1. When you have not had enough alone time and are starting to feel like you are about to lose your mind. You’re like, can I just go to a Starbucks alone and sit there in silence and have nobody ask me about what I’m doing with my life for just ten damn minutes please?
2. When you’re at a restaurant with what feels like a hundred relatives and the volume is too loud and there are too many conversations happening at once and you just want to retreat into a corner, throw some earbuds in, and listen to your most calming, relaxing music (Enya?) so you can find some semblance of peace… if only for one freaking second of your life!
3. When nobody in your family knows anything about personal boundaries and how do you tell your mom who’s been waiting months for you to come home that you need space… even though you’ve only been home for like half a day?
4. When you finally get into your childhood room and you retreat into yourself and just read a book for a while until your heart stops beating from all the interactions you just had to endure.
5. When you’ve updated every single relative and family member about your job (not awesome!), your relationship (or lack of one, thanks for reminding me!), the city you live in (expensive af!), your future plans (none!), what you want to do with your life (no fucking clue!) and you. are. exhausted.
6. When you text your best friend who is also an introvert and you’re like, “ARE YOU OKAY?!” And they’re like, “NO I AM NOT. HELP ME. SAVE ME.” And you’re all, same.
7. When you wake up in the morning and all you want is cereal, but cereal involves talking with people, so you peep into the kitchen to see if the coast is clear, fix yourself a bowl, and quickly run back to your room because you need to savor the morning calm for a few more minutes. Can’t you just eat your cereal in peace? YES. YES YOU CAN.
8. When your most extroverted sibling starts talking about his/her life and you’re all, oh my god, how do they live this way? How do they do this? How are they like this? How are they related to me? WHAT IS HAPPENING.
9. When your parents home has nowhere to hide and you spend all of your waking hours having conversations and, while it’s amazing to be home, you feel like you need a month-long retreat to a cabin after this visit. You are seriously jonesing for the moment when you can not speak to anyone for a week minimum.
10. When your reclusivity actually makes your mom concerned for your well-being and you’re like, And she’s like, but I’m worried about you! And then you start to cry because whenever your mom says she’s worried about you, of course, here come the damn waterworks.
11. When you actually do bring a significant other home with you and, because you’re so sensitive to everyone’s energy, you are completely overloaded by how your significant other is faring, if your family likes them, what they think, what your family thinks, and it’s just… a minefield of emotion. (Like your life is, tbh.)
12. When you go to an extended family function and get caught talking to someone’s random friend that was brought along and they’re going on and on about something that is not interesting at all and you have no idea how to extricate yourself from the conversation, so you just sort of slink away and pretend to have a phone call and hope they realize nobody your age actually talks on the phone anymore.
13. When you know the only thing that’s going to get you through this holiday season is wine and you are out of wine and you don’t have a car and NOTHING IS OKAY.
14. When you play mediator in your family because you’re the most sensitive, sensible, thoughtful one. Of course, you wouldn’t be born into a family of introverts like yourself. Nooooope, just your luck, everyone you’re related to is an extrovert, because of course, right?
15. When you leave after the holidays and get to your apartment and you’re finally experiencing a moment of silence and, while part of you is so excited to be alone and back to your thoughts, there’s also a part of you that misses your family so bad, too. Then, you realize you can’t win, ever. When you were back home, you wanted space. Now that you have space, you want to be back home. Figures! Ugh.