It’s summer and the sun is actually finally here! In the UK, the summer months mean weddings, they mean hen and stag dos, parties, pub gardens, days out to the seaside, sitting in the garden with a few glasses of wine, etc.
It’s gorgeous. It’s glorious. We wait all year for it.
It is also, for many of us, A LOT.
While these days can be so great, this level of socialising and social expectation can be really overwhelming and actually lead to ‘social burnout’.
According to Psych Central, “social burnout happens when you’ve socialised to the point that you can’t do it anymore. Social exhaustion can also be called introvert burnout or introvert hangover. Although it’s not a medical diagnosis, it is a valid experience that introverts and extroverts can face.”
So, if you’re feeling like you can’t possibly deal with another social obligation at the moment or are ignoring the group chat while they try to make plans, know that you’re not alone in your overwhelm and social burnout is very much a real thing.
The signs of social burnout
You’ll likely know when you’re experiencing social burnout but some of the most common signs of it, according to Science of People, include:
- Dreading going out, resisting the urge to do so and preferring staying in the comfort of your own home
- Constantly thinking about going home, even at a party
- Feeling stressed while interacting with people and not feeling recharged from social interactions
- Constantly having ‘what if?’ thoughts about all of your potential social interactions
Science of People recommends that if you’re experiencing this, it may be worth thinking about which social interactions fill you up, which ones drain you, where you feel good and where drains you. Ultimately, some people require more of our social battery than we have to give and some places like certain pubs or restaurants require a lot more social stamina to deal with the noise and constant interactions.
As well as bringing an outgoing friend as a buffer, Science of People recommends that you try to remember your ‘why’ for socialising. Are you trying to meet somebody? Make new friends? Build deeper relationships? Sometimes that ‘why’ alone can get you through the slog of social burnout.
People with deep, meaningful relationships tend to be happier
A Harvard University study that followed students over the course of 80 years found that the happiest students had deep, meaningful relationships so when we have social burnout, it’s not necessarily because people are exhausting to be around but instead because we haven’t centred our own peace.
Limiting your social interactions to being with people who make you feel good, that don’t tire you out, could be a helpful way to push through the fatigue you’re feeling or simply remembering the ‘why’ for the social interactions can keep you level.
Either way, don’t be too hard on yourself - you’re tired enough!