the dilemma

As an introverted leader, you face a dilemma. I face it too. Every day.

How do you balance your need for introvert time with putting yourself and your message into the world?

When these things are out of whack, it can lead to introvert-exhaustion.


1. a state of extreme mental, physical, and emotional fatigue brought on by too much time “in the world”.

2. the action or state of using up an introvert’s energy reserves completely.

You know what I’m talking about, right? You spend a day going from hour-long phone call to lunch with a friend to a coffee date to more phone calls, without breaks, and at the end of the day you feel spent.

When I feel that way, I’m usually tempted to spend a day on the couch watching cooking shows and surfing the internet on my laptop. But this can lead to the cycle of doom.

The cycle of doom: Facebook->email->worrying about what I should be doing instead of->email-Facebook->…

The problem with this is that it seems like it is “introverted” and we think, therefore it should be restful.

In reality, it just perpetuates the cranky-tired feelings. Yes, it’s nice to have the alone time. AND… it’s still too stimulating to be restful for most introverts who have reached that exhausted place.

How do you recover from introvert-exhaustion?

Maybe you can recover by spending a day in front of the TV and laptop, fully engaged in multitasking and social media. If so, good for you.

But I’d bet that those days feel like a relief because they are not as out in the world as the busy lunch-coffee-phone-call days, and at the same time it’s not very restorative.

What you want to do and what you actually need in order to recover are not always the same thing.(click here to tweet)

It’s tempting to stay plugged into email and Facebook, and pretend that you’re “doing something”. But are you? And how do you feel?

It’s better to intentionally take an hour and go do something truly restful (nap, read, meditate, walk, etc) than to fake-rest while staying plugged in.

honor the introvert-2

A lesson from my own experience this week (where I did get introvert-exhausted and then spent a day in the cycle of doom only to find I didn’t feel rested) is that sometimes the best thing to do is absolutely nothing. (Click here to tweet)

How do you recover from introvert-exhaustion?