How To Be Social Without Getting Drained, From A Psychologist


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Perpetua Neo, DClinPsy

Everyday when I wake up, I unplug my iPhone and see that its battery capacity is 100%. But over time, the capacity for it to hold that charge diminishes. We are the same way— but on some days, we don’t wake up at 100% but rather at 60% or 40%, because life happens— a crisis, a busy season, waiting for a health diagnosis, anything. Or you’re transitioning as you get out of a difficult time. 

These things will make it harder to socialize, and while you shouldn’t cut out receiving your social vitamins, consider how much you’d need, the state of mind you’ll be in, and if it’s helpful to tell these people something like “I’m not in the best place energetically right now, I won’t tell you the details, and it’s simply to give you a heads up that I may be a little unfocused or meeting you a little less.” That way, there’s no guessing involved, and you are taking responsibility. 

Other things that can drain you include, you’re second-guessing what you’re saying, trying very hard to sound smart or interesting and are therefore not present, and replaying for the umpteenth time everything you said or did during the interaction days after that. This could sometimes be a case of social anxiety, and if so, there are ways to get to the root of that and also stay present in your interactions.

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