lay in bed…or taking a walk around their neighborhood to listen to the Bible and pray. It might not be exact, but a version of a peaceful routine is better than no routine at all.
- Remember that you don’t have to spend every waking hour with your hosts. I grew up spending vacations on the clock. My mom had a plan for every minute we were awake, from early breakfasts to late-night card games, wanting to make the most of our vacation. So imagine my confusion when we visited my husband’s family and no one announced a time to be ready to roll the next morning. At first, I set an alarm anyway. I was showered and dressed before anyone else was awake and then…sat…waiting for our day to begin. But I quickly recognized the value in taking advantage of unscheduled time. Do your hosts have any early morning plans? No? Then enjoy a little quiet time to yourself before leaving your room. Do they expect you to stay up late? No? Then call it an early night and enjoy an hour to yourself before hitting the sack.
- Don’t be afraid to make your own short plans away from your hosts. Now this could be a little tricky depending on your hosts’ feelings. Some of my family members don’t mind this at all, while others would take personal offense. We’ve been known to step away from family plans a little early to allow our toddler to nap for a few hours. We’ve stepped out for a quick coffee when my husband wasn’t feeling well and needed a break from the chaos of seven small cousins yelling together in one house. I’ve stepped away for a walk or jog, asserting I’d like to stay on track with my fitness routine. Most hosts would have no problem with your spending a few hours away, as long as you’re spending the majority of your trip with them.
- If you can’t spend a few hours away, take a few minutes. What? We ran out of shredded cheese?! Guess who’s the first to volunteer to run to the store? I’ve run back to the house to grab my child’s sippy cup, picked up groceries as we’ve run out, and offered to make coffee runs. Look for small opportunities to step away by yourself, and soak in every minute of solitude that you can.
- And finally, remember that it’s perfectly okay if you’re not involved in all. the. things. Because of my on-the-clock vacation upbringing, I tend to feel obligated to constantly be conversing, helping, doing something. I was in the middle of a do-all-the-things whirlwind on a family trip when I stopped what I was doing and actually looked around me. Sure, one or two family members were doing something together, but do you know what? Every other person was zoned out, either in front of their phone or the tv. They weren’t talking to each other, making lasting family vacation memories. So why was I stressing out, looking for things to do? It’s totally okay to zone out once in a while, especially when you’re staying with someone for several days. Offer to pick up a Redbox and let everyone, including yourself, check out for a few hours.
Wrap It Up
You can totally survive as an introvert houseguest! Book hotels when possible, maintain your own routines, and remember that you don’t have to spend every waking hour with your hosts. Make your own short plans away, look for small errands to run on your own, and don’t feel bad about zoning out once in a while.
Make the most of your time with family and friends, and rest in the fact that this is only an occasional event. In a few short days, you’ll be back in your own home. Ahhhhh! You’ve got this, introverts!
P.S. Want to create a peaceful morning routine, to center and improve your entire day? Download a free printable of a fantastic morning routine here!
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