I am an introvert. I've shared it before, but I like to remind people because I don't give off "introvert" vibes. Friendly reminder: Just because someone is an introvert, it does not mean that they can't be social. It simply means they recharge and generate their energy from inside themselves as opposed to generating their energy from social situations.
Interestingly enough, both of my jobs require me to work and engage with people all day. I don't dislike working with people; it's just imperative that I make sure I schedule small moments to myself throughout the day to avoid burnout. The other strategy I've used to help me get through the most social days is to let people inspire me. We are moving so quickly all day every day. We are always moving to the next appointment, finishing the next assignment, and hustling to and from all of our expectations. On the busiest of days, it can become really hard to see the beauty of life because of the pace at which it's moving.
I think the best way for me to describe what I mean is by providing an actual example. There is no better microcosm for life than a night as a server. I'll have 4 tables. One table needs refills, the next table needs their orders taken, one table asked for extra ranch, and the other needs a high chair. A server's shift looks just like those nights when I have to get dinner ready, get Evyn to dance, get everyone bathed, pack preschool lunch, and set out clothes for tomorrow all within a 4 hour window. I'm frazzled. I'm always frazzled, and I inevitably forget things and mess up. When I drop off the refills to the first table, they ask, "Is this your second job?" The easiest thing to do is shoot back a quick, "Yes," and move on to the next 5 tasks I need to do. And honestly, sometimes that's what happens. However, the best nights, even when they're busy, are the nights I have the awareness to know I have an opportunity to engage, and I reply, "This is. I'm a success coach at Rhodes State. I used to be a teacher." Most of the time, they then share with me what they do or an experience they had with Rhodes or educators. I've learned so much about people. People who worked 3 jobs themselves to get through nursing school. People who left abusive relationships to pursue a career and life for themselves. People who hated their teachers. People who used to wait tables themselves. **FUN FACT: This is also really awesome because people are much more forgiving when you forget things if you engage with them as a human** The coolest thing about these experiences is that I take a little bit of every person with me. It sounds corny, but I still remember women who have shared their stories of trauma with me, men who have shared stories about their own wives, and stories from people who were deep in the same grind I currently find myself in. In these small moments, you remember that you're a part of a bigger picture - that your struggles, while valid and difficult, are universal. The people around you are overcoming obstacles and hurdles, and they, like you, want to be successful and loved.
Like I said, I know this all sounds corny. However, as someone who can become so immersed in my own work and struggle that I miss the world happening around me, taking the time to stop and interact with my fellow humans has done wonders for my tendency to burn out. When you realize that people around you have done some pretty cool things, you have a little more faith in humanity. And, by default, you have a little more faith in yourself.
Keep fighting the good fight, friends!