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How to set boundaries for introverts and highly sensitive people

Did you know almost half of all people are introverts? That’s why it’s strange the world seems so much better suited to extroverts.

What’s more surprising is that parties really only appeal to about 10% of the population.

Might this have something to do with the central importance of alcohol at these events?

Parties are so uncomfortable for most people they use alcohol as a bridge to connect with other attendees.

But, it’s a false bridge not based on connection at all. The type of socializing we endure at parties actually separates us from one another.

Nobody feels closer to anyone else based on knowing what they do for a living. Or the makeup of their family unit, or successes in life.

We connect based on our foibles and dark sides. We feel closer to people when we reveal vulnerable aspects of our characters. When we share our hopes, fears, and failures. Click To Tweet

We connect based on our foibles and dark sides. We feel closer to people when we reveal vulnerable aspects of our characters. When we share our hopes, fears, and failures.

Introverts know this instinctively and have a more difficult time wearing a social mask. We find it absolutely exhausting.

That’s why the #1 boundary for introverts is avoiding parties as much as possible.

Here are 4 boundaries for introverts and highly sensitive people.

1. Don’t feel obligated to attend parties.

The small talk that dominates most parties can feel intolerable to highly sensitive people and most introverts.

The auditory overwhelm and lack of sincere connection are a toxic combination for these people.

If you must attend, be it a graduation ceremony or wedding reception, limit your time there.

Make sure you have your own way home so you can leave when you’re ready without imposing on anyone else.

2. Honor your need for alone time.

Organize your life so you have plenty of time to yourself. This may dictate the type of job you do.

Bake plenty of white space into your calendar. Pencil in your alone time if you need to.

Don’t feel the need to say yes to things simply because there’s space in your schedule.

Don't feel the need to say yes to things simply because there's space in your schedule. Click To Tweet

Be slow to respond to requests for your time. A simple, “Let me get back to you on that,” gives you space to evaluate whether this is good for you.

3. Express your needs clearly.

Rather than going along with what other people want, think of what you want. Understand your likes and dislikes and express them.

Knowing your needs and fulfilling them helps you hone your gifts. So, if someone asks you to do something misaligned with your talents, you can explain you’re better suited to some other task.

Let the extroverts host the PTA meetings, or lead the fundraising drive. You’re giving someone else the opportunity to use their gifts in a more visible role.

4. Question your conditioning.

Have you been punished for speaking up for your needs? Perhaps you feel guilty when you stand up for what you want.

Push past these valid obstacles and know that setting boundaries is an act of courage.

You will come up against opposition. That’s how you build your boundary setting muscles.

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