[VIDEO] Supporting Introverts Through Crunch Time

Experimenting with new forms this week: check out my video on how to support introverts during crunch time- and happy April!

Wanna skip the video? No worries, full text is below:

Hey everyone! Amma here, and today I want to talk about crunch time.

As I come to you, the calendar is approaching April. For lots of people in my circles, that can be a stressful time- the school year is coming to a close, tax season is in full swing, summer is drawing near. And while we may all have our own reasons for struggling a bit through this time of year, it may be weighing more heavily on the introverts in your life. So today, I want to share some insight on how to best help them navigate this time.

Introversion isn’t localized to how an individual reacts to people. It applies to most stimuli- and that can include pressure, deadlines, and atmosphere. If you or someone in your life is headed for a time like this, I have a few tips for you.

First, help the people around you create a thorough and comprehensive view of the landscape they’re about to take part in. What deadlines are on the horizon? What events will need to be attended, meetings will have to take place? Accept and accommodate the need for information and details that often accompanies introversion. And if you’re the introvert in the scenario, manage your potential for anxiety and overwhelm by asking for clarification where you can. The method is up to you – in person, in writing, or in one on one meetings – but make sure you make known your need for the information that could put you (more) at ease.

Next, be forgiving of any cocooning that might take place once the schedule is set. Whether that time is spent completing the tasks at hand, or because someone just needs a break to recharge after a long day, don’t take that need personally. Most of the time, it isn’t. Particularly if a day will run long with drinks after work, an award ceremony later in the day, or a networking event that follows a conference, these may be options that an introvert declines to participate in fully or at all. That needs to be okay- both in word, and in deed. That means you can’t penalize someone for not attending an optional event. And introverts: this can be uncomfortable to voice. Do it anyway. You know what you need, and you know what the time away will give you from an energy perspective. Don’t feel bad about honoring that!

This might seem like a small one, but pay attention to the environment in which people are working. Are they cold? Brightly lit? Is storing food and staying hydrated easy? I say this as a means to reinforce the idea of multiple points of stimulation. We’re all a little worse off when the temperature isn’t working for us, if we’re hungry, or if we’re dehydrated. But introverts tend to feel these swings more deeply, and it affects their ability to function. Make it easy to have a comfortable experience while attacking the goals of the day- because let’s face it: we’re all happier when we have snacks.

And finally, remember that crunch time will pass. Whether it’s a busy season of a week or a month, having an eye on the light at the end of the tunnel can help all of us- introvert, extrovert, and everyone in between get through it. Of course, there are times where crunch time becomes the “norm”- that’s a situation for another time. But if your busyness is part of a season, keep reminding yourself and those around you that it’s precisely that- a season.

Sending you best wishes as you navigate your crunch time, and don’t hesitate to reach out if I can offer you any help as you get through it all!