An Introvert’s Guide to Getting Over A Breakup
How to deal with a breakup is one thing; and how to deal with a breakup as an introvert is another.
I feel so inspired to share this article as a self-proclaimed introvert (possibly omnivert who has gone from extrovert to introvert throughout her life) and breakup coach. The more we come to learn about ourselves and our needs, the more we move through the world in a satisfying way (even in the realm of breakups). In addition, it can help when you’re trying to explain to your friends what you’re needing in this deeply emotional time as you’ve always got that one friend who wants to invite you to the club and “get your mind off things” as the best remedy for heartbreak.
You might be reading this thinking that you’re not really sure what you identify as. That’s totally okay. We all experience the world a little differently, but you can take an online test or two for more clarity. In my experience, I learn new things about myself, and tend to focus on what resonates with me most to help guide me. Don’t be afraid to focus on what you understand to be true for you, and discard the rest. (PS. if you are curious about how extroverts do relationships—stay tuned. That article will be up and running soon.)
At a glance, introverts (generally) display these qualities (and by no means is this list exhaustive). They:
prefer to duck out early from a party (and even take their own car just to make this happen)
feeling like an outsider in a crowd of people
need a lot of alone time to recharge
sometimes find relief when people cancel plans last minute
prefer deep meaningful conversation over small talk with strangers
prefer to be surrounded by a close group of friends than meet new people at a party
are aware of their inner monologue
have a deep inner world and do a lot of reflection and introspection
often hear that they have a lot of wisdom and are an “old soul”
great listeners, and people gravitate towards them to talk
hear people often telling them to be “more open” and to get out of their comfort zone (which is frustrating!)
are creative in a few different ways
Which of these resonate most with you? Be sure to comment below.
With this in mind, I have created a list of activities for you to do to help you deal with your breakup in a way that really makes sense to you. After all, I know your friends are giving you a lot of advice like “you need to leave the house and be with people” but you’re not exactly intrigued. Again, our friends are loving and well-intentioned, but they might not exactly be aware of their extroversion—or your introversion.
Plan a small, casual gathering at your home. Instead of feeling the need to commit to a full night out (as much as your friends are trying to get you to do), you can plan a movie night with close friends at your place. That way, you don’t carry the burden of transportation, feeling the pressure to stay out, and meeting a bunch of new people. You get your fix to bond with your friends and can boot them out when you feel the need to recharge.
Cook a meal/bake solo as a Saturday-night event. For me, as an introvert, cooking by myself is really therapeutic; when I was going through my breakup, I enjoyed walking to the grocery store as a nice walk, picking out new ingredients, and then going home and making a night of it. I felt recharged and at peace. I highly recommend this activity. Plus, you get to enjoy your food the next day, too.
Take a solo trip to one of these introvert-specific locations. As crowds can be overwhelming for introverts, it’s best that you choose a location that has lots of privacy with quiet beaches and cafes. The added benefit is that introverts prefer to make time to introspect—and a beautiful scenery could do just that!
Go for coffee (which is a short commitment). As introverts prefer a short time to socialize/have stimulation, a coffee date with a close friend or mentor is a great way to socialize without becoming too overwhelming. Plus, social support plays a huge role in recovering from a tough breakup, so staying connecting is important in this time.
Make time to journal/write. Given that introverts are highly introspective and creative, making time to release some of that breakup energy into a meaningful outlet can be so therapeutic. If journaling isn’t your jam, then consider picking up an instrument, or an artsy project. Whatever you choose, your creative juices are waiting for you to express yourself!
Attend a meditation class. While the introvert can feel nervous going into a crowd, it can be helpful to go into a group of people who also don’t know each other. This can be a recharging activity despite the crowd aspect. In addition, being able to unthink in a group of people looking for healing is a terrific way to get in touch with yourself.
Plan Skype/Facetime sessions with friends/family. If you’re not feeling up to meeting in person, a great way to connect without the pressure of too much socializing is to do it online! Thank goodness for technology, we are able to connect with our loved ones in a way that still makes us feel comfortable in our own home (and PJs!)
Read about your breakup. Introverts love to read (at least I do) and being able to reflect and be at home with a good book is very satisfying. I recommend the book Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love (my short Youtube review here) for those who struggle with mixed signals, anxiousness in their relationships, and feeling like there’s something “wrong” with the way they do relationships). Introverts need a lot of time to process and be in their inner world, so reading is a meaningful solo activity.
Hire a Breakup Coach. For introverts, it can be hard to get your friends to understand your needs during a breakup, so having someone to talk to during this time is a great way to get further insight into your experience.
Quick tips for getting through your breakup as an introvert
Let your friends know you process your breakup in more of an introverted way (more at-home activities, short-duration socializing etc). You might learn that your friends haven’t quite figured out if you’re introverted or extroverted, so they default to what they think will be best during your breakup
If your friends say you “overthink” things too much, then know it’s just your way of processing the breakup as an introvert. They might not realize that there are different ways introverts and extroverts work through breakups
Staying in and reading, writing, and watching movies are all productive ways to work through your breakup, and are healthy. Just because you’re not “getting out there” (according to your family) doesn’t mean you’re not healing; it just means you process things differently than they do
These are just a few guidelines and suggestions to help you experience your breakup in a healthy way as an introvert. If you’re looking for more guidance on your breakup, and want to work together 1-on-1, book a free consult with me. If you found this article helpful, comment below and let me know how it’s helped you!